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'Mike Ditka Day' Declared By Gov. Quinn In Honor Of 'Da Coach'

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MIKE DITKA
Mike Ditka rides in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Grand Parade in downtown Canton, Ohio, on Saturday, August 3, 2013. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images) | Fort Worth Star-Telegram via Getty Images

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — It's Ditka Day in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office says Monday that he's declared it "Mike Ditka Day" in honor of the former Chicago Bears player and football coach whose jersey is being retired.

The Hall of Famer's No. 89 is being retired during a halftime ceremony Monday night when the Bears host the Dallas Cowboys.

Dikta is the 14th Bear to have his number retired by the team.

In a statement, Quinn calls Ditka "the best tight end of all time." And he says "Da Coach" ''molded and guided arguably the best football team," referring to the 1985 Super Bowl champs.

Ditka was drafted by the Bears in 1961 and played for the team through 1966. He returned to coach from 1982 until 1992.

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