Gale Sayers

Gale Sayers

1943 - 2020


Wichita, KS


Running Back


Kansas Jayhawks


Chicago Bears

Kansas, 1962-64

2,675 Rushing Yards
11 100-Yard Rushing Games
3,917 All-Purpose Yards
20 Touchdowns
2X All-American

The Kansas Comet

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Chicago Bears, 1965-71

7 Seasons
68 Games Played
9,435 Combined Net Yards
4,956 Rushing Yards
1,307 Receiving Yards
39 Touchdowns
5 All-NFL Selections
4 Pro Bowls
1977 Hall of Fame

Gale was one of the finest men in NFL history.

"The NFL family lost a true friend today with the passing of Gale Sayers. Gale was one of the finest men in NFL history and one of the game's most exciting players. Gale was an electrifying and elusive runner who thrilled fans every time he touched the ball. He earned his place as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. We will also forever remember Gale for his inspiration and kindness. Gale's quiet unassuming demeanor belied his determination, competitiveness and compassion. We send our heartfelt condolences to his wife Ardie, and their family. Our thoughts are with his teammates, the Bears organization, the many fans who remember him as a football player and the many more people who were touched by Gale's spirit and generosity."

Roger Goodell NFL Commissioner

Gale made this university and this world a better place.

“Gale Sayers will forever have a special place in KU history. While largely recognized as one of our greatest all-time student-athletes, Gale was also a tremendous human being, a role model and an ambassador for the university long after his playing days ended. As such, he was and will continue to be a hero and role model to Jayhawks everywhere. On behalf of the university community, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Gale’s family and friends. May they find peace in knowing Gale made this university and this world a better place.”

Douglas Girod University of Kansas Chancellor

One of the greatest, if not the greatest, players to ever wear a Kansas football uniform.

“One of the greatest, if not the greatest, players to ever wear a Kansas football uniform, Gale Sayers was a trailblazer on and off the field. There are only three numbers retired in the history of our football program, and the number 48 jersey worn by the “Kansas Comet” is one of those. His achievements on the field are well documented and he certainly left his mark on the KU football and NFL records books, but Gale Sayers was far more than a football player, he is one of the finest men to ever grace our program. We are so proud of the way he represented our University and the entire State of Kansas. In less than two weeks, we will be unveiling the Gale Sayers statue at halftime of the Oklahoma State game on October 3rd. Thankfully Gale was able to be involved throughout the sculpting process and had a chance to see photos of the finished statue. It is a long overdue honor and will be a bittersweet ceremony, but this will allow us the opportunity to forever immortalize another KU football legend. Football fans everywhere that were fortunate enough to watch him play or meet this wonderful man, all mourn the loss of Gale Sayers. Our deepest condolences to his amazing wife Ardie and the rest of the Sayers family. A true hero, Gale will be greatly missed.”

Jeff Long Director of Athletics, Kansas

He had a remarkable impact on the game of football.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of Kansas great, Gale Sayers. I cherished every opportunity to watch him play and I am privileged to coach in the stadium that he once played in. He had a remarkable impact on the game of football and the University of Kansas, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

Les Miles Head Football Coach, Kansas

Gale was a clear-cut — and first-ballot — Hall of Famer.

"The “Kansas Comet” burst onto the scene in the National Football League and captured the attention of all of America. Despite playing only 68 NFL games because of an injury-shortened career, Gale was a clear-cut — and first-ballot — Hall of Famer for his accomplishments on the field and for the man of character he was in life. Sharing a room with Brian Piccolo — the first interracial roommates in the NFL — set an example for racial equality in the League and across the country. In many ways, our country is still trying to emulate the courage, commitment, compassion and excellence Gale has demonstrated since first setting foot on a football field in Kansas."

David Baker President & CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame

One of the greatest backs ever to suite up for Kansas.

"Gale Sayers’ ability to drive, his aggressiveness, speed and change of direction made him one of the greatest backs ever to suite up for Kansas. During his time at KU he was named a Consensus First-Team All-America selection twice, and All-Big Eight three times. Following his Hall of Fame collegiate career, he embarked into the NFL earning even more accolades and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. Sayers took his leadership and work ethic and focus on teamwork off the field into the business world."

College Football Hall of Fame

Gale supported students over the years in multiple ways.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Gale Sayers, one of the greatest college and professional football running backs of all time. As a graduate in Physical Education from the School of Education and Human Sciences at KU, Gale supported students over the years in multiple ways. He provided computer technology and support for a lab named in his honor, and through a golf tournament he started over 17 years ago, raised funds to finance the School’s Multicultural Scholarship Program. Gale’s greatest joy with the tournament each year was meeting students directly, hearing about their dreams and concerns and providing encouragement for their future. The tournament continued in recent years through Gale’s illness as a result of the efforts of Scot and Dawn Pollard, assuring that Gale’s legacy will continue in supporting future Jayhawks."

Rick Ginsberg, Ph.D. Dean, School of Education at the University of Kansas

Remembering Sayers