Craig Hentrich, a graduate of Marquette High School in Alton, went on to play 16 seasons as a punter in the National Football League and was a member of the Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl XXXI champions.
Hentrich lettered four years at the University of Notre Dame, serving as both its placekicker and punter. He finished his career with a schoolrecord 44.1-yard punting average and had 39 career field goals, finishing his career ranked second on the school’s alltime scoring list with 294 points, the most ever by an Irish kicker.
Hentrich was drafted in 1993 by the New York Jets, but signed with Green Bay, where he played for four seasons. He also handled kickoffs regularly for the Packers during the 1996 season, helping the Packers to the Super Bowl XXXI championship.
Hentrich signed with the Tennessee Titans and in 1999 played in the Super Bowl XXXIV loss to the St. Louis Rams, denying him a second Super Bowl ring.
Hentrich retired following the 2009 season after playing in 241 games and 16 seasons, falling just short of 50,000 career punting yards. He was the last remaining active Titans’ player who was a member of the 1999 Super Bowl team.
During his NFL career. Hentrich averaged 42.9 yards per punt, including a league-leading 47.2 average in 1998.
He was named to two Pro Bowl teams (1998 and 2003) and was a first-team All-Pro after the 1998 season.
Hentrich even tried several place kicks during his NFL career, going 4 for 5 within 40 yards and 3 for 5 inside 50 yards.