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Mark Rypien

Rypien at the Redskins-Seahawks game in 2008.
No. 11, 16     
Personal information
Date of birth: October 2, 1962 (1962-10-02) (age 47)
Place of birth: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
High School: Shadle Park High School
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
College: Washington State
NFL Draft: 1986 / Round: 6 / Pick: 146
Debuted in 1988 for the Washington Redskins
Last played in 2001 for the Indianapolis Colts
Career history
 As player:
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2001
Pass attempts     2,613
Pass completions     1,466
Percentage     56.1
TD-INT     115-88
Passing Yards     18,473
QB Rating     78.9
Stats at
Stats at
Stats at

Mark Robert Rypien (born October 2, 1962 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada) is a former American football quarterback in the National Football League. He is the first Canadian born quarterback to start in the NFL.



After attending high school in Spokane, Washington, Rypien played college football at Washington State University, where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He then left college early and was selected in the sixth round of the 1986 NFL Draft. He spent the next two years on the Washington Redskins injured reserved list. He watched from the sidelines as the Redskins won Super Bowl XXII under coach Joe Gibbs in January 1988. With Doug Williams aging and the trading of Jay Schroeder to the Los Angeles Raiders, Rypien emerged. In his first full year as a starter, he threw for 3,768 yards with 22 touchdowns. He also gained his first Pro Bowl berth, albeit as an injury replacement.

Rypien was best known for his accuracy as a deep passer, developing an incredible sense of timing with receivers downfield. Sports reporters in Washington often joked that he couldn't hit a receiver such as Gary Clark or Art Monk during a warmup toss, but could lay it in their lap from fifty yards away. According to former head coach Joe Gibbs, "Rypien's sideline throws would wobble and didn't look all that pretty. But that man could seriously throw the deep stuff."[1] A 1992 Sport Magazine article touted him as one of the best deep passers ever.

1991 was Rypien's best season; he threw for 3,564 yards and 28 touchdowns with 11 interceptions, leading the Redskins to Super Bowl XXVI after recording a 14-2 regular season record. He was named the MVP (Most Valuable Player) of the game, passing for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns and leading his team to a 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills. Rypien, a native of Calgary, Alberta, became the first foreign born player to earn the honor. Rypien was named to the Pro Bowl in both 1989 and 1991.

Rypien was one of several players to benefit from the team's success following their championship season. The Redskins signed him to a 3-year, $9 million deal entering the 1992 season. However, the team battled age and injuries and finished the regular season with a 9–7 record, barely making the playoffs. His passing yardage was a respectable 3,282 yards, but his passer rating fell from 97.9 in 1991 to 71.7 in 1992 and his interceptions outnumbered his touchdowns 17 to 13. Although a dominant team performance in the playoffs brought victory over the Minnesota Vikings in an NFC Wild Card away game, the Redskins eventually lost on a rainy, muddy field in a bruising game vs. the San Francisco 49ers, and the Rypien era was essentially over.

Under new Head Coach Richie Petitbon, Rypien had his best training camp in 1993 and expectations were high following a Monday Night win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Dallas Cowboys. However, Rypien injured his knee in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals and the team began a precipitous slide toward a 4–12 season finish. When he was healthy enough to return, Rypien performed spot duty, sharing time with the newly acquired Rich Gannon.

The Redskins hired Norv Turner as their head coach in 1994. Rypien participated in off season workouts, but the team quickly decided to release him from his contract and drafted Heath Shuler in the first round. Shuler turned out to be one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history and the Redskins struggled through the remainder of the 1990s, battling the salary cap and overall lack of talent.

Rypien went on to become a journeyman backup, serving with the Cleveland Browns in 1994, the St. Louis Rams in 1995 and 1997, the Philadelphia Eagles in 1996, and the Indianapolis Colts in 2001.

His last touchdown pass came in relief of Eagles quarterback Ty Detmer. It was an 8-yarder to Irving Fryar with five seconds remaining in a 37-10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. His last professional game was June 10, 2006; as part of a promotional gig, Rypien played one game for the Rochester Raiders of the Great Lakes Indoor Football League.

Passing statistics

Year Team GP GS Att Com Pct Yds TD Int Rate
1988 Washington Redskins 9 6 208 114 54.8 1730 18 13 85.2
1989 Washington Redskins 14 14 476 280 58.8 3768 22 13 88.1
1990 Washington Redskins 10 10 304 166 54.6 2070 16 11 78.4
1991 Washington Redskins 16 16 421 249 59.1 3564 28 11 97.9
1992 Washington Redskins 16 16 479 269 56.2 3282 13 17 71.7
1993 Washington Redskins 12 10 319 166 52.0 1514 4 10 56.3
1994 Cleveland Browns 6 3 128 59 46.1 694 4 3 63.7
1995 St. Louis Rams 11 3 217 129 59.4 1448 9 8 77.9
1996 Philadelphia Eagles 1 0 13 10 76.9 76 1 0 116.2
1997 St. Louis Rams 5 0 39 19 48.7 270 0 2 50.2
2001 Indianapolis Colts 4 0 9 5 55.6 57 0 0 74.8
Career Totals 104 78 2613 1466 56.1 18473 115 88 78.9

Key to Abbreviations
GP= Games Played
GS= Games Started
Att= Passes attempted
Com= Passes Completed
Pct= Completion percentage
Yds= Yards
TD= Touchdowns
Int= Interceptions
Rate= Passer rating


Rypien is one of five players to throw for at least 300 yards in his first NFL game and also has the distinction of becoming the first Canadian-born player to receive the Super Bowl MVP in the Redskins' Super Bowl XXVI victory.

In his 11 NFL seasons, Rypien completed 1,466 of 2,613 passes for 18,473 yards and 115 touchdowns, with 88 interceptions. He also rushed 127 times for 166 yards and 8 touchdowns.

He signed with the Atlanta Falcons for the 1998 season but never made it to Atlanta. His son's death from a malignant brain tumor that August caused Rypien to leave the game (although he would return in 2001 for a stint with the Colts).[2]

In August 2002, Mark was signed by the Seattle Seahawks as a backup quarterback, played in two pre-season games and finished 13-of-21 passing for 97 yards, but was cut early in September.

Mark is a member of Delta Tau Delta International fraternity.

Two of his cousins are NHL players Rick Rypien and Shane Churla.

Mark had a brief stint in NASCAR racing as a team owner, and was the original owner of the 2004 Sprint Cup championship-winning #97 team, having sold it to Jack Roush in 1998.

An avid golfer, Rypien has been known to participate in charity tournaments at various locations across the nation. Rypien has played in one PGA Tour event ('92 Kemper Open) and one Nationwide Tour event ('00 BUY.COM Tri-Cities Open) and in both instances missed the cut by a substantial margin.

Rypien and most of his family currently lives in the Spokane area. His brother Tim Rypien is a Physical Education teacher at North Central High School (Washington) in Spokane. His ex-wife Annette cheered for the Washington Redskins.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ After son's death, Rypien devoting life to foundation. Rudy Klancnik. January 23, 2008. ESPN. [1].
Preceded by
Doug Williams
Washington Redskins Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Heath Shuler
Preceded by
Ottis Anderson
NFL Super Bowl MVPs
Super Bowl XXVI, 1992
Succeeded by
Troy Aikman
Preceded by
First winner
American Century Celebrity Golf Classic champion
Succeeded by
Rick Rhoden


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