05/24/2013 01:11 pm ET

Mike Ditka Number Being Retired: Chicago Bears Retiring No. 89 Jersey In December


The Chicago Bears plan to retire the number of one of da team's most legendary personalities, per a Friday announcement.

According to ESPN, Mike Ditka's No. 89 will be retired on December 9, during the halftime of the Bears' "Monday Night Football" showdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field.

As the Chicago Tribune points out, Ditka will be the fourteenth Bear to be honored with a retired jersey number. The team has not retired a jersey since Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers were honored in 1994.

Ditka -- or, Da Coach -- coached the team to its lone Super Bowl victory in 1985 and played tight end for the team for six years beginning in 1961. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and also holds the honor of being the only person in the modern era to win an NFL Championship as both a coach and a player -- he was part of the Super Bowl-winning Cowboys team in 1972, CBS Sports notes.

Ditka described the news as "a tremendous honor" in a statement.

"It's something that I didn't anticipate or expect, but it's a great honor. When you think of all the great Bears players who have had their jerseys retired, I can't say that there's any greater honor," he continued.



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