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Big Ben Roethlisberger: Life After Football

Posted on March 02, 2024 by John Harris
Big Ben Roethlisberger retired from the NFL following the 2021 season.

Ben Roethlisberger retired from the NFL after the 2021 season, closing the book on one of the most successful careers by a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback — or any QB, for that matter. But who is Ben Roethlisberger, and what is the larger-than-life “Big Ben” up to since hanging up his cleats?

“A boy from Findlay, Ohio, with NFL dreams, developed in Oxford at Miami University. Blessed with the honor of 18 seasons as a Pittsburgh Steeler and a place to call home. The journey has been exhilarating, defined by relationships and fueled by a spirit of competition,” he said in 2022.

“Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats, and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man.”

Who Is Ben Roethlisberger?

Roethlisberger spent his entire 18-season NFL career with the Steelers, building a resume worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, for which he’ll be eligible — some say a shoo-in — in 2027. He was drafted 11th overall in the first round in 2004, and made an immediate impact by winning the AP NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Known for his competitiveness, toughness, and uncanny scrambling ability, Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh to three Super Bowl appearances, winning twice. He departed holding virtually every major passing record in Steelers history. Beyond the numbers, Big Ben defined an era of smashmouth AFC North football. His pump fakes, improvised plays, and come-from-behind heroics symbolized the gritty spirit of Steelers football.

Roethlisberger announced his retirement in January 2022 after Pittsburgh’s early playoff exit, going out on his own terms after a career filled with injuries and triumphs.

Roethlisberger walked away ranked eighth all-time in passing yards and 10th in touchdown passes. The six-time Pro Bowler got to go out in front of a cheering Steelers home crowd in Week 17, with Pittsburgh still in the playoff hunt. It was a fitting end to a storied career defined by clutch play in crunch-time moments.

He thanked those devoted fans stating, “To Steeler Nation, the best fans in all of sport, thank you for accepting and supporting me as your quarterback over the years. Football has been a gift and I thank God for allowing me to play it, surrounding me with great people and protecting me through to the end.”

What Comes Next for the Former QB?

Football may be behind Roethlisberger, but he’s embracing new challenges and adventures in the next phase of life. Here’s a look at what the two-time Super Bowl champ is up to since retiring:

— Spending more time with family: Big Ben and his wife have three children who are thrilled to see more of their dad. He’ll be busy with school activities and finally able to coach their sports teams. Roethlisberger said, “Obviously when I had kids, priorities start to change and you understand what it means to be a parent and husband even more. I think one of the hardest things but greatest lessons I had to learn was not to bring home the stresses of my work to my family.”

— Getting involved with his church: An outspoken Christian, Roethlisberger wants to volunteer, join mission trips, and deepen his faith. “Christ Church at Grove Farm [in Pennsylvania] is our home church and has been for many years now,” he shared. “My family all goes there and it has really become an amazing church family for us. The amount of friends and amazing people we have met at that church is really just something you could never put a price tag on.”

— Working in broadcasting? With his big personality and ability to read defenses, a sports media role could await the superstar. He already hosts the popular podcast “Footbahlin With Ben Roethlisberger.”

— Championing causes through his foundation: The Roethlisberger Family Foundation will continue to do good across America. “We helped support canine and first responders,” he recalled. “I don’t think you can put a price tag on the stories and the lives that were affected, touched, and changed by the foundation.”

What’s Next for Steelers Fans?

While they’ll miss the grit and toughness of Big Ben under center, Steelers fans have reason for excitement. Offensive weapons like Najee Harris, Diontae Johnson, and Pat Freiermuth will propel a new era of Steelers football. It may take time to find the next franchise QB, but the foundation is solid for coach Mike Tomlin to reload rather than rebuild.

No matter who suits up next, Big Ben’s legacy is writ large. Images of No. 7 pumping his fist after epic comebacks and scrambling for gritty conversions will live on as enduring highlights. But for now, the focus is on the former QB writing his next chapter. Steelers Nation wishes nothing but the best for Roethlisberger and his family as they embark on life’s next adventures.

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