|Date of birth:||September 5, 1960|
|Place of birth:||Griffin, Georgia|
|NFL Draft:||1983 / Round: 1/ Pick 18|
Los Angeles Raiders
|Playing stats at|
|Competitor for the United States|
|Olympic Boycott Games|
|Bronze||1980 Philadelphia||100 m|
|Gold||1980 Philadelphia||4x100 m relay|
|Gold||1983 Helsinki||4x100 m relay|
|Bronze||1983 Helsinki||110 m hurdles|
Willie James Gault (born September 5, 1960) is a former American football wide receiver and Olympic athlete. Gault played in the National Football League for 11 seasons for the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Raiders. He was a member of the Bears team that won Super Bowl XX, and was also a member of the U.S. Olympic team that boycotted the 1980 Olympics. Gault is considered one of the fastest NFL players of all-time. He is currently pursuing a career as an actor.
College and olympics
Gault was born in Griffin, Georgia. A star in both football and track at the University of Tennessee, Gault was part of a world record-setting 4 x 100 meter relay team, a 110 meter hurdler who would have gone to the 1980 Summer Olympics if the United States had not boycotted the event (he did attend the Liberty Bell Classic, where he won a bronze medal in the 100 meter race) and a bobsledder (he made the American Olympic team on one occasion). He was an All-American wide receiver in 1982. Willie Gault averaged almost 24 yards per kick return and scored 4 touchdowns in 78 attempts, including 3 in 1980. His personal records are 13.26 at 110 meters hurdles and 10.10 at 100 meters and 20.68 in the 200 meters.
Gault was drafted in 1983, played with the Bears until 1988 and then was traded to the Los Angeles Raiders (now Oakland Raiders). Gault was the prototypical "speed merchant", meaning his greatest asset was his pure straight line swiftness. He was the primary long-pass threat on a team known as one of best defensive teams in history. In Super Bowl XX, Gault had four receptions for 129 yards, and four kickoff returns for 49 yards. He was also featured on the Super Bowl Shuffle.
Gault finished his 11 NFL seasons with 333 receptions for 6,635 yards. He also returned 9 punts for 60 yards, rushed for 154 yards, returned 45 kickoffs for 1,088 yards, and scored 45 touchdowns (44 receiving and 1 kickoff return).
After retiring as a player
Gault retired in the early 1990s and is pursuing an acting career in Hollywood. He portrayed Willie the Sweeper in the NBC series the Pretender. Willie also had an appearance on the sitcom Still Standing playing himself as the father of Tina's friend. He's had a few appearances on Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide playing himself alongside sportscaster Van Earl Wright and most recently was featured in the series finale. He also was in an episode of MTV's Parental Control pursuing his acting career. In Season 4 Episode 8 of Friday Night Lights the Dillon Lions radio color-man is named Willie Gault as a tribute.
Gault has been active at the highest levels of Masters athletics. On June 24, 2006, Gault set a world record of 10.72 seconds in the master's 100 meters, in the division for athletes aged 45 to 49. On April 26, 2008, Gault (at age 47) set a new world record of 21.80 seconds in the M45-49 age-group for 200m.
Gault has continued as a competitor, winning the M50-54 age-group 100 meter final at the 2011 Masters World Track and Field Championships in Sacramento, CA on July 9, 2011 with a time of 10.96 seconds into a 0.5 headwind, just one one-hundredth of a second over the world record for his age group, 10.95 seconds.
Pop Culture References
Willie Gault is the answer for the seemingly impossible audio clip in the 2011 WFAN Mike Francesa Super Bowl Trivia Contest.
- Jon GreenbergColumnist, ESPNChicago.comFollowArchive (2010-01-15). "Chicago Bears' "Super Bowl Shuffle" an enduring, endearing sports moment - ESPN Chicago". Sports.espn.go.com. http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/nfl/columns/story?columnist=greenberg_jon&id=4827883. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Masters World Records". World-masters-athletics.org. 2012-06-10. http://world-masters-athletics.org/records/outdoor-men. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- "2011 WMA World Track & Field Championships - Sacramento State". Flashresults.com. http://www.flashresults.com/2011_Meets/outdoor/07-06-wma/SacState/. Retrieved 2012-08-03.