Walt Kiesling

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Subject Profile

Walter Andrew Kiesling (1903-1962) (G/T) cut hometown boy and future Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas from Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, allowing Baltimore to scoop him up to lead their championship offense. Walt played guard and tackle for 13 seasons with the Duluth Eskimos (1926-1927), the Pottsville Maroons (1928), the Chicago Cardinals (1929-1933), the Chicago Bears (1934), the Green Bay Packers (1935-1936) and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1937-1938). Big Kies bulldozed his way through would-be tacklers as teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Ernie Nevers drove to the end zone. In 1929, Walt paved the way for Nevers to score six touchdowns against the Chicago Bears. In 1930, Kiesling was named to the NFL’s All-Pro First Team. He played for the 1934 Chicago Bears during their undefeated season and was a member of the 1936 MFL League Champion Green Bay Packers. Walt Kiesling spent nine seasons as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers (1939, 1940-1942, 1954-1956), the Phi/Pit Eagles/Steelers (1943), the Chi/Pit Card/Steelers (1944) – teams were combined during World War II due to player service. Big Kies compiled a record of 30-55-5 in 90 games before retiring from football in 1956. Walt Kiesling was inducted in to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1966.