Pittsburgh Steelers Sign Former Farmington Valley MudHog Golic Jr.

Mike Golic Jr. is already about a month into his training camp with the team and ready for his first season in the NFL.

Photo Credit: Patch file photo
Photo Credit: Patch file photo
What do Avon native Mike Golic Jr. and Ben Roethlisberger have in common?

They both wear Pittsburgh black and yellow on the gridiron. 

Golic Jr. was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers as a free agent in April. He is listed on the roster as an offensive tackle

"When I was signed I was very excited," Golic Jr. wrote in an email to Patch. "To have an opportunity to play in the National Football League was all I wanted, and to be able to do it with a franchise as storied and respected as the Pittsburgh Steelers is an incredible blessing."  

Golic Jr. said he has "always paid attention to the Steelers and admired their blue collar work ethic and hard nosed style of play." Now he has the chance to play with the NFL greats he watched. 

"The player on the team I look up to the most is starting left guard Ramone Foster," Golic Jr. said. "He was an undrafted player like myself who has cemented himself as a starter now and still carries that chip on his shoulder."

Golic Jr.'s football career started in fifth grade. He played on the Simsbury-Avon Chiefs and the Farmington Valley MudHogs during his "Pop Warner years." Golic Jr. went on to play in high school at West Hartford-based private school Northwest Catholic and in college for the Fighting Irish at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He graduated from Notre Dame in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in film, theatre and television. 

"Through all of this I'd say the highlight of my career was getting to play peewee, high school, and college football with my brother Jake," Golic Jr. said.

He started playing the sport because he looked up to his father "and wanted to be like him." His father is Avon resident Mike Golic, cohost of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning. Golic also has an extensive NFL career himself, having played for the Miami Dolphins (1993), the Philadelphia Eagles (1987-1992) and the Houston Oilers (1987), according to nfl.com.

"I grew to love the game for many of the same reasons he did," Golic Jr. said. "It's a tough, physical game that tests you mentally and physically on every play, and I enjoy that challenge. Football has taught me about working hard for a goal, overcoming obstacles, and using your strengths to overcome your weaknesses."  

Football runs in the family. Golic Jr.'s uncle, Bob Golic played for the Los Angeles Raiders (1989-92), the Cleveland Browns (1982-88) and the New England Patriots (1979-1981), according to nfl.com

Now Golic Jr. is about a month into his training camp with the Steelers. 

"It's very challenging both mentally and physically, and extremely exciting because every day I get to work with some of the best players in the world," Golic Jr. said. 

The Steelers have played three pre-season games so far and have their last on on Thursday against the Carolina Panthers at 7:30 p.m.

How can other aspiring football players reach the NFL level like Golic Jr.? 

"My advice to young players hoping to play in the NFL someday is to not be afraid to do all the extra little things, and never let anyone tell you what you can and can't do," Golic Jr. said.

When Golic Jr. is not playing football, the film and television major enjoys watching TV and movies or spending time with his pug, Hank and yellow Labrador, Tahoe at his parents' home in Avon. 


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