Former KU Football Great Sayers To Be Inducted Into McLendon Hall Of Fame

Jan. 22, 2009

CLEVELAND – Former Kansas All-American and Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers has been chosen for induction into the John McLendon Minority Athletics Administrators Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will take place in Orlando, Florida, next June 19 in conjunction with the annual National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention.

Sayers was a two-time All-America running back at Kansas in 1963 and 1964. He finished third in the NCAA in rushing in both 1962 and 1963 rushing for 1,125 yards as a sophomore in 1962 and 917 yards as a junior in 1963. When he left KU he was the school’s career rushing leader with 2,675 yards, a figure which currently ranks fifth all-time.

He was the number one pick of the Chicago Bears in the 1965 NFL Draft, and put up never-before-seen numbers in the NFL. He tied or broke seven NFL records in his injury-shortened career, including a rookie-record 22 touchdowns.

Upon retiring from the NFL, Sayers returned to Kansas to receive his bachelor’s degree in physical education and his master’s in educational administration, while also handling duties as the assistant athletics director. On July 15, 1976, Sayers became the first African-American athletics director in Division I by accepting the AD position at Southern Illinois. Before he left SIU, Sayers increased athletics fundraising there to twice the level it was when he arrived on the Carbondale campus.

In 1984, after building a successful career in athletics administration, Sayers moved back to Chicago to launch a computer business. He has built that business into a world-class provider of technology products and services, and a premier minority-owned business enterprise (MBE). Sayers is currently working on opening the Gale Sayers Center, an after-school program for 8-12 year-old children, which will provide intense computer and public speaking learning programs.

About the John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Program: The John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards are presented to senior-level minority students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration. If you have any questions regarding this program, please visit

About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 44th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,300 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations that come under the umbrella of the athletics director. For more information, visit