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Ron Vander Kelen
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Vander Kelen (#15, white) in the 1963 Rose Bowl
No. 11, 15     
Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-11-06)November 6, 1939
Place of birth: Preble, Wisconsin
Date of death: August 14, 2016(2016-08-14) (aged 76)
Place of death: Edina, Minnesota
Career information
College: Wisconsin
AFL Draft: 1963 / Round: 21 / Pick: 163
Undrafted in 1963
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Minnesota Vikings (1963–1967)
Career highlights and awards
* 1962 Big Ten Conference MVP
TD-INT     6-11
Yards     1375
QB Rating     50.0
Stats at NFL.com

Ronald Vander Kelen (November 6, 1939 – August 14, 2016) was an American football quarterback.[1] He played at the collegiate level at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is best known for his MVP performance in the 1963 Rose Bowl, where he broke several Rose Bowl records, some of which still stand. In that game, he orchestrated a legendary fourth quarter comeback attempt against the USC Trojans in the first #1 (USC) versus #2 (Wisconsin) bowl game in college football history. Vander Kelen was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1991.[2]

Early lifeEdit

Vander Kelen was born on November 6, 1939 in Preble, Wisconsin, now part of Green Bay. He graduated from Preble High School in 1958.

College careerEdit

Vander Kelen played at the collegiate level at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is best known for his MVP performance in the 1963 Rose Bowl, where he broke several Rose Bowl records, some of which still stand. In that game, he orchestrated a legendary fourth quarter comeback attempt against the USC Trojans in the first #1 (USC) versus #2 (Wisconsin) bowl game in college football history.

In August 1963, he was named the starter in the Chicago College All-Star Game (a game which pitted college all-stars selected from the graduating class from the previous season against the NFL champion) over a group of quarterbacks which included 1962 Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker. The college all-stars defeated the Green Bay Packers 20-17, with a 74-yard touchdown completion to his college teammate, Pat Richter, providing the winning touchdown. Vander Kelen was named the game MVP.[3] The 1963 game would prove to be the last time the college all-stars defeated the NFL champion in this series.

NFL careerEdit

He was not drafted in the 1963 NFL Draft and drafted in the 21st round of the 1963 AFL Draft by the New York Jets. He entered into a contract with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He was the backup to Fran Tarkenton from 1963 to 1966[3] and competed for the starting position after Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants in 1967. Vander Kelen also saw playing time in the CFL with the 1968 Calgary Stampeders.

DeathEdit

He died at the age of 76 on August 14, 2016.[4][5][6]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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