Dan Pastorini attended Santa Clara University in California, where he was a star in both football and baseball. In 1971 the Houston Oilers selected him as the #3 overall pick of the NFL Draft. In the draft that was dubbed, “The Year of the Quarterback” with Pastorini taken third behind Jim Plunkett (first) and Archie Manning (second)..
Pastorini went on to become one of football’s most recognized and accomplished players during his 13-year NFL career. As the Oilers’ starting quarterback for nine seasons, he led his team to successive AFC Championship games against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1978 and 1979.
Leaving the Oilers in 1980, he went on to play for the Oakland Raiders, LA Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles. Pastorini was selected to the NFL Pro Bowl following the 1975 season, throwing a Pro Bowl record 74-yard touchdown pass in the process. He retired from football in 1984.
Pastorini is in an elite group of professional athletes who has had outstanding careers in two sports. One of the most popular drivers on the NHRA Top Fuel Circuit, he won his first National event at the NHRA Southern Nationals in 1986 and finished 7th in the NHRA Championship Points. Pastorini’s best career elapsed time was 5.18 seconds at 287-mph. He was the third man to break the 270-mph barrier in a Top Fuel Dragster.
While quarterbacking the Oilers, Dan also set four world records in Unlimited Drag Boat racing. His boat “The Quarterback Sneak” was the first to break the 8-second elapsed time barrier and later broke the world E.T. record four different times at speeds of 140 mph.
Dan Pastorini is currently an executive at Data Works Plus, a South Carolina based company specializing in data and image capture, retrieval, security and activity tracking software for law enforcement agencies.
He was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.