American Football Database
Paul Krause
File:Paul Krause.jpg
No. 26, 22     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1942-02-19) February 19, 1942 (age 80)
Place of birth: Flint, Michigan
Career information
College: Iowa
NFL Draft: 1964 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18
Debuted in 1964 for the Washington Redskins
Last played in 1979 for the Minnesota Vikings
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Interceptions     81
Interception yards     1,185
Touchdowns     3
Stats at
Pro Football Hall of Fame

Paul James Krause (born February 19, 1942) is a former American football defensive back who played in the National Football League.[1] He set the NFL record for interceptions with 81, which he picked off from 45 different quarterbacks, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.[2]

Early life

Krause attended and played high school football at Bendle High School in Burton, Michigan and earned all-state honors in basketball, football, baseball and track.[3] Known for once scoring 54 points in a basketball game, he was one of the few in his high school to ever receive an athletic scholarship.[4]

College career

Krause attended and played college football at the University of Iowa. Krause was a two-way starter as a wide receiver and defensive back.[4] As a senior in 1963, he tied the Iowa record with six touchdown pass receptions[3] and was selected for the Senior Bowl, the East-West Shrine game, the Coaches' All-American game and the College All-Star game.[4]

Krause also played baseball at Iowa. As a sophomore, he earned All-American honors and was drafted into the major leagues, but he turned down the offer.[4] Krause's chances to play professional baseball were ended when he injured his shoulder in his junior year playing football against the University of Michigan.[3]

Professional career

Washington Redskins

Krause was drafted in the second round of the 1964 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. In his rookie season, he led the NFL in interceptions with 12, including interceptions in seven straight games, and was named to the All-NFL first team.[5] He was named to his first of eight Pro Bowls and was second only to teammate Charley Taylor for the NFL Rookie of the Year award.[5]

Although he intercepted 28 passes in his first four seasons with the Redskins, he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for linebacker Marlin McKeever and a seventh-round draft choice in the 1968 NFL Draft.[5]

Minnesota Vikings

Krause played with the Vikings until he retired after the 1979 season. During that time, he was one of 10 players to play in all four of the Vikings Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl IV, VIII, IX, and XI).[5] Krause recorded an interception in Super Bowl IV and a fumble recovery in Super Bowl IX.[5]

Krause was often referred to as the Vikings "Center Fielder" because of his success as an interscholastic baseball player and his ability to catch interceptions.[6][7]

He currently holds the all-time interception record in the NFL with 81, which he returned for 1,185 yards and three touchdowns. He acquired the record in 1979 against the Los Angeles Rams, in the second quarter of a 27-21 overtime loss with his 81st interception coming in the final period.[3] The previous record of 79 was held by Emlen Tunnell, another former Hawkeye who played for the New York Giants and the Green Bay Packers from 1948 to 1961.[3][5]

Krause recovered 19 fumbles, returning them for 163 yards and three touchdowns. Krause only missed two games due to injuries in 16 seasons.[5]

After football

He previously owned a golf course in Elk River, Minnesota. In 1994, Krause was elected to the Board of County Commissioners for Dakota County, Minnesota. He currently serves as a Dakota County Commissioner.[8]

Currently, Krause is involved in real estate development and insurance, and he owns several restaurants,[3] including the Dairy Delite in Lakeville, Minnesota.[9]

Krause was named to the Iowa Sports Hall of Fame in 1985,[3] the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998,[5] and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County Sports Hall of Fame on May 7, 2004.[10]


Krause is married to his wife, Pam, and has three children: two daughters (Mandi and Zendi) and one son (Blair).[3]

In 1996, Pam Krause was severely injured in a car accident near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota when she was hit by a truck.[4] She spent five and a half months in a coma, but survived and is recuperating.[4]


  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 "Paul Krause, University of Iowa, 1985". Des Moines Register. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Pro Football Hall of Fame honors Paul Krause". Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 "Paul Krause's HOF Profile". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  6. "Intercepting NFL's highest honor: Krause remembered for roaming in football's center field". CNN/SI. August 1, 1998. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  7. "Paul Krause's Enshrinement Speech Transcript". Pro Football Hall of Fame. 1998. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  8. "District 6-Commissioner Paul J. Krause". Dakota County Government. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  9. "2007: Year in Review". Downtown Lakeville. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  10. "Redskins Great Krause Honored". Washington Redskins. Retrieved 2008-06-18.[dead link]

External links

Preceded by
Emlen Tunnell
Record for Interceptions in an NFL Career
81 INTs
Succeeded by