It’s rare to hear about professional athletes who’ve studied engineering. But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
All of the major US sports have had engineers on the field, concentrating on academic areas ranging from mechanical to electrical to aerospace engineering.
We’ve collected photos and information about university-trained engineers who’ve played professional sports. From pitchers and forwards to quarterbacks and defensemen, we offer a peek at some of the more memorable engineers in sports history.
Our list starts with Bill Masterton, the only player in NHL history to die as a direct result of injuries sustained during a game. Click on his photo to see who else made our list, and let us know (in the comments section below) who we may have inadvertently left out.
Bill Masterton is best known for his link to hockey tragedy. Masterton is the only player in NHL history to die as a direct result of injuries sustained during a game. But Masterton, who played for the old Minnesota North Stars in the 1960s, also had a full life off the ice. He held an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Denver and served as an engineer with Honeywell Corp., working on the Apollo Space Program in the 1960s. Masterton’s death in 1968, caused by a massive head injury, sparked a long-running debate over the need for helmets and probably contributed to the league’s adoption of them 11 years later.