Wisconsin Badgers football
First season 1889
Athletic director Barry Alvarez
Head coach Gary Andersen
Home stadium Camp Randall Stadium
Stadium capacity 80,321
Stadium surface Field Turf
Location Madison, Wisconsin
Conference Big Ten
Division Leaders
All-time record 644–476–51
Postseason bowl record 11–13
Conference titles 14 (1896, 1897, 1901, 1906, 1912, 1952, 1959, 1962, 1993, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2012)
Heisman winners 2
Consensus All-Americans 22
Current uniform
Colors Cardinal and White            
Fight song On, Wisconsin!
Mascot Bucky Badger
Marching band University of Wisconsin Marching Band
Rivals Iowa Hawkeyes
Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Wisconsin Badgers football team is the intercollegiate football team of University of Wisconsin–Madison. The Badgers have competed in the Big Ten Conference since its formation in 1896. They play their home games at Camp Randall Stadium, the fourth-oldest stadium in college football. Wisconsin has had two Heisman Trophy winners, Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne, and have had eight former players inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. As of January 1, 2013, the Badgers have an all-time record of 644–476–51.[1]

Team name originEdit

The team's nickname originates in the early history of Wisconsin. In the 1820s and 1830s, prospectors came to the state looking for minerals, primarily lead. Without shelter in the winter, the miners had to "live like badgers" in tunnels burrowed into hillsides.[2]

Team historyEdit

File:Pat O'Dea.jpg

The early years (1899–1912)Edit

The first Badger football team took the field in 1889, losing the only two games it played that season. In 1890, Wisconsin earned its first victory with a 106–0 drubbing of Whitewater Normal School (now the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater), still the most lopsided win in school history. However, the very next week the Badgers suffered what remains their most lopsided defeat, a humiliating 63–0 loss at the hands of the University of Minnesota. Since then, the Badgers and Gophers have met 122 times, making Wisconsin vs Minnesota the most-played rivalry in the Football Bowl Subdivision.[3]

Upon the formation of the Big Ten conference in 1896, Wisconsin became the first-ever conference champion with a 7–1–1 record. Over the next ten years, the Badgers won or shared the conference title three more times (1897, 1901, and 1906), and recorded their first undefeated season, going 9–0–0 (1901). With the exception of their second undefeated season in 1912, in which they won their fifth Big Ten title.

The climb back to dominance (1942–1962)Edit

1942 was an important year for Wisconsin football. On October 24, the #6 ranked Badgers defeated the #1 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes at Camp Randall, catapulting Wisconsin to the #2 spot in the AP poll. Unfortunately for the Badgers, their national championship hopes were dashed in a 6–0 defeat by the Iowa Hawkeyes the following week. Nevertheless, Wisconsin won the remainder of its games, finishing the season 8–1–1 and #3 in the AP, while garnering the Helms Athletic Foundation vote for National Champion.

The Badgers experienced great success during the 1950s, finishing in the AP Top 25 eight times that decade. In 1952, the team received its first #1 ranking by the Associated Press. That season, the Badgers again claimed the Big Ten title and earned their first trip to the Rose Bowl. There they were defeated 7–0 by the Southern California, and would finish the season ranked #11 in the AP. In 1954 after a 7-2 season Wisconsin's Alan Ameche became the first badger to win the Heisman Trophy. Wisconsin returned to the Rose Bowl as Big Ten Champions in 1959, but fell to the Washington Huskies, 44-8.

In 1962, the Badgers earned their eighth Big Ten title and faced the top-ranked USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl. Despite a narrow 42–37 defeat, the Badgers still ended the season ranked #2 in both the AP and Coaches polls (post-bowl rankings were not introduced until later in the decade).

Wisconsin football experienced little success for the remainder of the 1960s, reaching a low point with back-to-back winless seasons in 1967 and 1968. After languishing through the 1970s, the team had a string of seven-win seasons from 1981–84 under Dave McClain. During that time the Badgers played in the Garden State Bowl (1981), Independence Bowl (1982), and Hall of Fame Classic Bowl (1984). McClain's death during spring practice in 1986 sent the Badgers into free fall. From 1986 to 1990, the Badgers won a total of nine games.

Return to relevance with Alvarez era (1990–2005)Edit

In 1990, Barry Alvarez became the head coach of the Badgers and, following three losing seasons (including a 1–10 campaign in his first year), Alvarez led the Badgers to their first Big Ten championship and first Rose Bowl appearance in over 30 years. On January 1, 1994 Wisconsin defeated UCLA 21–16 to claim its first Rose Bowl victory. Over his 16-year tenure as head coach, Alvarez led the Badgers to two more conference championships (one outright, one shared), eleven bowl games (going 8–3), two more Rose Bowl victories (1999 and 2000), and a #4 ranking in the final AP Poll of the '99 season.

Bret Bielema era (2006–2012)Edit

Following the 2005 season, Alvarez resigned as headcoach in order to focus on his duties as athletic director, a position he had assumed in 2004. He named his defensive coordinator, Bret Bielema, as his successor. From 2006 to 2011, Bielema led the Badgers to six consecutive bowl appearances (going 2–4). In 2010, the Badgers won a share of the Big Ten Championship and returned to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2000. There they were defeated 21–19 by the #3 ranked TCU. In 2011, the Badgers were once again crowned Big Ten Champs when they defeated Michigan State in the first-ever conference championship game. The victory sent Wisconsin back to the Rose Bowl for a second consecutive year, where they were defeated by the Pac-12 champion Oregon Ducks, 38–45.

