Michael Carter is a three-time Super Bowl champion, playing as a nose tackle during the San Francisco 49ers dynasty of the 1980s and early 1990s. He also won a silver medal in shot put at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Here’s a look at Carter’s life and career.
1. Carter Still Holds the High School Shot Put Record He Set in 1979
Carter attended high school at Jefferson High School in Dallas and set a high school record at the 1979 Golden West Invitational in Sacramento, California. As National Throws Coaches Association notes, Carter scored a shot put throw of 24.77 meters (81 feet, 3.50 inches), a record that has yet to be broken.
The record was even covered by Sports Illustrated.
During high school, Carter won three 4A state shot put titles and a title in discus. He was also a star athlete at Southern Methodist University. He won seven NCAA titles in shot put during his college career.
2. Carter Spent His Entire NFL Career With the 49ers & Scored One Key Touchdown
Carter spent his entire career with the 49ers, who drafted him in the fifth round of the 1984 draft. He played nose tackle, starting in 97 games and playing in 121 overall. He only had one interception during the regular season and just one touchdown in his entire career.
That was an important touchdown though. It came in a 1991 playoff game against the Washington Redskins. He caught an interception, then ran the ball 61 yards to the endzone.
“He’s made a lot of big plays for us, some not as spectacular as this one today but still just as important,” then-head coach George Seifert told the New York Times. “I’d hate to think where we’d be as a defense without him through the past few years.”
Legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh told The Los Angeles Times in 1985, after Carter had only started six games in his career, that Carter was the best nose tackle in the league. “He’s undoubtedly the best nose tackle in the league and possibly the best ever to play that position in pro football,” Walsh said.
The video above is the Super Bowl Family Feud special, which includes Carter.
3. Carter Is The Only Athlete to Win a Super Bowl & Medal in The Same Year
In a 12-month period, Carter won the silver medal at the Los Angeles Games in shot put and Super Bowl XIX with the 49ers. He’s the only athlete to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl ring within a year.
However, Carter is hardly the only NFL player to play in the Olympics. Even though American Football isn’t an Olympic sport, several players have competed in track and field and other events at the Olympics. The Rio games notably featured Nate Ebner, Carlin Isles and Perry Baer playing in Rugby sevens.
Carter wasn’t even the only NFL player at the 1984 Olympics. The Broncos’ Sam Graddy and the Rams’ Ron Brown took part in the 4x100m relay, winning a gold medal.
4. Carter’s Daughter D’Andra & Son Michael Jr. Are Also Athletes
Athletics run in the Carter family, as his two daughters, D’Andra and Michelle, and his son, Michael Jr., have all competed. While Michelle might be the more famous one of the trio, D’Andra excelled at discus. Both attended Texas Tech.
“Dad can get pretty excited when Michelle and I are both competing well. He wears his ‘Texas Tech Dad’ hat when I’m in the ring, and he puts on his Texas hat when Michelle’s in the ring,” D’Andra told The Dallas Morning News in 2007, when she was a sophomore. D’Andre went on to win two consecutive Big 12 Championships in discus.
Michael Jr. also threw shot put and was a regional champion. In a 2007 Dallas Morning News interview, Carter explained how his son was a different player from himself.
“He’s different. When I started, I wasn’t strong,” Carter said. “I just relied on technique and quickness. The problem with kids today is with football, they train year-round with weights and they develop strength. Once they get strength, it’s hard to teach technique. They all want to muscle it.”
5. Carter Is Still Michelle’s Coach & Promised to Bring a Medal Back to Texas
Carter was Michelle’s first coach and is coaching her again in Rio. In July, he told the Star-Telegram that he and Michelle will definitely bring a medal back to Texas. And now we know that she will.
“We’re going to give it our best, and whatever happens, happens. We’re going to bring back something. What, we don’t know, but it’s going to be good,” Carter said.
“He’s stern, but is a big believer in hard work. I won more high school titles than Dad but he won more NCAA titles,” Michelle Carter told IAAF.org about her father’s coaching style. “Overall he wins, because he has the Olympic silver medal and to definitely beat him I need to win Olympic gold (in Rio).”
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