Former NFL Defensive Tackle Turned High School Principal Dies

Former NFL defensive tackle Steve Okoniewski is a member of the Montana Football Hall of Fame. (University of Montana)

Steve Okoniewski, who played defensive tackle for the Green Bay Packers from 1974-75 and later went on to become a high school principal, has died. He was 74.

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Okoniewski played at the University of Montana and was projected as an offensive lineman when selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the second round of the 1972 NFL Draft.

He eventually went on to become principal of Luxemburg-Casco High School in Luxemburg, Wisconsin, just recently retiring from that post. He also, of course, helped out with the school’s football program.

Okoniewski is a member of the Montana Football Hall of Fame.

No cause of death has been provided. reports:

“After playing in the College All-Star game and getting a late start in training camp, Okoniewski was waived by the Falcons on the final cutdown date and claimed by Buffalo. Converted into a defensive tackle, Okoniewski spent two seasons with the Bills but was deactivated after starting four of the first five games in 1973.

“The Packers acquired Okoniewski on July 29, 1974, in a trade with the Bills. The Packers gave up third-year quarterback Scott Hunter, who had started 20 of 28 games in 1972-73, for running back Pete Van Valkenburg and Okoniewski.

“Okoniewski played 28 games with the Packers and started 12, including 11 in 1974. He was released by the Packers on Sept. 6, 1976, and appeared in nine games with the St. Louis Cardinals over the 1976-77 seasons.”

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