The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame honors distinguished members of Wisconsin's sports history. The Hall of Fame hosts several annual events, including an induction ceremony to honor new members, nomination luncheons, speaker series breakfasts and more. Bronze commemorative plaques honoring the members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, including Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi, Oscar Robertson, Bart Starr and others, are displayed in the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame promenade in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was created in 1951 by the Milwaukee Arena (now UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena). It was created to "honor outstanding sports figures whose achievements earned them special acclaim." The Hall of Fame plaques were originally available only to paying customers at the Milwaukee Arena; however for the 50th anniversary in 2001, the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation (WSDC) constructed a Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame outside of the UW–Milwaukee Panther Arena in Milwaukee so the plaques could be on permanent public display at no cost.
In 2014, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was acquired by Lammi Sports Management, a Milwaukee-based sports marketing corporation. Shortly after the acquisition, Lammi Sports announced that Wisconsin Hall of Fame LLC will manage and control the assets related to the Athletic Hall of Fame.
On October 27, 2015, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame announced that Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball coach Bo Ryan and Green Bay Packers all-time leading wide receiver Donald Driver were selected for induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame's 65th Anniversary Class. The pair will be inducted during a special event celebrating their careers and contributions to athletics in Wisconsin on April 30, 2016 at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the site of the first Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame induction event in 1951.
On October 25, 2016, it was announced that Wisconsin Badgers Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, LPGA legend Sherri Steinhauer, and Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champion Charles Woodson will be inducted as part of the 2017 Class on April 29, 2017. Bud Selig will also be honored for his efforts to advance athletics and better the community in the state of Wisconsin with the Lifetime Achievement Award. 2016 inductee and Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Donald Driver will serve as the MC for the event, taking place again at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
There are over 135 people inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. Inductees come from a variety of sports, including auto racing, football, basketball, water skiing, bowling, baseball, and bicycling, and various Olympic sports.
A full list of inductees, along with pictures of their corresponding Hall of Fame plaques, can be found on the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame's official website: www.wihalloffame.com.
An asterisk (*) indicates a deceased member
Charles Archibald Hahn (September 14, 1880 – January 21, 1955) was an American track athlete and one of the best sprinters in the early 20th century.He is the first athlete to win both 100m and 200m race at the same Olympic.
Having won sprint events at the 1903 American and Canadian championships, Hahn—born in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, but running for the University of Michigan—was among the favorites at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, which was poorly attended by European athletes.
In the first event at those Games, the 60 m, Hahn benefited from his quick start and won, making him a favorite for the remaining events he was entered in, the 100 m and 200 m. His run in the 200 m final delivered him the gold and a good time, although the latter was flattered, because the race was run on a straight course. In his third event, he again outclassed the field, thus winning all sprint events.
In 1906, the "Milwaukee Meteor" repeated his Olympic 100 m victory in Athens, a feat not equaled until 1988, when Carl Lewis won the 100 m twice in a row (after the disqualification of Ben Johnson). In 1910 he outran a racehorse in a 50-yard dash at the Wisconsin State Fair.After his running career, Hahn became a coach and wrote the classic book How to Sprint. He coached track and number of other sports at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, Whitman College, Brown University, Michigan, Princeton University, and the University of Virginia. At Virginia he led the Cavaliers to 12 state championships in 13 years. He died in 1955, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Hahn was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1959. He was inducted into the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor in 1984 and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.Arlie Mucks
Arlie Max Mucks (December 10, 1891 – July 1967) was an American track and field athlete who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.Burleigh Grimes
Burleigh Arland Grimes (August 18, 1893 – December 6, 1985) was an American professional baseball player, and the last pitcher officially permitted to throw the spitball. Grimes made the most of this advantage and he won 270 games and pitched in four World Series over the course of his 19-year career. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1954, and to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1964.Carl Holtz
Carl Alexander Holtz (December 11, 1920 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin – July 8, 2006 in Waukesha, Wisconsin) was a local conservationist, former USAAF officer, and All-American stroke in intercollegiate crew. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and the National Crew Hall of Fame, and he is regarded as one of the most powerful strokes to ever sit in a shell.Carl Marchese
Carl Marchese (17 November 1905 Milwaukee, Wisconsin – 26 June 1984 Valrico, Florida) was an American racecar driver who competed in the Indianapolis 500. Carl was the Rookie Of the Year winner for the 1929 Indianapolis 500 race. Marchese was later an Indy 500 car entrant and entered his own Marchese chassis in the 1950 and 1951 races. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978.Connie Carpenter-Phinney
Connie Carpenter-Phinney (born February 26, 1957 in Madison, Wisconsin) is an American retired racing cyclist and speed skater who won four medals in World Cycling Championship competitions (both road and track cycling) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. She also won the gold medal in the cycling road race at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, as well as twelve U.S. national championships. She remains the youngest American woman to compete at the Winter Olympics.Before turning to cycling, Carpenter was a speed skater, one of many athletes who excelled in both sports. As a speed skater, she competed in the 1972 Winter Olympics, where she finished 7th in the 1500m. She was fourteen years old at the time, making her the youngest American female Winter Olympian. In 1976, she won the U.S. national overall outdoor title, but an injury prevented her from competing in the Olympics that year.
