Randy "the Rat" Reutershan
No. 40     
Wide receiver / Return specialist / Defensive back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1955-06-30) June 30, 1955 (age 65)
Place of birth: New York City
High School: Mahwah High School
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 182 lb (83 kg)
Career information
College: Pittsburgh
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 6 / Pick: 160
Debuted in 1978 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Last played in 1978 for the Pittsburgh Steelers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 1978
Games played     11
Punt returns     20
Punt return yards     148
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Randy Reutershan (born June 30, 1955) is a former American football player who performed in a single season in the National Football League for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a member of teams that won a college football national championship and a Super Bowl.

Early lifeEdit

Reutershan was born in New York City to Warren and Doris Reutershan.[1] He attended Mahwah High School in Mahwah, New Jersey where he earned letters three years in football, basketball and track.[2]

Football careerEdit

Reutershan attended the University of Pittsburgh. In his junior season he was a wide receiver and special teams ace[2] on the Panthers team which won the national championship. He had 17 catches for 311 yards in his senior season at Pitt in 1977.[3] His tenacity as a special teams player, particularly his love of tackling on the coverage team, earned him the nickname "the Rat."[4] His college coach, Johnny Majors called Reutershan, "the most dynamic special teams performer I have ever seen."[5]

Reutershan was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He made the team as a defensive back after switching back and forth from wide receiver during training camp.[6] He played in eleven games in his rookie season, contributing primarily on special teams. His season was cut short in mid-November by a single vehicle roll-over automobile accident that left him with severe head injuries for which he was hospitalized for a full month.[2][7] Although he would eventually recover from his injuries, he was advised to discontinue his professional football career.[8]

Reutershan returned to his alma mater, Pittsburgh, as a wide receivers coach under Jackie Sherrill in 1979.[9]


  1. "Doris Reutershan obituary". The Journal News. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Steeler Player Critically Injured". Tyrone (Pa.) Daily Herald. UPI: p. 5. November 18, 1978. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  3. Boyles, Bob; Guido, Paul (August 1, 2007). Fifty years of college football : a modern history of America's most colorful sport. New York: Skyhorse Pub.. p. 1130. ISBN 978-1-60239-090-4. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  4. "Reutershan is Pitt's Specialty". Galveston Daily News. UPI: p. 2-B. December 24, 1977. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  5. Livingston, Pat (May 4, 1978). "Randy's Special". Pittsburgh Press: p. C-1. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  6. Stellino, Vito (October 13, 1978). "Reutershan Shifts in Numbers Game". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: p. 11,13. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  7. "Reutershan Progressing Slowly at Home". Tyrone (Pa.) Daily Herald. UPI: p. 10. December 20, 1978. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  8. "Reutershan Hurt in 2-Car Wreck". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: p. 5. March 2, 1981. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  9. Isler, Jim (August 24, 1979). "Reutershan Joins Pitt Staff". The News-Dispatch (Jeannette, Pa.): p. 9. Retrieved December 19, 2011.
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