IQFB Profile: Ernie Holmes


Ernie Holmes was an integral member of the 1970’s Pittsburgh Steelers Steel Curtain Defense. He played on the defensive line alongside all-time greats Mean Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, and Dwight White for six seasons, from 1972-1977. Holmes was known as a wild man, shocking the public with everything from having a large arrow shaved in his head to shooting at a police helicopter after a car chase. This wildness carried over onto the field where opponents never knew what to expect.

Ernie Holmes grew up in Texas and played collegiately at Texas Southern University. The Steelers drafted him in the eighth round of the 1972 NFL Draft and he made an immediate impact on an already very good team. Holmes would finish his career with 39.5 sacks following a three game stint in 1978 with the New England Patriots.

After football, Holmes tried his hand at acting. He landed a few very minor roles, including a one episode appearance on the the classic 1980’s T.V. series ‘The A-Team’. Holmes then experienced some health problems and became an ordained minister. He lived the rest of his time on his ranch in Beaumont, Texas. Ernie Holmes died January 17, 2008 in a car accident.

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