The historic Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame announced on October 25 that Wisconsin Badgers Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, LPGA Legend Sherri Steinhauer and Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champion Charles Woodson have been selected for induction into the 66th Anniversary Class of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame on April 29, 2017. They join 137 of the state’s greatest athletic icons, including last year’s class of Bo Ryan and Donald Driver, as well as Vince Lombardi, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Barry Alvarez, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, Junior Bridgeman, Herb Kohl, Bart Starr, Bob Harlan, Robin Yount, Bonnie Blair and Bob Uecker. Additionally, Bud Selig will receive the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his successful efforts to advance athletics and improve his community in Wisconsin.
Dayne, Steinhauer and Woodson will be inducted on April 29th, 2017 at the historic UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the site of the first Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame induction event in 1951. Tickets are available for $21, $33 and $80. Tickets are on sale now at the Milwaukee Theatre Box Office, the Wisconsin Center Rotunda, 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com.
Executive Director Brian Lammi: “Our 66th Anniversary Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame Class is incredibly accomplished, with a combined resume of 2 Heisman Trophies, 2 Rose Bowl MVPs, a Super Bowl Ring, 9 Pro Bowls, 4 First Team All Pro Selections, 8 LPGA Tour victories and 2 Major Golf Championships. Charles Woodson, Ron Dayne and Sherri Steinhauer represent an amazing class of Wisconsin athletic excellence.”
Lammi adds, “Mr. Selig’s importance to our state’s athletic history alone qualifies him for the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. Bud grew up in Wisconsin, fell in love with baseball, and then brought baseball not only to his home state, he also expanded the game of baseball to a generation of fans around the world, with unlikely Milwaukee, WI as the center of his baseball universe.”
“You think about all the greats that have gone in and the people that are associated with Wisconsin and sports in this state,” said Charles Woodson, “it was such a blessing coming here, to be able to be a part of such a great tradition that is the Green Bay Packers. For us to reach that ultimate goal of winning Super Bowl XLV, it was one of the all-time greatest moments over the course of my life.” Woodson continued, “I just sat there for a little while and thought about it. My career here seems like it went fairly fast, so you don’t really think about these types of things like going into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. I am extremely honored to be a part of this.”
“I am honored and humbled to be selected into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame and to be included among a group of such accomplished individuals,” said Sherri Steinhauer. “My career began on the golf courses of Wisconsin. After traveling the world competing and then to come back home to Wisconsin to receive this award is a dream come true. I didn’t get here alone though; my instructors, coaches, friends, and of course my family were all extremely instrumental in my success and to all of these people I am forever grateful. It is with great anticipation that I await my induction on April 29th and celebrate with friends and family. Thank you to the nominating committee for your endorsement and to all involved in this prestigious organization.”
Donald Driver and Bo Ryan were also present for the official reveal of their Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame plaques amongst the 135 fellow Hall of Fame members. “We celebrated an amazing accomplishment, and it’s something we’ve dreamed about for a long time” said Donald Driver. “We know that what we have done in the state of Wisconsin is truly a blessing. To have our plaques revealed with all the great legends and icons is something that I know I will cherish for a very, very long time.”
“I am so honored to be here again. It’s a blessing to be in the company that we are,” said Bo Ryan with his family watching from the crowd. “When I look at those plaques, and to know now that we are a part of this, I thought about all the players that have ever played for me. Thank you for being such good supporters of all the athletic teams in the state of Wisconsin, and I am happy to represent some of those.”
Ron Dayne is one of the greatest football players in Wisconsin Badger history, winning the school’s second Heisman Trophy in 1999 when he led the country in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns. As a four-year starter for the Badgers, Dayne finished his college career as the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing yards and led his teams to back-to-back Rose Bowl victories, earning the honor of Rose Bowl MVP both times. A three-time All-Big Ten selection and a consensus All-American, Dayne had his number retired at Camp Randall Stadium in 2007. He was also selected 11th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft and played seven seasons with the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans. Ron is already a member of the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame.
LPGA Legend Sherri Steinhauer is one of the most accomplished golfers of all-time from the state of Wisconsin. During her career on the LPGA Tour, she won eight tour events, including two major golf championships. Throughout her career, she posted 78 top ten finishes and served on the LPGA Player Director Board for the 2009-2011 seasons, serving as vice president for the 2009 Tour season. Steinhauer also participated in 4 Solheim Cups. Steinhauer’s success began well before her professional career started, as prior to officially joining the LPGA Tour, she had three consecutive wins at the Wisconsin State Junior Championship from 1978-1980. Already a member of the Wisconsin State Golf Association Hall of Fame, Sherri Steinhauer has proven to be a prime example of excellence in Wisconsin athletics.
Super Bowl Champion Charles Woodson made the most out of his seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers, putting together the best statistical stretch of his career after joining the franchise in 2006. He has scored the most defensive touchdowns in Packers history and is fifth all-time in total interceptions as a Packer. During his tenure in the Green and Gold, Woodson was named AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, made four Pro Bowls, was named to the NFL’s 2000s All-Decade Team and led the league in interceptions twice. Woodson has achieved success at every level of his playing career, and his biggest accomplishment in a Packers uniform came in his role as a captain for the 2010 season that led to a championship-worthy playoff performance and a victory in Super Bowl XLV. Considered by many to be one of the greatest defensive backs of all-time, Charles Woodson’s time with the Green Bay Packers has cemented an amazing chapter in his Hall of Fame-worthy legacy.
The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is maintained through the support of community partners Associated Bank, West Bend Insurance, Goodwill Industries, Hupy & Abraham, Lammi Sports Management and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Bronze plaques located on 4th Street in Milwaukee’s downtown sports and entertainment district commemorate the 137 members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. The iconic, historic Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is free and open to the public 365 days a year.
About the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame
Established in 1951, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was created to honor distinguished members of Wisconsin sports history. Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame members include Vince Lombardi, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Barry Alvarez, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, Junior Bridgeman, Willie Davis, Herb Kohl, Bart Starr, Ab Nicholas, Bob Harlan, Fred Miller, Alan Kulwicki, Robin Yount, Bonnie Blair, Bob Uecker and many others.