Badgers in the College Football Hall of Fame


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College Football Hall of Fame
A total of nine former University of Wisconsin players or coaches have been enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame since 1955.  |  Official Site

 

Barry Alvarez - Class of 2010

Barry Alvarez, Class of 2010

The Alvarez Era

The winningest coach in Wisconsin history, Alvarez led the Badgers for 16 seasons, compiling a 118-73-4 record and winning three Big Ten and Rose Bowl titles. His 118 victories is 53 more than the next UW coach. Alvarez is one of just 10 coaches in Big Ten history to win at least 100 games at the same school.

As evidenced by his three Rose Bowl wins, Alvarez’s teams were at their best in the postseason. The Badgers compiled an 8-3 record in bowl games under Alvarez, the best winning percentage by a coach in NCAA history.

Alvarez was named national coach of the year in 1993 and 1999, leading UW to Big Ten titles and Rose Bowl championships in both seasons. He was also named Big Ten Coach of the Year in both ’93 and 1998.

During his career, UW produced 59 NFL draft choices and 34 All-Americans. His prized pupil was running back Ron Dayne, who won the 1999 Heisman Trophy.

Alvarez was inducted into both the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2009. He was named Wisconsin’s Director of Athletics in 2004.

 Alvarez's Year-by-Year Coaching Record
Year Overall Big Ten (Finish) Bowl Results
1990 1-10-0 0-8-0 (10th) ---
1991 5-6-0 2-6-0 (T8th) ---
1992 5-6-0 3-5-0 (T6th) ---
1993 10-1-1 6-1-1 (T1st) Rose (defeated UCLA 21-16)
1994 8-3-1 5-2-1 (3rd) Hall of Fame (defeated Duke 34-20)
1995 4-5-2 3-4-1 (T7th) ---
1996 8-5-0 3-5-0 (7th) Copper (defeated Utah 38-10)
1997 8-5-0 5-3-0 (5th) Outback (lost to Georgia 33-6)
1998 11-1-0 7-1-0 (T1st) Rose (defeated UCLA 38-31)
1999 10-2-0 7-1-0 (1st) Rose (defeated Stanford 17-9)
2000 9-4-0 4-4-0 (5th) Sun (defeated UCLA 21-20)
2001 5-7-0 3-5-0 (T8th) ---
2002 8-6-0 2-6-0 (T8th) Alamo (defeated Colorado 31-28)
2003 7-6-0 3-5-0 (T7th) Music City (lost to Auburn 28-14)
2004 9-3-0 6-2-0 (3rd) Outback (lost to Georgia 24-21)
2005 10-3-0 5-3-0 (T3rd) Capital One (defeated Auburn 24-10)
Overall Record (16 Seasons): 118-73-4 (.615)  •   Bowl Record: 8-3 (.727)

 

Alan Ameche - Class of 1975

Alan Ameche, Class of 1975

College Football Hall of Fame Bio  |  Celebrate the Legacy: Alan Ameche Small Video Graphic

Known as "The Horse," Ameche was one of college football's greatest fullbacks. The winner of the 1954 Heisman Trophy, Ameche held the NCAA record for career rushing yards at the time of his graduation.

In the 1951 season he became the first freshman to lead the Big Ten in rushing. Ameche duplicated his rushing feat the following year as the Badgers were Big Ten co-champions and Wisconsin made its first trip to the Rose Bowl. Despite a Rose Bowl record 133-yard performance by "The Horse," Wisconsin was defeated 7-0 by Southern California.

In 1953 Ameche won his first All-America award and the Wisconsin Most Valuable Player Award. As a senior in 1954 Ameche was named as a unanimous All-America. In addition to being two-time All-America he was a two-time Academic All-America and was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1992.

A first-round pick by the Baltimore Colts in 1955, Ameche scored the game-winning touchdown in the 1958 NFL championship game, the first "sudden death" game in NFL history. He was a four-time All-Pro selection.

Ameche is a charter member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame and also a member of the Wisconsin State Athletic and Rose Bowl Halls of Fame. He was named the “Greatest Player” on the University of Wisconsin All-Time Team in 1969 and had his No. 35 retired at the UW. Ameche won the NCAA Silver Anniversary Top Six Award in 1979.

 Ameche's Career Statistics
 Year Games Carries Gain Loss Net Avg. TD Long
 1951 9 157 864 40 824 5.2 4 64
 1952 10 233 1,106 27 1,079 4.6 7 54
 1953 9 165 808 7 801 4.9 5 40
 1954 9 146 668 27 641 4.4 9 47
 TOTAL 37 701 3,446 101 3,345 4.8 25 64

 

Marty Below - Class of 1988

Marty Below, Class of 1988

College Football Hall of Fame Bio

A consensus All-American in 1923, Below played two seasons at right tackle for the Badgers. Below earned first-team All-Western Conference honors in each of his seasons in Madison after transferring from Oshkosh State Teachers College.

The legendary Red Grange, who played at the University of Illinois, called Below “the greatest lineman I ever played against."

Below is a member of the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 1992

 

Robert Butler, Class of 1972

College Football Hall of Fame Bio

Butler was the first Badger player to earn first-team All-America honors as he was a consensus selection as a tackle in 1912. A two-time All-Western Conference selection, Butler was a key cog in the dominant season of 1912 in which Wisconsin went 7-0, outscoring its opponents 246-29. Butler was also a second-team All-American in 1913.

