Willie Pless was one of the hardest workers on the Jayhawk squad when he roamed the turf at Memorial Stadium in the 1980s. Following his junior and senior campaigns he earned the "110-Percent Award" as selected by his teammates. The three-time All-Big Eight selection is KU's all-time leading tackler for a single season (206) and career (633). He ended his career at Kansas as the Big Eight's all-time leading tackler. In 1985 he was honored with the establishment of an annual award in his name that is presented to the KU leader in tackles and assists each season. A 1985 preseason Playboy All-American, Pless was a second-team Associated Press All-American in 1984. Invited to play in the 1985 Blue-Gray All-Star Classic, he earned defensive MVP honors at that game. He worked hard in the classroom earning GTE Region VII Academic All-America honors in 1985. A member of the Big Eight's all-decade team, he was also a member of the Big Eight All-American team in 1985. After his college career he went on to have a successful career in the Canadian Football League. In 1994 Pless became the CFL's career tackles leader. Pless was inducted into the KU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 2005.
Sept. 1, 2007