Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Paul Giel

Paul Giel


  • Position: Halfback
  • School: Minnesota
  • High School: Winona, MN (Winona HS)
  • Years: 1951-1953
  • Inducted: 1975
  • Place of Birth: Winona, MN
  • Date of Birth: Sep 29, 1932
  • Place of Death: Minneapolis, MN
  • Date of Death: May 22, 2002
  • Jersey Number: 10
  • Height: 5-11
  • Weight: 185

Member Biography

Paul Giel was a Hall of Fame player who excelled despite the lack of talent that surrounded him. Minnesota had a 10-13-4 record in his three seasons. His career totals were 2,188 yards rushing, 1,922 yards passing. He was the Big Ten's Most Valuable Player twice, 1952 and 1953, All-America twice, and runner-up to John Lattner of Notre Dame for the Heisman Trophy in 1953. During Giel's three varsity seasons, Minnesota used the single-wing offense, as coached by Wes Fesler. Giel started as the quarterback, a blocking position. He was moved to left halfback, where he would be a runner and passer. In his first game at halfback he passed for 123 yards and ran for 113. The highlight of Giel's senior season was an upset of Michigan in the 50th anniversary game of the "Little Brown Jug." Giel scored two touchdowns and passed for a third in the 22-0 victory. In his varsity career Giel set Minnesota rushing records that lasted over 25 years. Paul was also a baseball pitcher; after his collegiate days he pitched in the major leagues for the Giants, Pirates and Twins. He served as Minnesota's Director of Athletics from 1971 to 1989. Giel was UP Player of the Year, AP Back of the Year, and captain of his team in 1953. He won the Big 10 medal, given at each conference school to the athlete with the best academic record. He was born Sept. 29, 1932 in Winona, Minnesota. He died May 22, 2002.