*Former Steelers end Val Jansante, who played for the team from 1946-51, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Wednesday, Oct. 1. *
**Val Jansante was a two-way starter for the Pittsburgh Steelers form the very first day he stepped onto the football field in 1946. His career lasted six seasons with the Steelers in which he was named First Team and Second Team All-Pro. With 154 receptions in six seasons, Jansante held the reception record for a while and was among the top 10 pass catchers for a number of years for the Steelers. There were two games in which he caught 10 passes. The first was in 1949 in a game against Philadelphia; the quarterback attempted a total of 10 passes and Val caught all ten. The second game with 10 receptions was against Los Angeles in 1950. In the 75 year Steelers' history, Val is eighth on the all-time list for most receptions in a single game.
Val was a tenth round draft pick in 1944 but because of his service in WW II, did not join the team until 1946. Immediately Jansante led the team in receptions, but he needed only 10 to earn that distinction in 1946. A year later, in 1947, he set club records with 35 catches for 599 yards and 5 touch downs, leading the Eastern Division in receiving until the last game of the season. That was the first year the Steelers went to the playoffs (8-4 record), their only competition until Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" of 1972. He broke his mark in 1948 with 39 receptions for 623 yards. He also led the Steelers in pass receptions in 1949 and 1950. Also in 1950, Val led the entire NFL with 8.5 quarterback sacks from the defensive end position. In 1951, while leading the club with 15 receptions in mid-season, following the 6th game, he left the Steelers to join the Green Bay Packers as a running back.
Val Jansante played for conservative coaches Dr. Jock Sutherland and John Michelosen. It was both coaches' style not to throw the football. He was the first of the Steelers to catch double-digit (10) passes in a single game.
After retiring from football, Val was a teacher and Head Football Coach at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Mon Valley Catholic High School in Monongahela, and Bentworth High School in Bentleyville. He coached both boys and girls athletics in the WPIAL (Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League, District 7) for more than 25 years.
Val was living in Bentleyville, PA.