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Black History-UW Athletics

African-American Badger Pioneers

African-American Pioneers by Sport 1900-1970

Articles on UW Aftrican-American Athletic History

Documents on Aftrican-American UW Athletic History


UW Athletes Record Historic Moments

UW Black History Bios

UW's Black History Photo Gallery

Big Ten Black History Celebration

UW Athletes Record Historic Moments

Photo of Anya Covington Anya Covington, Basketball, Edwardsville, Ill.

Talks about baseball players Adelbert Matthews and Julian Ware, the first black athletes to represent the University of Wisconsin on the athletic field. Matthews, a pitcher, and Ware, a power hitting first baseman, led UW to its first Big Ten baseball title in 1902.

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Photo of Montee Ball Montee Ball, Football, Wentzville, Mo.

Talks about football assistant coach Les Ritcherson who, in 1966, was the first African-American to join a University of Wisconsin coaching staff. He became one of the first African-American academic administrators at UW-Madison when he accepted a job in 1970 as an Assistant to the Chancellor for Affirmative Action.

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Photo of Aaron Henry Aaron Henry, Football, Immokalee, Fla.

Talks about Leo Vinton Butts who was the first known African-American on the football field as a lineman on the 1918 varsity squad. He later gave up football to concentrate on his coursework and, in 1920, Butts became the first African-American to graduate from the University of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy.

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Photo of Alexis Beecham Alexis Beecham, Women's Track, Madison, Wis.

Talks about 400-meter national champion Pam Moore. A two-sport athlete as a freshman in basketball and track, Moore was a 10-time Big Ten Conference champion in the 400-meter dash and relays.

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Photo of Nick Toon Nick Toon, Football, Madison, Wis.

Records a moment in UW's Black History about Little Rock Arkansas-native Sidney B. Williams, Jr., who was the first African-American starting quarterback in the modern Big Ten Conference from 1956-1958.

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Photo of Alexis Mitchell Alexis Mitchell, Volleyball, Davenport, Iowa

Talks about Lee Kemp, the first, and only, Wisconsin wrestler to win three NCAA championships, and the first African-American three-time national champion in the history of the NCAA tournament.

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Photo of Ryan Gasper Ryan Gasper, Men's Track, Ft. Atkinson, Wis.

Records a moment in UW's Black History about UW hurdler Ed Smith and the University of Wisconsin's refusal to take part in a meet at Missouri in 1939 because the host school refused to allow African-Americans to compete.

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Photo of Alando Tucker Alando Tucker, Men's Basketball, Lockport, Ill.

Records a moment in UW's Black History that leads to Athletic Board Resolution Opposing Jim Crow Lodging Arrangements, 1958

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Photo of Janese Banks Janese Banks, Women's Basketball, Indianapolis, Ind.

Discusses Julian Ware and Adelbert Matthews who were the first African-American varsity athletes at the University of Wisconsin as members of the 1900 Badger baseball team. Ware captained the team and was the first African-American to captain a team in the Big Ten Conference

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Photo of Paul Hubbard Paul Hubbard, Football, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Talks about William Exum, who in 1929, was the first African-American on UW's varsity football team. He also honors Ed Withers who was the first African-Americans to earn All-American honors as a member of the Badgers "Hard Rocks" defense in 1951.

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Photo of Chavon Robinson Chavon Robinson, Women's Track, Milwaukee, Wis.

Explains that George Poage, the first African-American on the Wisconsin track and field team, qualified for the 1904 Olympic Games taking home the bronze medals in the 220 and 440-yard hurdles becoming the first African-American to win an Olympic medal.

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Photo of Ann Eshun

Ann Eshun, Women's Soccer

Three-time NCAA long jump champion Pat Johnson was the first female African-American student-athlete to earn All-American honors at Wisconsin (1978-82).

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Photo of Chris Pressley

Chris Pressley, Football

In 1976, the University of Wisconsin hired Bill Cofield and Edwina Qualls as the first men's and women's African-American basketball coaches in the Big Ten Conference.

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Photo of Valyncia Raphael

Valyncia Raphael, Softball

Sprinter Gilda Hudson-Winfield became the first female African-American athlete and scholarship recipient at the University of Wisconsin.

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Football Single Game Tickets
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