Carpenter had trained on a bicycle during the off-season, and after the ankle injury in 1976, she began racing on the bike. In 1976, 1977, and 1979, she won the U.S. national road and track pursuit championships. She added a pair of national criterium championships to her resume before winning the Olympic gold medal in 1984. She won the race in a sprint over fellow American Rebecca Twigg.While a student at the University of California, Berkeley her athletic career centered on rowing. She was a member of Cal's varsity for two seasons. In 1979, her varsity team finished second nationally, and in 1980 she reached the top of the collegiate rowing world with a national championship in the varsity four.Carpenter-Phinney is married to fellow Olympic medalist and retired professional cyclist Davis Phinney, with whom she has two children, Taylor and Kelsey. Taylor competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the eighteen-year-old coming seventh in the individual pursuit. In London, Taylor earned fourth-place finishes in both the road race and individual time trial. As of 2017, he is a professional cyclist with the Cannondale-Drapac team.
Carpenter-Phinney was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and is a member of both the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.Earl Gillespie
Earl William Gillespie Jr. (July 25, 1922 – December 12, 2003) was an American sportscaster, best known as the radio voice of Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Braves from 1953 to 1963. Before 1953, he was the play-by-play announcer for the minor league Milwaukee Brewers (American Association), an affiliate of the Braves, who moved to Toledo, Ohio when the Braves moved from Boston to Milwaukee.
A baseball player in high school in Chicago at Lane Tech, he played minor-league professional baseball briefly for the Green Bay Bluejays before becoming a Wisconsin sports broadcaster.
Gillespie was partnered with Blaine Walsh on WTMJ Radio and known for his dramatic, extroverted style of play-by-play and his use of the phrase "Holy cow!" during moments of great excitement (an on-air catchphrase he shared with fellow baseball announcers Harry Caray and Phil Rizzuto).
Gillespie called both of the Braves' World Series appearances in Milwaukee (1957, 1958) over NBC radio, as well as the 1955 All-Star Game (played in Milwaukee) over Mutual radio. At various times he also did radio and television commentary for Green Bay Packers football, Milwaukee Hawks basketball, Marquette Warriors basketball, and Wisconsin Badgers football. He worked at WITI-TV in Milwaukee from 1963 until his retirement in 1985.
Gillespie was named Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year eight times by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association, and was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Earl's son John Sr., and grandson John Jr. are also Wisconsin sportscasters, with the younger John Gillespie currently ended his employment with WBAY-TV in Green Bay in late July 2010.George Thompson (basketball)
George "Tip" Thompson (born November 29, 1947) is an American former professional basketball player. A 6'2" guard, he attended Erasmus Hall High School from which he graduated in 1965. He then attended Marquette University, where he played for coach Al McGuire.
He held the Marquette scoring record for 40 years, and still holds the single season scoring record of over 20 ppg.
He was selected by the Boston Celtics in the fifth round of the 1969 NBA draft but began his career with the Pittsburgh Pipers of the upstart American Basketball Association. Thompson played five seasons (1969–1974) in the ABA, including two with the Memphis Tams, appearing as an All-Star three times. He then played one season with the Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, in 1974–75. He scored 8,114 combined ABA/NBA career points.
