Ed Rutkowski

Category
1998, State Inductee
About This Inductee
  • Kingston High School-football
  • Notre Dame University-quarterback and defensive back
  • Played professional football with Buffalo Bills and Montreal Alouettes at five different positions-mainly wide receiver, specializing in kickoff & punt returns
  • Holds Buffalo Bills record for highest kickoff return average in a season (30.5)
  • 1968 named Offensive MVP as quarterback with the Bills
  • Former president of Buffalo Bills Alumni
  • 1998 received the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., Distinguished Service Award for meritorious service to Buffalo Bills
  • Inducted into PA Sports Hall of Fame in 2002

 

Eddie graduated from Kingston High School in 1958 where he quarterbacked and captained the 10-0 undefeated football team coached by Jim Fennell. In that year, Eddie was the leading scorer with 93 points in 10 games. He was also chosen All-State, along with All-Star in 1958 and All-Scholastic in 1957-58. He was also a member of the UNICO team. He was elected to the PA Big 33 team in 1958. Eddie had the honor of being selected to the Associated Press and UPI first teams All-State in 1958. Eddie also received letters in wrestling and track while at Kingston High School. Eddie went on to the University of Notre Dame, where he played quarterback, defensive and offensive halfback. He averaged 31 yards per carry in his 3 years for the fighting Irish. Eddie ran back kickoffs and punts, as well as playing defensive halfback where he had 8 interceptions. He also scored 18 points on extra point tries in 1962, while scoring 3 touchdowns as a halfback. Eddie was also an undefeated wrestler at Notre Dame in his senior year and was invited to the national championships. The Buffalo Bills signed Eddie in 1963 as quarterback and defensive back. Ed played 5 positions in his 6 years (70 games) with the Bills including quarterback, wide receiver, running back, safety on defense, and punt and kickoff returner. Eddie set a record of 73 yards on a punt return against Kansas City in 1966. His nickname was “Mr. Handyman” because of his versatile athletic ability. Eddie was considered the ultimate team player by the Buffalo Bills. He was named the Bill’s Most Valuable Player on offense by his teammates in 1968, the year he started as quarterback in the second half of the Bill’s season-. He holds the individual record for the Bills all-time highest kickoff return average for a single season with an average of 30.5 yards per return in 1963. He ranks third in most punt returns in a career with 68, and third in highest punt return average in a season with an 11.6-yard average in 1966. He also ranks second in most punt returns in a game with 6 against the Houston Oilers in 1964. After retiring from football, Ed worked with Congressman Jack Kemp as his administrative assistant for 8 years, as well as working as TV and radio commentator for the Bill’s. Eddie and his wife Marilou reside in Hamburg, New York, where he is vice-president of Integrated Waste Ser-vices, where he is responsible for investor relations and new business development. They have 3 daughters, Victoria Jean, Kimberly Clair, and Christian.