Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has plenty of great memories from his days at Miami University, but one of the best came on Saturday when he was inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Roethlisberger, who earned his degree from the school in May, was one of six individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame at a dinner Saturday night and honored at the team's basketball game earlier that afternoon.
"It's an awesome honor," said Roethlisberger. "Everything I was able to accomplish there, with graduation, having my jersey retired and now the last thing is to go into the Hall of Fame. It's a neat, awesome honor.
"I am really proud to have graduated. But to be in the Hall of Fame with the people there, it's a super year. I think it speaks highly of Miami as a university to honor me after I have graduated. It speaks on how important they think academics are."
Roethlisberger, who played at Miami from 2001-03, holds all of the school's major passing records, including most games in a season passing for 200 yards or more and consecutive 200 yards plus passing games, as well as passing for 200 yards or more in all 14 games in 2003.
He was also named Miami's Male Co-Athlete of the Year in 2001 and 2003 and the MAC Offensive Player of the Year in 2003.
Roethlisberger was inducted along with his former coach, the late Terry Hoeppner, who he credits for much of his success in college. Roethlisberger was truly honored to be inducted the same year as Hoeppner, who died of brain cancer in June, 2007.
"To be able to do it with Coach Hoeppner, which is one of the main reasons why I went to Miami, is really special," said Roethlisberger. "I don't know if I would want it any other way. The only thing that would be better is if he would have been there. I know he will be there in spirit, but to be there in body and go in together would have really been special.
"People ask me all of the time why I went to Miami. There were a bunch of reasons, academics, the chance to play early in my career and to be closer to home. But the biggest reason I went there was because of Coach Hoeppner. He was a father figure to me. I am still close to his family. He was one of the main reasons I went there and to go into the Hall of Fame with him is fitting."