Thompson holds the ABA record for free throws attempted in a single game with 30.Thompson was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. He was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. Thompson is also in the Marquette Hall of Fame and will be inducted into the Brooklyn New York HOF in October 2016.Ginger Beaumont
Clarence Howeth "Ginger" Beaumont (July 23, 1876 – April 10, 1956) was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball who spent most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1899–1906) and Boston Braves (1907–1909). He was born in Rochester, Wisconsin, and attended Beloit College. During the years 1900–1904 – with the Pirates winning pennants from 1901–1903 – Beaumont led the National League in hits three times, scored 100 runs four times, leading the league once, and also captured the 1902 batting championship with a .357 mark. As the Pirates' regular leadoff hitter, he was the first player ever to bat in a World Series game.Nicknamed "Ginger" for his thick red hair, he used his excellent speed to great advantage; on the day before his 23rd birthday in his rookie season, he had six infield singles and became the first player to score six runs in a game. He was also the first player in major league history to lead his league in hits three consecutive years, which has been accomplished by only five others; he led the NL in hits a fourth time with the 1907 Braves. Often bothered by leg injuries, he joined the Chicago Cubs for the 1910 season, and made pinch-hitting appearances in the first three games of the 1910 World Series before leaving the major leagues with a .311 career batting average and on base average of .362. He played one more season in the minor leagues before retiring to his Honey Creek, Wisconsin farm. He was one of the first inductees to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1951. Beaumont suffered two strokes in his seventies, and died at age 79 in Burlington, Wisconsin.Beaumont has a baseball field named after him in his hometown of Burlington. His name also represents part of the Burlington Little League organization. In July 2015, a monument to Beaumont was dedicated at Beaumont Field.John Messmer
John Messmer (September 25, 1884 – November 8, 1971) was an American football player and discus thrower for the University of Wisconsin. He was selected as a second-team All-American by Walter Camp in 1908. In 1959, Messmer was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team is named for the city's association with the brewing industry. Since 2001, the Brewers have played their home games at Miller Park, which has a seating capacity of 41,900.
The team was founded in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots, an expansion team of the American League (AL), in Seattle, Washington. The Pilots played their home games at Sick's Stadium. After only one season, the team relocated to Milwaukee, becoming known as the Brewers and playing their home games at Milwaukee County Stadium. In 1998, the Brewers joined the National League. They are the only franchise to play in four divisions since the advent of divisional play in Major League Baseball in 1969. They are also one of two current MLB franchises to switch leagues in their history, the other one being the Houston Astros.
The team's only World Series appearance came in 1982. After winning the ALCS against the California Angels, the Brewers faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, losing 4–3. In 2011, the Brewers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the NLDS 3–2, but lost in the NLCS to the eventual World Series champion Cardinals 4–2.Ray Berres
Raymond Frederick Berres (August 31, 1907 – February 1, 2007) was an American professional baseball catcher and pitching coach. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Bees/Braves and New York Giants.Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Berres was a 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 170-lb, light-hitting catcher who, thanks to his fine glove, managed to play in 11 major league seasons for four National League teams, usually in a backup role. He provided fine catching, quality game-calling, and a respectable throwing arm. Drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers from the Birmingham Barons (Southern Association) in the 1933 Rule 5 draft, he debuted with Brooklyn in 1934, backing up Al López behind the plate.
He returned to the minor leagues in 1935, but became Brooklyn's starting catcher when Lopez was traded to Boston in December 1935. His most productive season came as a 1936 rookie, when he posted career highs in batting average (.240), hits (64) and doubles (10). The Pittsburgh Pirates, short of catching, signed him a year later.
Before the 1940 season, Berres was traded by Pittsburgh to the Boston Bees in exchange for Lopez. He played in part of two seasons with the Boston franchise, including their first year as the Braves in 1941, when he appeared in a career-high 120 games while hitting .201(56-for-279); he also led the NL in fielding percentage with a .995 mark. After backing up a series of Giants catchers for four seasons, he finished his career with that team in 1945. In an 11-season career, Berres was a .216 hitter with three home runs and 78 runs batted in in 561 games played.
