Ditka a tough '89' act to follow

Ditka a tough '89' act to follow
May 24, 2013, 9:00 am
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Mike Ditka’s trademark No. 89, like the Bears, did not have a particularly distinguished run after Da Coach.

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The Bears, who had had just two losing seasons in Ditka’s six in Chicago, had just three winning years in the next 15 before Halas hired Ditka to replace Neill Armstrong in 1982.
Post-Ditka, Halas assigned the number to Terry Stoepel for 1967, after which it was worn by Bob Wallace (1968-72), Mel Tom (1973-75) and James Scott (1976-80, 82), with Ken Margerum donning it for 1981.
Ditka cut Scott after the 1982 season.

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Mitch Krenk (1984), Keith Ortego (1985-88), Will Johnson (1987) and James Coley (1990) had a turn in the uniform before Ryan Wetnight (1993-99) caught 172 passes as a Bear, 26th all-time for the franchise and one fewer than Tom Waddle. Two more tight ends, Dustin Lyman (2000-04) and Matt Spaeth (2011-12) were the final No. 89’s.