Rich Mauti – New Orleans Saints 1977-1983
By know, most Saints fans are aware that New Orleans Saints linebacker and special teams player Michael Mauti is the son of former special teams player and wide receiver Rich Mauti who played for the Saints from 1977 to 1983. He finished up his 7-year NFL career with the Washington Redskins in 1984.
So with the big plays Michael has made, I think Saints fans should know a little about his father – Rich Mauti.
Rich Mauti was a Tailback and Receiver who, like Michael, played at Penn State and even had a 100-yard kickoff touchdown against Temple in 1975. He was also an All-American midfielder on the Penn State lacrosse team.
Rich Mauti was brought on to the Saints as a free agent by then head coach Hank Stram and made an immediate impact. His play was characterized by an almost reckless abandon on down-field tackles during punt and kickoff returns that made him a fan favorite throughout his 6 years as a New Orleans Saints player. He was named Special Teams Player MVP during the 1978 season when he actually set a new NFL individual record with 27 solo and 4 assisted special teams tackles. In 1980 he made the Pro Bowl as a first team punt returner. He was second in the the NFL with a 25.7 yard kick return average as well that year.
As fiery as he was a player, his off-the-field fight against cancer was equally commendable. Around 1980, Mauti began the Rich Mauti Foundation (now know as the Rich Mauti Cancer Fund) after his own father was diagnosed with cancer. The Foundation started the Mauti Challenge where he pledged $10 for every return and $1 for every yard from returns for the American Cancer Society. He was a 1980 Miller NFL Man of the Year finalist for his efforts. In 1982 he was Named New Orleans Saints Man of the Year.
Rich Mauti’s Career Statistics with the New Orleans Saints
* – Named to Pro Bowl