After serving as a bullpen catcher for the Boston Braves (1947) and a coach for the Triple-A Milwaukee Brewers (1948), Berres was the pitching coach for the Chicago White Sox for nearly two decades (1949 through 1966, then midseason of 1968 through 1969), primarily under manager López. During that time, he was a member of the 1959 American League champions.
Berres died in his hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin from pneumonia at the age of 99.
Berres was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.Red Dunn
Joseph Aloysius "Red" Dunn (June 21, 1901 – January 15, 1957) was a professional American football player who played running back and was an exceptional punter for eight seasons for the Milwaukee Badgers, Chicago Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1976. He is the grandfather of former quarterback Jason Gesser.
Nicknamed "Red" for the color of his hair, Dunn possessed an equally colorful personality. He earned five letters competing in football, basketball and baseball at Marquette Academy. Dunn later attended Marquette University, earning All-America honors while leading the Golden Avalanche in 1922 and 1923 to a 17–0–1 record. While a Packer, he served as Curly Lambeau's "field general" for the 1929, 1930, and 1931 NFL Champions.
After this playing days Dunn moved to coaching, assisting Frank Murray and Paddy Driscoll at Marquette from 1932 to 1940. Dunn is a member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.Red Wilson
Robert James "Red" Wilson (March 7, 1929 – August 8, 2014) was a professional baseball and college baseball and football player. He played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox (1951–1954), Detroit Tigers (1954–1960), and Cleveland Indians (1960), primarily as a catcher.Rollie Williams
Rolland Franklin "Rollie" Williams (October 11, 1897 – April 5, 1968) was an American football, basketball, and baseball player and coach. He played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Racine Legion in 1923. He played football, baseball and basketball at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Williams was the head football, basketball, and baseball coach at Millikin University during the 1923–24 academic year. He served two stints as the head basketball coach at the University of Iowa, from 1929 to 1942 and again for the 1950–51 season. He was inducted in the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1960.Williams was born in Edgerton, Wisconsin on October 11, 1897. He died on April 5, 1968, of a heart attack at his home in North Liberty, Iowa.Steve Alley
Steven James "The Cat" Alley (born December 29, 1953) is a retired professional ice hockey player who played 105 games in the World Hockey Association for the Birmingham Bulls between 1977 and 1979. He was a member of the famed "Gasline" who led Birmingham into the playoffs in 1978. He became the property of the Hartford Whalers of the National Hockey League after the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979, and made a further 18 NHL appearances in 1979–1981 before retiring from pro hockey.
Before turning professional, Alley was a member of the US National team at the 1976 Winter Olympics as well as the 1974, 1975 and 1978 Ice Hockey World Championship teams. He played for the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1973–75, and 1976–77. Alley completed his college career by scoring the game-winning goal (23 seconds into overtime) in Wisconsin's 6-5 win over Michigan in the 1977 NCAA Division I Championship game.
Alley was a three-year letter winner in hockey at Anoka High School. As a senior, he was the leading scorer in the State of Minnesota and was selected to both the All-Conference and All-State teams. Alley was also the captain and quarterback of the football team and a three-year letter winner in baseball. The 1972 baseball team finished runner-up in the state, the best finish in Anoka High School history.Alley and his wife Joanie live in Lake Forest, Illinois and have three daughters, Abby, Hilary, and Hannah all of whom played Division I college lacrosse. In 2001, Alley was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. In September, 2011, Alley was named to the inaugural class of the Anoka High School Hall of Fame. Alley is currently president of Alley Company LLC, an investment management firm based in Lake Forest, IL.Tony Canadeo
Anthony Robert Canadeo (May 5, 1919 – November 29, 2003) was a professional American football player who played halfback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Green Bay Packers from 1941 to 1952, having missed most of the 1944 season and the entire 1945 season while serving in the U.S. Army during World War II. Canadeo was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois before moving to Spokane, Washington to attend Gonzaga University. He played football for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, where he earned the nickname "Gray Ghost of Gonzaga". Drafted by the Packers in the 1941 NFL Draft, Canadeo went on to play multiple positions, including running back, quarterback, defensive back, punter, and return specialist.
