Mark Gastineau was born on November 20, 1956, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. A Scorpio, Gastineau was a natural-born leader and always had a competitive streak. He excelled in football and track at Ardmore High School and was recruited by several colleges. Gastineau ultimately chose to play football for East Central State University.
Gastineau was drafted by the New York Jets in the second round of the 1979 NFL Draft. He quickly made a name for himself as one of the most feared defensive ends in the league. Gastineau was a two-time All-Pro and was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1981. He played for the Jets for nine seasons before retiring in 1988.
Now retired from football, Gastineau remains active in the Jets community. He is a member of the Jets Legends Club and frequently attends team events. Gastineau is also an active philanthropist, supporting various charities in the New York area.