Allan Shafer, a Madison native and 1944 graduate of West High School, delayed his enrollment into the Naval Academy in Annapolis one year in order to study engineering at Wisconsin. Shafer died tragically November 11, 1944 in a game versus Iowa. Following his death his number was permanently retired. Today he will accompany the greatest Wisconsin football legends as his number 83 will be unveiled on the north end of the stadium facade.
Shafer joined the football team in the summer of 1944. After earning all-conference and all-city honors as a prep center, he was asked to change positions to quarterback. The freshman quickly moved up the depth chart and was named the starting quarterback for the season opener, a 7-6 victory over Northwestern.
A back injury suffered in the game limited Shafer in the following weeks. But he fought his way back on to the field, starting three more games, including the Badgers annual tilt with Iowa on November 11, 1944.
After helping the Badgers rally to tie the Hawkeyes in the second half, Shafer left the field due to injury. Later that evening in a Madison hospital Allan Shafer died. He was 17 years old.
Following his death, the Allan J. Shafer, Jr. Memorial Award was created. The award is given to students, generally football players, based on high scholastic achievment and citizenship.