Alumni Notebook: East Bernard’s Shane Lechler retires from NFL

After 18 seasons of punting with the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans, former East Bernard quarterback and punter has called it a career in the NFL. During his 18 year career, Lechler was named as an All-Pro nine times (six first team and three second team) with seven Pro Bowl appearances all the while leading the league in punting average five times and being named to the NFL’s All-Decade team for the 2000’s. He closes out his career with the NFL’s all-time leading career punting average with a 47.6 yards per punt average.

Lechler’s 1,444 NFL punts went a total distance of 68,678 yards (or approximately 39.02 miles with 469 of them landing inside the 20 yard line. He lead the league in punting four times (2003, 2008, 2009 and 2017).

While with East Bernard, Lechler helped lead the Brahamas to the state quarterfinals as the team’s quarterback, punter and kicker. As a quarterback during the 1994 season, Lechler threw for almost 5,000 yards with an 86 percent completion percentage on the year along with 11 touchdowns. As a punter, he averaged 41.6 yards per punt with his long being tracked at 85 yards.

After graduating at East Bernard, Lechler punted for the Texas A&M Aggies earning Freshman All-American honors in 1996, then again as a junior by the Sporting News, and again as a senior by Associated Press. By the time closed out his collegiate career, Lechler had a career average of 44.7 yards a punt giving him the distinction of being the NCAA’s all-time leader in punting average.

Lechler was drafted 142nd overall in the 5th round of the NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders ahead of current New England Patriots quarterback and future Hall of Famer Tom Brady in the same dtaft class. He was the only punter drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft.