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In the world of American football, there are legends, and then there are icons. Mark Peter Kellar, affectionately known as the ‘Baby Bull’ of NIU football, belonged to the latter category. His extraordinary journey from Carpentersville, Illinois, to becoming a household name in the National Football League (NFL) left an indelible mark on the sport. Join us as we remember Mark Kellar, his illustrious career, and the mysteries surrounding his passing.
|July 17, 1952, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|November 23, 2023, aged 71
|6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
|225 lb (102 kg)
A Life Worth Celebrating
Mark Peter Kellar, born on July 17, 1952, was a name that resonated with football enthusiasts across the nation. Growing up in Carpentersville, Illinois, Kellar attended Irving Crown High School, where he showcased his athletic prowess. In a remarkable senior year, he earned two varsity letters in football, two in basketball, and three in track. Kellar’s excellence reached its pinnacle when he finished third in the state discus throw and received All-Tri-County Conference honors in all three sports. His achievements led to his well-deserved induction into the Dundee-Crown Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.
NIU: Where Legends Are Made
Mark Kellar’s journey continued at Northern Illinois University (NIU), where he donned the Huskies’ jersey and played as a fullback. His college career was nothing short of sensational. In 1973, Kellar led the nation in rushing yards, amassing an impressive 1,719 yards. These remarkable achievements set the stage for his induction into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1983.
Kellar’s name is etched in the annals of NIU football history, with school records that include 3,745 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns, and an astonishing 20 games with over 100 yards. His jersey number 31 was retired as a testament to his exceptional contributions to the sport.
The Professional Journey
Mark Kellar’s talents were not confined to the college arena. In 1974, he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round of the NFL Draft. This marked the beginning of a professional career that would further solidify his status as a football icon. Kellar also had stints in the World Football League (WFL), playing for teams like the Chicago Fire, Chicago Winds, and San Antonio Wings. In total, he played 33 games in the NFL from 1976 to 1978.
Despite the fierce competition and challenges that come with professional football, Kellar’s legacy endured. He remained a cherished figure among fans, appreciated not only for his skills on the field but also for his dedication to the sport.
The Enigmatic Farewell
On November 23, 2023, the sports world received somber news. Mark Peter Kellar, the ‘Baby Bull’ of NIU football, passed away at the age of 71 in Minneapolis. While the world mourned the loss of a legend, questions arose about the circumstances surrounding his passing. The cause of death remained undisclosed, leaving many to wonder about the final chapter of this extraordinary life.
Honoring a Legacy
As we remember Mark Kellar, we reflect on the incredible journey of a man who inspired generations with his athletic prowess. His contributions to NIU football and the NFL have left an indelible mark on the sport, and his memory will continue to inspire future athletes.
In closing, we invite you to join us in honoring Mark Kellar’s legacy, a legacy that transcends the field and reminds us of the enduring impact of sports icons.
Mark Kellar Obituary and Cause of Death – FAQs
- Who was Mark Kellar?
Mark Kellar, a football legend, passed away at 71. He excelled as a fullback at Northern Illinois University and played professionally for the Chicago Fire and Minnesota Vikings.
- How did Mark Kellar die?
The cause of Mark Kellar’s death was not specified in the provided information; he passed away peacefully at 71 in Minneapolis.
- What were Mark Kellar’s achievements in college football?
Mark Kellar led the nation in rushing at Northern Illinois University in 1973, setting records with 3,745 rushing yards, 33 touchdowns, and 20 100-yard rushing games.
- What was Mark Kellar’s impact on NIU football?
Mark Kellar left a lasting legacy at NIU, with records, jersey number 31 retired, and induction into the NIU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1983.
- What was Mark Kellar’s personal life like?
Mark Kellar had a big heart, enjoyed travel, golf, and card games, and cherished time with family and friends, leaving behind a rich and diverse legacy.