Mike Ditka to Headline 2015 Hilltopper Banquet

Ditka Flyer

The Joliet Catholic Academy Alumni Association is proud to announce that Mike Ditka will be headlining this year’s Hilltopper Alumni Banquet on Thursday, November 12, 2015 in the JCA Student Activity Center. Tickets will be in high demand, with only 800 available to be sold. For the first time, tickets will be sold exclusively online through the JCA website at www.jca-online.org/ditka. Secure payments will be accepted through PayPal. Click on the above link to register today.

The event will also be prominently displayed on the main page of the website, as well as on the JCA social media pages; “Like” Joliet Catholic Academy on Facebook and “Follow” @JCAOnline on Twitter.

Event Schedule

5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m. – Cocktails and tapas style heavy appetizers served.

6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. – Ditka available for private “meet-and-greet” with major sponsors.

7:00 p.m.-8:00  p.m. – Q-and-A style program with Mike Ditka. Mark Grant ’81 as emcee.

8:00 p.m.-? – Cocktails served, opportunity for alumni to catch up.

Tickets will be sold as follows: $500 for a table of 10, $50 for individual table seating, and $40 for general admission. The JCA/Ditka web page contains a link to the seating arrangement as well. Table seating is limited to the first 320 who sign up, so be sure to get your tickets early. JCA, JCHS, and SFA graduates, as well as the general public are welcome.

JCHS graduate Mark Grant ’81, a former major league pitcher and the current color commentary analyst for the San Diego Padres will once again emcee the event. Grant will provide comedic relief, as he interviews Coach Ditka in a Q-and-A style program.

“Da Coach” is no stranger to the Chicagoland area, leading the 1985 Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl XX victory. Ditka was the only person to participate in both of the last two Chicago Bears’ championships, as a player in 1963 and as a head coach in 1985.

Well known today as a television and radio commentator and personality, Ditka is a member of both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames. He was the 1961 NFL Rookie of the year, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and five-time All-Pro tight end with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, and Dallas Cowboys. Sure-handed and tenacious running with the ball, he led the transformation of the tight end position into today’s modern offensive threat.

As an NFL Coach, he was twice named both the AP and UPI NFL Coach of the Year (1985 and 1988). He also coached the New Orleans Saints for three years. He and Tom Flores are the only two people to win an NFL title as a player, and assistant coach, and a head coach. Ditka is also the only individual in modern NFL history to win a championship with the same team as a player and a head coach (www.chicagobears.com).

Ditka is no stranger to speaking in the Joliet area. He’s twice headlined the University of St. Francis’ “Brown and Gold” night (1982, 2007). He joins an impressive group of speakers to headline the Hilltopper Banquet over the last several years, including Eddie Olczyk, Paul Azinger,

Contact JCA Alumni Director Sue Bebar with any questions or concerns at sbebar@jca-online.org or 815.741.0500, ext. 269

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