February 16, 1972 in Detroit Michigan
Best Known For:
The Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back is one of the best all-time running backs in the NFL (5th overall in rushing). Jerome Bettis was also the recepient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 2001, and expected to be inducted into the Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.
Jerome (Roney) Bettis was born in Detroit, Michigan to Johnnie and Gladys Bettis, the youngest of their three children. He was a dedicated student, even in elementary school, and loved to bowl. He also ice skated every winter on a rink his dad made for him in their backyard. He credits much of his success to his loving parents and siblings and the strong foundation they gave him.
High School Sports:
Jerome Bettis began his football career, not in little league, but in high school at Detroit's Mackenzie where he was also a member of the National Honor Society. After watching his parents pay to put his older siblings through college, Jerome looked at football as his ticket to college. As a high school senior, he was the Gatorade Circle of Champions Player of the Year award winner, and selected the top player in Michigan by the Detroit Free Press. He also got his scholarship.
After graduating from high school in 1990, Jerome Bettis was off to Notre Dame College where he was signed as a fullback. During his Notre Dame career, Bettis rushed 337 times for 1,912 yards (5.7 yards per carry), and made 32 receptions for 429 yards (13.4 yards per catch).
Jerome Bettis' National Football League career began when he was picked in the first round of the 1993 draft by the Los Angeles Rams. While with the Rams, Bettis received many accolades, including NFL "Co-Rookie of the Year" and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
After a disappointing third season with the Rams, Jerome Bettis moved east to become a Pittsburgh Steeler in a trade for a second and fourth round draft pick.
Off the Field:
First diagnosed with asthma at age 15, Jerome Bettis has joined with other world-class athletes, including Olympic gold medalists Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Amy Van Dyken, in the Asthma All-Stars Progam - to show that people with asthma can live without limits. Bettis also devotes considerable time and energy to his aptly named charitable The Bus Stops Here Foundation, which works to improve the quality of life for troubled and underprivileged children in America's inner cities.
Jerome "The Bus" Bettis:
Jerome Bettis credits the Notre Dame school newspaper for coining his well-known nickname, The Bus - because he ran over people just like a bus on his way into the end zone. Pittsburgh Steelers announcer Myron Cope is the one credited with turning the nickname into a household word, however.