KU's John Hadl Recognized As Big 12 Legend

Dec. 8, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former University of Kansas football great John Hadl was recognized as an inaugural member of the Big 12 Legends class during last Saturday’s Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship.

The league will honor a player or coach from each Big 12 institution during each future championship weekend. Each school selects its Legends resprentative.

Hadl represents one of the greatest all-around performers in Kansas history. The Jayhawks’ first two-time All-America selection, Hadl excelled in the Jayhawk offense as a quarterback and part-time halfback.

He was also a highly effective defensive back, return specialist and one of the nation’s top punters during his three-year career. His No. 21 jersey is one of just three retired in Kansas football history.

A three-time all-conference selection, Hadl ended his career with 1,281 yards passing and 1,016 yards rushing. He still holds the school record for longest punt (94 yards vs. Oklahoma in 1959) and has the third-longest interception return (98 yards vs. TCU in 1959).

Hadl led the nation in punting in 1959 with a 45.6 average. The Jayhawks were a combined 14-5-2 his junior and senior seasons with Hadl at the controls and ranked nationally in the top 20 each year. He concluded his senior campaign by leading KU to a 33-7 win over Rice in the Bluebonnet Bowl.

Hadl enjoyed a 16-year career in the NFL, passing for 33,513 yards. He was recognized as the NFL Man of the Year in 1971, was the named the NFC’s most valuable player in 1973 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

Following a successful career in coaching, Hadl moved into administration and currently serves as Associate Athletic Director in charge of major gifts, where he works closely with the Williams Educational Fund in seeking donors for special athletics department projects at the University of Kansas.

2008 Big 12 Legends

Grant Teaff, Baylor, Head Coach, 1972-92

Joel Klatt, Colorado, Quarterback, 2002-05

Matt Blair, Iowa State, Linebacker, 1971, 1973

John Hadl, Kansas, Quarterback/Halfback/Punter/Defensive Back, 1959-61

Bill Snyder, Kansas State, Head Coach, 1989-2005

John Kadlec, Missouri, Player/Coach/Administrator/Broadcaster

Will Shields, Nebraska, Offensive Guard, 1989-92

Lee Roy Selmon, Oklahoma, Defensive End, 1972-75

Derrel Gofourth, Oklahoma State, Center, 1974-76

Priest Holmes, Texas, Running Back, 1992-96

John David Crow, Texas A&M, Halfback, 1955-57

E.J. Holub, Texas Tech, Center, 1958-60