Former Bears middle linebacker Mike Singletary will become the 18th Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee to be featured as the guest speaker at the 45th University of St. Francis Brown & Gold Night, the school announced Tuesday. The fundraising event will take place at the Pat Sullivan Center on the campus of USF on Feb. 22.
One of four Bears middle linebackers to earn the prestigious Hall of Fame honor, he will become the third to speak at Brown & Gold, joining Dick Butkus (1980) and Brian Urlacher (2019). The other inductee was Bill George in 1974.
A second-round selection of the Bears and the 38th player selected overall in the 1981 NFL Draft, Singletary went on to play all 12 of his professional seasons in Chicago, missing only two games in his career. During that time, he was named the Associated Press NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and 1988.
Singletary went on to make 172 starts over his career, second most in Bears history. In each of his last 11 seasons, he either led the team or placed second on the squad in tackles and amassed 1,488 over his career with 885 being solo stops. He also recorded seven career interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries.
After making his first start in the seventh game of his 1981 inaugural season, Singletary went on to earn all-rookie honors that year in a career that saw him gain All-Pro status eight times, claim All-NFC honors nine straight years from 1983 to ‘91 and make 10 Pro Bowl appearances. In 1999, The Sporting News ranked him 56th on its list of the 100 greatest players in NFL history.
In the Bears’ only Super Bowl championship season, Singletary was a key orchestrator of the famed 46 defense, leading a unit that allowed less than 11 points per game, went 15-1 during the regular season and permitted only 10 points in three postseason games combined. In Super Bowl XX, Singletary recovered two fumbles, and the defense allowed a record-low 7 yards rushing in a 46-10 trouncing of the New England Patriots.
Prior to his arrival on the NFL scene, Singletary was a two-time All-American at Baylor (1979, 1980), where he averaged upward of 15 tackles per game. For his career, he set a school record with his 662 total tackles. As a sophomore, he established the team’s single-season mark of 232 tackles, including 35 stops in one game. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
Singletary becomes the 10th member of the Bears organization to speak at Brown & Gold, joining Mike Ditka, Dan Hampton, Jim McMahon, Gary Fencik and Joliet’s own Tom Thayer. Also on the list of sports celebrities are John Wooden, Al McGuire, Ray Meyer, Paul Hornung, Bart Starr, Fergie Jenkins, Frank Thomas, Joe Maddon, David Ross, Dan Gable and Denis Savard.
The annual fundraiser begins with a cash bar at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and the program at 8 p.m. The event also will include a silent and a live auction. No autograph requests will be granted the night of the event.
Tickets are available for $65 each or a table of 10 for $650. Corporate sponsorships are also available.