Tunch Ilkin, who had a long career in the NFL as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, has announced that he will be retiring as a broadcaster to focus on his treatment as he battles ALS.
“I have had 37 years in the NFL, with 14 as a player and the last 23 in broadcasting as the color analyst on the Pittsburgh Steelers Radio Network, and I’ve decided to retire,” said Ilkin in a statement that was released Thursday morning on the Steelers website.
Ilkin revealed in October that he had been diagnosed with ALS a month earlier.
“I was diagnosed with ALS in September 2020, and I want to spend this time focusing on my treatment and fighting this disease,” his statement continued. “I would like to thank Steelers President Art Rooney II, the Steelers organization, and the fans for their continued support and prayers at this time.”
Ilkin, who was selected by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 1980 NFL Draft out of Indiana State, played 14 years in the league with his first 13 being with Pittsburgh. After retiring from the NFL as a player, Ilkin joined the official Steelers broadcasting team of Myron Cope and Bill Hillgrove as an analyst in 1998.
Ilkin’s voice will certainly be missed and especially during games. He also did amazing work before and after games when it came to his analysis. We pray he can beat ALS.