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Ex-Bears Fuller, Gardocki to be honored


Two former Bears players will be honored this spring in the state of South Carolina.

Former quarterback Steve Fuller will be inducted into the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame April 23, while former punter Chris Gardocki will be enshrined in the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame May 13.

Fuller spent three of his seven NFL seasons with the Bears from 1984-86, making 11 starts. He completed 140 of 249 passes for 1,823 yards with six touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 72.4 passer rating.

Fuller started five games in place of the injured Jim McMahon for the eventual Super Bowl XX champions in 1985. In three straight Fuller starts, the Bears outscored their opponents 104-3 in wins over the Lions (24-3), Cowboys (44-0) and Falcons (36-0). 

Fuller grew up in South Carolina, attending Spartanburg High School and Clemson University. He earned All-America honors in 1978 after leading the Tigers to an 11-1 record and a Gator Bowl win over Ohio State. He was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Clemson Ring of Honor in 1994. 

Gardocki played the first four of his 16 NFL seasons with the Bears from 1991-94 after arriving as a third-round draft pick. He appeared in 52 games, averaging 39.8 yards per punt. He later played for the Colts (1995-98), Browns (1999-2003) and Steelers (2004-06).

Gardocki served as a punter and placekicker at Clemson, where he earned All-America honors as a sophomore and junior before entering the NFL Draft with one year of eligibility remaining.