Butler played professionally with the Canton Bulldogs and is a member of the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Class of 1992 

 

Pat Harder - Class of 1993

Pat Harder, Class of 1993

College Football Hall of Fame Bio

A first-team All-American in 1942, Harder was a hard-charging fullback for the Badgers as they finished the season ranked third in the country. He was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and led the conference in rushing (590 yards) and scoring (58 points) in 1941.

Harder was the MVP of the 1943 College All-Star Game after scoring two touchdowns. He was the second overall pick in the 1944 NFL Draft, the highest draft choice in UW history. Harder went on to play eight seasons as a professional, leading the league in scoring three times and finishing with 3,016 career rushing yards. Following his playing days, he served as an NFL official for 17 years.

Harder was a charter member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame and is also a member of the Wisconsin State Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Elroy Hirsch - Class of 1974

Elroy Hirsch, Class of 1974

College Football Hall of Fame Bio  |  Elroy 'Crazylegs' Hirsch Honored Small Video Graphic

“Crazylegs” Hirsch played just one season for the Badgers but certainly left his mark. A brilliant triple-threat halfback, Hirsch led the 1942 Badgers to an 8-1-1 record, second place in the Big Ten and third in the final Associated Press poll.

Hirsch, whose number 40 is retired at UW, left Wisconsin to become a marine trainee in Michigan, playing two intercollegiate seasons at Michigan. He is the only Wolverine athlete to letter in four sports (football, basketball, track and baseball).

Hirsch began his professional football career with the Chicago Rockets and later starred for the Los Angeles Rams. He set an NFL record during the 1951 season with 1,495 yards, 66 catches and 17 touchdowns and ended his professional career with 7,029 career receiving yards. One of the all-time great wide receivers, Hirsch is a member of the National Football League Hall of Fame (link).

Following his playing days, Hirsch served as the UW’s Director of Athletics from 1969-87. He was a charter member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame and is also a member of the Wisconsin State Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Pat O'Dea - Class of 1962

Pat O'Dea, Class of 1962

College Football Hall of Fame Bio

Nicknamed “The Kangaroo Kicker,” O’Dea was a native of Melbourne, Australia, and was a two-time All-American fullback and punter (1898, ’99). One of the pioneers in the development of the drop kick to make field goals, O’Dea made a 65-yard dropkick field goal in an 1898 game at Northwestern in a snow storm.

Among O’Dea’s exploits, his first play as a Badger was an 85-yard punt vs. Lake Forest in 1896, he is credited with a 110-yard punt vs. Minnesota in 1897 and he ran 100 yards for a touchdown vs. Beloit in 1899, the same game he made four field goals.

Following his playing days at UW, O’Dea coached at Notre Dame and Missouri. He disappeared in 1917, was presumed dead, and was then discovered in 1934 in Westwood, California, using the assumed name Clarence Mitchell. "I was tired of the football fame," he explained. He resumed the name O'Dea and died March 4, 1962.

A charter member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame, O’Dea is also a member of the Wisconsin State Athletic Hall of Fame.

 

Pat Richter - Class of 1996

Pat Richter, Class of 1996

College Football Hall of Fame Bio  |  Pat Richter Tribute Small Video Graphic

One of the best all-around athletes to ever wear a Wisconsin uniform, Richter was the last Badger to earn nine letters (three each in football, basketball and baseball). A two-time first-team All-American on the gridiron, Richter led the Big Ten in receiving twice (1961 and 1962) and earned all-conference accolades both seasons.

As a junior, Richter led the nation with 817 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. The following season, he set Rose Bowl records with 11 catches for 163 yards in the battle between No. 1 USC and second-ranked Wisconsin. His receptions record stood for 31 years.

An academic All-American in 1962, Richter was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 1992. He won the Big Ten Medal of Honor (proficiency in athletics and academics) in 1963 and was given the prestigious NCAA Silver Anniversary Award (for distinguished service) in 1988.

A first-round NFL draft choice of Washington in 1963, he played eight seasons for the Redskins. He was later the Director of Athletics at Wisconsin from 1989-2004.

A charter member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame, Richter is also a member of the Wisconsin State Athletic and Rose Bowl Halls of Fame. Richter’s number 88 is retired.

 Richter's Career Statistics
 Year Rec. Yards Avg. TD Long
 1960 25 362 14.5 1 36
 1961 47 817 17.4 8 56
 1962 49 694 14.2 6
 TOTAL 121 1,873 15.5 15  

 

Dave Schreiner - Class of 1955

Dave Schreiner, Class of 1955

College Football Hall of Fame Bio  |  Dave Schreiner Honored Small Video Graphic

Schreiner, a two time first-team All-American end, was named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Year in 1942. The first two-time first-team All-American in UW history, he earned three letters as an end on both offense and defense for the Badgers.

A co-captain and MVP of the 1942 team that finished 8-1-1 and defeated No. 1 ranked Ohio State 17-7, Schreiner also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors twice. He was the first Badger to catch three touchdown passes in the same quarter, doing so against Marquette in 1942.

A charter member of the UW Athletic Hall of Fame, Schreiner is also a member of the Wisconsin State Athletic Hall of Fame. His number 80 was retired after he was killed in World War II (1945).

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