Roy Gerela (born April 2, 1948, Sarrail, Alberta) is a former American football placekicker best known for his years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, with whom he won three Super Bowl rings.
Gerela graduated from Kalani High School in Honolulu, and played college football at New Mexico State University. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1969 AFL Draft by the Houston Oilers and played for them in the American Football League in 1969, as well as their first NFL season of 1970. He signed with the Steelers before the 1971 season, and quickly became popular with Steelers fans, inspiring a fan club, "Gerela's Gorillas." He led the AFC in scoring in 1973 and 1974, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1972 and 1974.
Gerela was a member of the Steelers' Super Bowl championship teams in 1974, 1975, and 1978, but was released by the Steelers before the 1979 season in favor of Matt Bahr. He appeared in three games for the San Diego Chargers in 1979 before a torn groin muscle ended his career.
Gerela ranks third on the Steelers' all-time scoring list, behind Gary Anderson and Jeff Reed.
Since his playing career ended, Gerela has worked as both a high school and college assistant football coach. In 2012, he became the head football coach of Gadsden High School in Anthony, New Mexico.
Gerela came from a particularly gifted family. His brothers were also professional kickers in the Canadian Football League; Ted Gerela with the BC Lions and Metro Gerela briefly with the Montreal Alouettes (Metro is enshrined in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame.) In 1993, his son Ted Gerela was drafted in the 7th round of the 1993 CFL Draft by the BC Lions as a linebacker from Rocky Mountain College.
By Dean Hanley
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