Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Dick Butkus

Dick Butkus


  • Position: Center/Linebacker
  • School: Illinois
  • High School: Chicago, IL (Vocational HS)
  • Years: 1962-1964
  • Inducted: 1983
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Birth: Dec 09, 1942
  • Jersey Number: 50
  • Height: 6-3
  • Weight: 237

Member Biography

Dick Butkus played with intensity and desire. At 6-3, 237- pounds, he was a devastating linebacker for Illinois from 1962 through 1964. According to his coach, Pete Elliott, Butkus, "...never took a loafing step." That included warm-ups, practices and games. He was a unanimous All-America in 1963 and 1964. Against Ohio State in 1963, Butkus made 23 tackles, a school record. Against Washington on January 1, 1964, he made an interception late in the game that sealed a Rose Bowl victory for Illinois. Since 1950, only one player at his position has been voted Most Valuable Player in the Big Ten; that was Butkus in 1963. The American Football Coaches Association named him Player of the Year in 1964. After college he starred for the Chicago Bears as linebacker. In 1970 he was named to the all-time Big Ten team and in 1989 he received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. He became a TV commentator and he hosted a national golf tournament which raised money for treatment of cystic fibrosis. He was named to the Walter Camp all-century team in 1990. In 1985 the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Florida, inaugurated a trophy given to the best college linebacker each year. It is called the Butkus Award