On April 29, the historic Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame officially welcomed three new members as a part of its 66th Anniversary Class: Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champion Charles Woodson, Wisconsin Badgers Heisman Trophy Winner Ron Dayne and LPGA Legend Sherri Steinhauer.
These spectacular athletes received their official Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame bronze plaques as they join 137 of the state’s greatest athletic icons including Vince Lombardi, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Barry Alvarez, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, Junior Bridgeman, Herb Kohl, Bart Starr, Donald Driver, Bo Ryan, Bob Harlan, Robin Yount, Bonnie Blair and Bob Uecker.
Woodson, Dayne and Steinhauer were inducted at the historic UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the site of the first Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame induction event in 1951. Donald Driver – one of last year’s inductees – was the emcee for the event, and MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work keeping professional baseball in Wisconsin.
Two of Wisconsin’s best high school athletes were recognized with High School Athlete of the Year Awards – La Crosse Central’s Kobe King and Edgewood’s Estella Moschkau. Both led their respective high school teams to state championships; King will be joining the Wisconsin Badgers men’s basketball team, and Moschkau will make her way to the west coast by joining Stanford University’s women’s basketball team.
Since returning from hiatus in 2015, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony has seen nearly 3,500 fans come to witness the acknowledgement of greatness achieved by some of the state’s most incredible athletes. Among those in the crowd for the induction ceremony included the Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker, who spoke at the beginning of the event. Former Wisconsin Badger All-American offensive lineman Chris McIntosh presented Ron Dayne and Super Bowl XXXI Champion linebacker George Koonce presented Charles Woodson.
Woodson spoke of his induction with reverence for his time in Green Bay and the fans that supported him, saying "I don’t take this lightly – this is a tremendous honor. Over time, I was able to earn the respect of the fans here, and after that, the rest is history." Charles continued, "As a professional athlete, you hope that you’re able to make an impact on the fans. Everyone being inducted here today is very deserving."
Dayne is known as a man of few words, but he offered praise to his offensive lineman, as he did throughout his career. "If it wasn’t for my linemen, my teammates and the fans, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’m very grateful to still be recognized by the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame."
Sherri’s hometown roots were her focus throughout the evening. "I grew up here with Wisconsin roots, and I’ve loved being a Wisconsinite in Madison. Being with some of the greatest icons in Wisconsin sports is an honor."
The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame is maintained through the support of community partners Associated Bank, the Official Bank of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, Hupy & Abraham, Goodwill Industries, West Bend Insurance, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Bronze plaques located on 4th Street in Milwaukee’s downtown sports and entertainment district, contains bronze plaques commemorating the 137 members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. This iconic, historic Hall of Fame is free and open to the public 365 days a year.