Eric Andolsek

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Eric Andolsek
No. 65
Position: Offensive guard
Personal information
Date of birth: (1966-08-22)August 22, 1966
Place of birth: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Date of death: June 23, 1992(1992-06-23) (aged 25)
Place of death: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Career information
College: Louisiana State
NFL draft: 1988 / Round: 5 / Pick: 111
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 61
Games started: 48
Fumble recoveries: 1
Player stats at

Eric Thomas Andolsek (August 22, 1966 – June 23, 1992) was an offensive lineman with college football's LSU Tigers and the NFL's Detroit Lions, who died in a freak accident at the age of 25.

College career

Andolsek was born and raised in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He was a star offensive and defensive player at Thibodaux High School from 1981 to 1983. From high school, he went on to LSU, where he became one of the school's all-time greatest offensive linemen. He played at LSU from 1984 to 1987. Andolsek was named a Freshman All-American by Football News in 1984. He was also a member of the All-SEC team in 1986 and 1987, and was named a third-team All-American by Football News in 1986. LSU named Andolsek a team captain during the 1986 and 1987 seasons. He would also later be named to the Athlon Sports All-Time LSU team.[1]

Professional career

Andolsek would be selected by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round of the 1988 NFL Draft.[2] He saw some action his rookie season, and would become a starter at left guard in his second season. For the next three years, Andolsek would remain a starter for the Lions, blocking for future Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders.

In his final season, the Lions finished 12-4 and would make it all the way to the NFC Championship Game. However, the championship game was Andolsek's last football game.


During the off-season, Andolsek was working in the yard of his Thibodaux home when a semi-trailer truck ran off the highway in front of his house and struck and killed him.[3] An investigation found the driver had taken his eyes off the road while using a towel to wipe his face.[4]

Andolsek's name will forever be linked to other NFL tragedies. In 1989, Andolsek's LSU offensive line teammate, Ralph Norwood, was killed in an automobile accident during his rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons. During the 1991 season, Detroit Lions offensive line teammate Mike Utley was paralyzed during a football game. Two days after Andolsek's death, Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jerome Brown was killed in an automobile accident. And two years after Andolsek's death, linebacker Toby Caston was also killed in an automobile accident. Coincidentally, Caston was Andolsek's teammate with both LSU and the Detroit Lions.

Andolsek's number has been retired by Thibodaux High School. In addition, LSU has named its outstanding senior in spring practice the Eric Andolsek Award, a recreational facility in Thibodaux bears his name, and the Detroit Lions have named its outstanding offensive lineman award after him. His family has also created a charitable foundation in his honor.[5]


  1. Lambert, Michael. "Multiple LSU players continue legacies established by college football bloodlines". Daily Reveille, October 14, 2010. Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
  2. "NFL Draft History: 1988". Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
  3. "Lion Lineman Hit by Truck in Yard, Killed".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Argus-Press. "Driver sentenced in death of Andolsek". November 11, 1992, p. 9. Retrieved on April 26, 2015.
  5. Daily Comet. "Annual fishing tourney honoring Andolsek is Saturday in Bayou Black". March 20, 2002. Retrieved on April 26, 2015.

External links