Louie Kelcher

Louie Kelcher
No. 74, 94
Position: Defensive tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: (1953-08-23) August 23, 1953
Place of birth: Beaumont, Texas
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Weight: 291 lb (132 kg)
Career information
High school: French High School
College: Southern Methodist
NFL Draft: 1975 / Round: 2 / Pick: 30
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 116
Games started: 89
INT: 2
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Louis James Kelcher (born August 23, 1953) is a retired American football player who played most of his career with the San Diego Chargers. His primary position was defensive tackle, where his honors included being a four-time All-Pro and a three-time Pro Bowl selection. His outstanding performance made him one of the team's most popular players from 1975-83. Kelcher was inducted into the San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame, and is a member of the franchise's 40th and 50th Anniversary Teams. He was a graduate of Southern Methodist University and French High School in Beaumont, Texas.

NFL career

Kelcher was known for his immense size: he stood 6'5", weighed 285 pounds, wore size 17EEE shoes, and had a size 16.5 ring finger. He was drafted in the 2nd round in 1975 and was named to the NFL All-Rookie team. Kelcher was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1978, 1979 and 1981; was named All-AFC in 1977, 1978 and 1980; and 1st-team All-Pro in 1978 and 2nd-team All-Pro in 1977, 1980 and 1981.[1] In 1977, his teammates voted him the team's Most Valuable Player.[2]

Kelcher was sidelined in 1979 for all but three minutes after a knee operation.[3] He returned in 1980, teaming with fellow 1975 Chargers' draftees Fred Dean and Gary "Big Hands" Johnson as the Chargers led the NFL in sacks (60). Johnson and Dean were named 1st-team All-Pro, with Kelcher being named 2nd-team All-Pro. The trio, along with Leroy Jones formed a defensive frontline that was locally nicknamed the Bruise Brothers.[4][5] In the 1980 AFC Championship Game against the Oakland Raiders, Kelcher has 20 tackles, 10 solo and 10 assisted, and also one sack.[6] Don "Air" Coryell's Chargers teams of that era are mostly remembered for its high-scoring, pass-oriented offense. The Chargers won the AFC West from 1979–1981 and made the playoffs in 1982.

Kelcher finished his career in the 1984 season as a member of the Super Bowl XIX champion San Francisco 49ers, reuniting him with former Charger teammates Johnson and Dean.


In 2006, Louie Kelcher was inducted into the Breitbard Hall of Fame.[7]


  1. "2012 San Diego Chargers Media Guide" (PDF). San Diego Chargers. 2012. pp. 244–5. Archived from the original on March 8, 2013.
  2. 2008 San Diego Chargers Media Guide (accessed October 18, 2008)
  3. Zimmerman, Paul (September 8, 1980). "Afc West". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on January 30, 2014.
  4. "Grambling State University Loses Two Football Legends". FoxSports.com. Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. August 11, 2010. Archived from the original on May 27, 2011.
  5. "No. 16: Chargers' best draft class". ESPN.com. March 28, 2009. Retrieved May 27, 2011. The 2001 class was good, but the 1975 class ranks the best. San Diego had four of the first 33 picks in the draft, and the Chargers selected three defensive linemen that would form the nucleus of "The Bruise Brothers" and once formed three-fourths of the AFC Pro Bowl defensive line.(subscription required)
  6. Smith, Rick (1981). 1981 San Diego Chargers Facts Book. San Diego Chargers. p. 45.
  7. sdhoc.com, San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum
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