4-Time Super Bowl Champion From Owasso Shares Memories Of The Big Game

Friday, February 5th 2021, 5:31 pm
By: Craig Day

Offensive lineman in football usually don't get a lot of attention - but they should, especially if they win four Super Bowls. Four-time Super Bowl Champion Jon Kolb shared his journey to the NFL.

In the 1960s, Owasso's population was only a couple of thousand people, compared to almost 40,000 today. A skinny, 120-pound 9th grader wanted to play football.

"My freshman year in Owasso, I didn't even get a uniform," said Jon Kolb.

Determined to make the team the next season, Kolb bought some weights with money made from hauling hay.

"I think our bleachers were five rows high," Kolb remembered.

Not only did Kolb make the team, he transformed into an amazing athlete and later got to play at Oklahoma State.

"We had a really close team in high school." Kolb recalled. "And so many of those guys got scholarships to Vietnam and I got a scholarship to Oklahoma State, so there are so many ways I'm just so blessed and so thankful."

Kolb went on to play professionally as one of the strongest, toughest men in the National Football League, handing out punishing blocks for the likes of Franco Harris, protecting Terry Bradshaw’s blind side.

Kolb earned his first Super Bowl ring in 1974 with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"I said, you mean, you get a ring for this?" Kolb joked. "Because we were down there to kick their butts, that's what we were there for, to win the game, and we didn't even know about a ring. We did it, and then as we began to talk, we started saying let's do it again, let's do it again, that was fun, do it again."

Kolb and his Steeler teammates did it again, three more times: in 1975, 1978 and 1979.

"Nobody talked a lot before the game, as you were walking out of the huddle, we didn't have a ritual, but somebody would look at each other and say buckle up, and our guys buckled up," said Kolb.

Years earlier at OSU, Jon Kolb was an all-American tackle, getting the attention of every NFL team except for one.

"The one team that never showed up was the Steelers," Kolb remembered.

So, on draft day, he thought the call from legendary Steelers owner Art Rooney was a joke from one of his college friends.

"Mr. Rooney, you had to know him, he was the kindest and he said, 'Are you happy to be coming to Pittsburgh?' And I said, 'no,' I said, 'I don't want to go to Pittsburgh,'" Kolb remembered. "And he said, 'We are really looking forward to having you there.'" And so, I got off the phone with him thinking it was a prank, and so the evening comes and nobody else calls, so I thought nobody had drafted me."

But the call was legit, and life was about to change for the soon to be Steeler and small-town boy from Owasso.

"My mother was born in Pittsburgh, Kansas, and a few minutes later, she calls and she's crying. She says, 'I'm so glad, I've been praying you wouldn't go far away, because Pittsburgh is just up the road, we can still come see you play.'" Kolb recalled. "I said, 'Mom you don't understand, Pittsburgh is south of Philadelphia somewhere, I don't know where that place is.' I didn't even know where it was."

Kolb played 177 games in 13 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's one of only a few dozen players in NFL history to have won four Super Bowls.

"It was truly a group of friends, not just teammates," Kolb said.

All these years later, Kolb also has a special place in his heart for his teammates at Oklahoma State, and Owasso High.

"How many guys do you know in the 9th grade that weigh 120 pounds, get to play pro football for 13 years?" Kolb asked. "So, there's a miracle there somewhere, yeah, no question."

"I grew up in Owasso, Oklahoma,” Kolb said. “I'll always be an Okie."