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Former Miami Star Ben Roethlisberger retires from NFL after 18 seasons

The jerseys of former Miami athletes Ben Roethlisberger and Wally Szczerbiak hang on the wall of Brick Street.
The jerseys of former Miami athletes Ben Roethlisberger and Wally Szczerbiak hang on the wall of Brick Street.

Ben Roethlisberger, the most visible Miami University alum in sports, has retired from the NFL after 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“A boy from Findlay, Ohio, with NFL dreams, developed at Oxford at Miami University, blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a place to call home,” Roethlisberger said in a video posted to his Twitter account Thursday morning.

“The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships, fueled by a spirit of competition. Yet the time has come to clean up my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children.” 

Roethlisberger, 39, is a surefire hall-of-famer, a former Rookie Of The Year, a two-time Super Bowl champion and the NFL’s fifth most prolific (64,088 yards) all-time passer. 

At Miami, Roethlisberger played three seasons and led the RedHawks to a 13-1 record and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) championship in 2003 on his way to MAC Offensive Player of the Year honors and a ninth-place Heisman finish.

Roethlisberger was drafted 11th overall by the Steelers in 2004, and he led Pittsburgh to a 15-1 record during his rookie season before losing to Tom Brady in the AFC championship. Then in 2005, Roethlisberger and the Steelers beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl. 

In 2008 Pittsburgh beat the Arizona Cardinals in Roethlisberger’s second and final Super Bowl. He’d only make the big game one more time in the final thirteen seasons of his career, a loss to the Packers in 2010. 

Roethlisberger’s career was marked by exhilarating highs and nauseating lows. During his time with the Steelers, the quarterback was twice publicly accused of sexual assault. He was never prosecuted criminally, but the NFL suspended him for four games in 2010 for violating its personal conduct policy. 

"I am excited, just because I get to go home," Roethlisberger said after his final game, a playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. "... We've got snow, so the kids are already planning tubing and doing sledding and stuff. So, being a husband and father, you never take a day off. You've got to keep going, and so, as we move from one chapter to the next, it's going to be different, but it's going to be fun, it's going to be a challenge, and I'm looking forward to it."

In the coming years, Roethlisberger will have a great chance at any job in coaching or on TV that he wants. But for now, he’s glad for what he has. 

“I retire from football a truly grateful man.”

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