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Ben Roethlisberger Met His Wife Through a Steelers Fan
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File (left), Screenshot from YouTube (right)

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is without a doubt one of the most successful passers in NFL history. He ranks inside the top 10 all-time in passing yards and touchdowns and has won two Super Bowls while wearing the black and yellow.

Big Ben has had a lot of talent around him since the Steelers selected him in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft out of Miami (Ohio) University. Jerome Bettis, Hines Ward, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell aided the 6-foot-5 quarterback throughout the years. It helped to have defenses led by guys like Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, too.

The 39-year-old Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery in 2019 and has been plagued by numerous injuries. Still, he plans on coming back strong and dominating again at Heinz Field this season.

Under head coach Mike Tomlin, the new-look Steelers without James Conner will rely on guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Minkah Fitzpatrick, TJ Watt and first-year running back Najee Harris in 2021. They returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2017 in a Wild Card game against the Cleveland Browns last year, and they’re hoping to build on that.

Big Ben has had a full support system during his career that includes his wife, who he strangely met through a Steelers fan.

Ben Roethlisberger’s Wife Ashley Harlan

Ashley Harlan stays out of the limelight, but she might as well be royalty in Pennsylvania. Harlan is from Lawrence County’s New Castle, Pennsylvania. She played softball, basketball and volleyball at Laurel High School.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, she graduated from St. Francis University, a private school in Loretto, Pennsylvania, in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in health science and later a Master’s of physician’s assistant. She then worked in the cardiac surgery department of Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Harlan comes from a quiet, Christian family. Her parents, David W. Harlan and Jeannie Harlan, had three children, including Ashley’s two brothers Brandon and Brent Harlan. She grew up an athlete, so it surprised no one when she ended up with Roethlisberger.

?Ashley has a tomboy side when it comes to sports, and then she can dress up and she is gorgeous. Ashley can light up a room when she walks into one,” Sally Hiers, a former member of Harlan’s hometown church, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Roethlisberger and his wife are also featured on the 2020 docuseries Bigger Than Ben,” which even talked about the 2019 offseason. She also likely helps run his foundation, The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, which “seeks to support police and fire departments throughout the U.S. with a particular emphasis on support for K-9 units and service dogs” and also works with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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For what it’s worth, Ben also his own barbecue sauce called Big Ben’s BBQ.

How Did They Meet?

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Big Ben and Ashley’s story is a pretty unique one. The quarterback was in the midst of training camp in 2005 at Saint Vincent College when a fan introduced himself. They got to talking. Roethlisberger met the fan’s sister and asked her out.

Over the next five or so years, Harlan and Roethlisberger saw each other periodically.

?We were kind of on and off for five years?almost six years now?so I?ve known her for a while. It?s not like a random new person. We dated a while ago; we have been friends ever since,? Roethlisberger told the Post-Gazette in 2011.

Roethlisberger’s personal life hit a snag when he was accused of sexual assault in two straight offseasons in 2009 by a woman in Nevada and in 2010 by a woman in Georgia. He was never convicted of anything, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the quarterback for four games in 2010.

The NFL player’s life turned around in 2011, however, when he married Harlan. He asked Harlan’s father’s permission to take his daughter’s hand in marriage and even spoke with her brothers before buying a ring.

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?If Ben?s life was still in disarray, [her parents] Dave and Jeannie Harlan would not have given permission,? Rev. Jerry McCauley of Harlarn’s hometown church told the Tribune-Review. ?He has made quite a turnaround.?

The two officially exchanged vows at Christ Church in Grove Farms, Pennsylvania, in 2011.

How Many Kids Do They Have?

Big Ben, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell were deemed the “Killer B’s” in the Steel City when they played together, and Roethlisberger is a father to his own “Killer B’s.” They have three children? two sons and a daughter.

Ben and Ashley Roethlisberger welcomed their first son, Benjamin Jr., in 2012. Harlan gave birth to daughter Baylee Marie Roethlisberger two years later. Then in 2016, Bodie Roethlisberger was born. For those keeping track, that’s Ben, Baylee and Bodie.

Dad and the kids gave a birthday shoutout in July 2019 on social media and his website, BigBen7.com. As you can tell, the kiddos are adorable.

Where Do They Live?

The Roethlisberger family of five lives in a 22,464-square-foot mansion in Sewickley Heights, Pennsylvania, where athletes like Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby and former Penguin Mario Lemieux also reside.

According to Realtor.com, Big Ben purchased the land for about $2 million in 2015. The two-story, eight-bedroom, seven-bathroom home also features a pool and was completed in 2018.

Benjamin Todd Roethlisberger, who missed most of the 2019 season with an elbow injury, may not have many seasons left in the tank like Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Tom Brady has shown, but he’ll be trending and in the national spotlight as long as he’s the Steelers quarterback.

His 2020 season during the COVID-19 outbreak started on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants on ESPN and Pittsburgh won the AFC North over the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns on CBS.

In 2021, the American quarterback and the Steelers kick off the National Football League preseason on August 5 at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game against the Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio.

When the time finally comes to retire and leave the sideline for good, he has a pretty good setup at home.

This post was originally published on May 27, 2020, but has been updated.

MORE: Ben Roethlisberger?s Net Worth: How ?Big Ben? Made Big Bucks

Patrick covered the Florida Gators during the forgettable Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain eras before spending two seasons writing for Major League Baseball. He's a baseball junkie who spends his days defending Derek Jeter and the Miami Marlins. He lives in South Florida but his heart belongs in Gainesville, Florida.
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