Before the war, Canadeo was a triple-threat halfback for the Packers, leading the team in rushing and passing in 1943. When he returned from the war in 1946 he served primarily as a running back, and in 1949 became the third player in NFL history to rush for 1,000 or more yards in a season. He retired as the Packers' all-time rushing yards leader, and as of 2018 ranks fourth in franchise history in that category. Canadeo's number 3 was retired by the Packers immediately following his retirement as a player. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1974. After his playing career, Canadeo worked as a color commentator for NFL on CBS, covering Packers with Ray Scott. He also was a long-time member of the Green Bay Packers, Inc. Board of Directors and Executive Committee, most notably during the Vince Lombardi era. Canadeo died in 2003 at the age of 84.Verne Lewellen
Verne Clark Lewellen (September 29, 1901 – April 16, 1980) was an American football player and executive.
A four-sport high school athlete, Lewellen stayed in Lincoln to attend Nebraska University, where he captained and quarterbacked the Cornhuskers to a 14-7 defeat of a Notre Dame squad in 1923. Also a pitcher, the Pittsburgh Pirates were ready to sign him until an injury from a train wreck affected his pitching arm. Jim Crowley - who played against Lewellen in the 1923 Nebraska-Notre Dame matchup - recommended Lewellen to Packer coach Curly Lambeau.He played most of his nine-year career with the Green Bay Packers. Lewellen played in 102 games for the Packers from 1924 to 1932 (in 1927, the team "lent" him to the New York Yankees for three end-of-season games) and earned all-league first team honors from 1926-29. Completing a law degree from Nebraska University during his professional football career, he ran successfully for Brown County (WI) District Attorney in 1928 against Packer teammate LaVern Dilweg and was re-elected in 1930. He lost the seat in the 1932 election and practiced law until his retirement.In 1950, he joined the Packers as a member of the executive committee, served as the Packers' general manager from 1954 through 1958 and business manager from 1961 to 1967.He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1967 and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1970.
The Professional Football Researchers Association named Lewellen to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2009Willie Davis (defensive end)
Willie D. Davis (born July 24, 1934) is a former American football defensive end for the Cleveland Browns and the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). Davis graduated from Grambling State University.
Davis wore number 87 during his career with the Packers. For 10 seasons, Davis anchored the Packers' defensive line, playing 138 consecutive regular-season games and part of 162 regular-season games for his NFL career. Davis was a member of all five of Lombardi's NFL title-winning teams and played in Super Bowls I and II.
Davis played in an era when neither tackles nor sacks were official statistics. However, John Turney, a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association, reports that Davis had in excess of 100 sacks during his 10-year Green Bay career (1960–69), "possibly more than 120," including a minimum of 40 over the 1963–65 seasons alone. Davis himself is quoted as saying, "I would think I would have to be the team's all-time leader in sacks. I played 10 years and I averaged in the 'teens' in sacks for those 10 years. I had 25 one season. [Paul] Hornung just reminded me of that the other day." Davis earned All-Pro honors 5 times (1962, 64–67). He was voted to the Pro Bowl five times (1963–67).
Davis recovered 21 fumbles over his Packers career, which, more than three decades removed from his retirement, remains a team record. The Packers honored his retirement with a Willie Davis Day on December 21, 1969. Davis remains on the team's Board of Directors.
In the early 1970s, Davis worked as a color commentator on NFL telecasts for NBC. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981. In 1986, Davis was named the Walter Camp Man of the Year. In 1987, he was given the Career Achievement Award from the NFL Alumni, and in 1988 he was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame . In 1999, he was ranked number 69 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players.
Davis is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He received his MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business in 1968. He is a member or former member of the boards of Alliance Bank, Dow Chemical (1988–2006), Johnson Controls (1991–2006), K-Mart, L.A. Gear, Manpower (2001–), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (1999–), MGM Mirage, Rally's Inc., Sara Lee (1983–), Schlitz Brewing, and WICOR Inc. He has been president of All-Pro Broadcasting, operators of radio stations KHTI, KATY-FM, WLDB-FM, WLUM-FM, and WZTI since 1976.
Davis' son is actor Duane Davis. He also has a daughter, Lori Davis
Sports halls of fame by state in the United States