The 2012 season ended with the Badgers winning a third consecutive Big Ten title. Despite finishing with a 7-5 record and third in the Leaders Division, the Badgers advanced to the Big Ten Championship game by virtue of the fact that Penn State and Ohio State were ineligible for postseason play. A dominating rushing performance led Wisconsin to a 70-31 victory over #12 ranked Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship game. Only days later, Brett Bielema resigned to become the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Gary Andersen, formerly coach of Utah State University, was named head coach on December 19, 2012. Barry Alvarez named himself interim coach for the 2013 Rose Bowl, where the Badgers lost, 20-14 to Stanford.

Current coaching staffEdit

Name Position
Gary Andersen Head Coach
Dave Aranda Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Andy Ludwig Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Chris Beatty Wide Receivers Coach
Ben Strickland/Bill Busch Secondary Coach
Thomas Hammock Assistant Head Coach/RBs Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Chad Kauha'aha'a Defensive Line Coach
T.J. Woods Offensive Line Coach

All-time recordsEdit

Victories over #1 ranked teamsEdit

Year Opponent Result Site
1942 vs. Ohio State W 17–7 Madison, WI
1962 vs. Northwestern W 37–6 Madison, WI
1981 vs. Michigan W 21–14 Madison, WI
2010 vs. Ohio State W 31–18 Madison, WI

Source: Wisconsin State Journal, 10/16/2010

Bowl historyEdit

The Badgers have appeared in 24 bowl games and have a record of 11 wins and 13 losses (11–13). Their most recent bowl game was in the 2013 Rose Bowl.

All-time Big Ten recordsEdit

This chart includes both the overall record the University of Wisconsin Badgers have with the all-time Big Ten members, as well as the matchups that counted in the Big Ten standings. Wisconsin has been a member of the Big Ten since its creation in 1896. Michigan rejoined the league in 1917 after leaving in 1906. Chicago withdrew after 1939, and then Michigan State (1953), Penn State (1993), and Nebraska (2011) joined afterwards. (As of December 1, 2012)

Team Big Ten Wins Big Ten Losses Big Ten Ties Pct. Overall Wins Overall Losses Overall Ties Pct. Streak First Meeting Last Meeting
Chicago Maroons 18 15 5 .539 19 16 5 .538 Won 1 1894 1937
Illinois Fighting Illini 36 35 6 .506 36 35 7 .506 Won 3 1895 2012
Indiana Hoosiers 38 18 2 .672 38 18 2 .672 Won 8 1907 2012
Iowa Hawkeyes 41 42 2 .494 42 42 2 .500 Won 1 1894 2010
Michigan Wolverines 10 49 1 .175 14 49 1 .227 Won 2 1894 2010
Michigan State Spartans 18 29 0 .383 22 30 0 .423 Lost 1 1913 2012
Minnesota Golden Gophers 54 54 8 .500 55 58 8 .488 Won 9 1890 2012
Nebraska Cornhuskers 1 1 0 .500 4 4 0 .500 Won 1 1901 2012
Northwestern Wildcats 52 32 4 .614 56 33 5 .622 Won 1 1890 2010
Ohio State Buckeyes 18 55 5 .263 18 55 5 .263 Lost 2 1913 2012
Penn State Nittany Lions 7 7 0 .500 9 7 0 .563 Lost 1 1953 2012
Purdue Boilermakers 40 27 8 .587 41 29 8 .577 Won 7 1892 2012
333 364 41 .479 354 376 43 .486

All Data from The Wisconsin Football Fact Book[4]

Coaching historyEdit

Coach Years Record Conference</br>Record Conference</br>Titles Bowl Appearances Bowl Record NCAA</br>Championships NCAA</br>Runner Up
Alvin Kletsch 1889 0–2
Ted Mestre 1890 1–3
Herb Alward 1891 3–1–1
Frank Crawford 1892 4–3
Parke H. Davis 1893 4–2
Hiram O. Stickney 1894–1895 10–4–1
Philip King 1896–1902 58–9–1 16–6–1 1896, 1897, 1901
Arthur Curtis 1903–1904 11–6–1 0–6–1
Philip King 1905 8–2 1–2
Charles P. Hutchins 1906–1907 8–1–1 6–1–1 1906
J. A. Barry 1908–1910 9–4–3 5–4–2
John R. Richards 1911 5–1–1 2–1–1
William Juneau 1912–1915 18–8–2 10–7–2 1912
Paul Withington 1916 4–2–1 1–2–1
John R. Richards 1917 4–2–1 3–2
Guy Lowman 1918 3–3 1–2
John R. Richards 1919–1922 20–6–2 12–6–2
John J. Ryan 1923–1924 5–6–4 1–5–3
George Little 1925–1926 11–3–2 6–3–2
Glenn Thistlethwaite 1927–1931 26–16–3 10–14–2
Clarence Spears 1932–1935 13–17–2 7–13–2
Harry Stuhldreher 1936–1948 45–62–6 26–45–4
Ivy Williamson 1949–1955 41–19–4 29–13–4 1952 1 0–1
Milt Bruhn 1956–1966 52–45–6 35–37–5 1959, 1962 2 0–2 1962
John Coatta 1967–1969 3–26–1 3–17–1
John Jardine 1970–1977 37–47–3 25–38–1
Dave McClain 1978–1985 46–42–3 32–34–3 3 1–2
Jim Hilles 1986 3–9 2–6
Don Morton 1987–1989 6–27 3–21
Barry Alvarez 1990–2005 118–73–4 65–60–3 1993, 1998, 1999 11 8–3
Bret Bielema 2006–2012 68–24 37–19 2010, 2011, 2012 6 2–4
Barry Alvarez 2012 0–1 1 0–1
Gary Andersen 2013-Present 0–0 0–0
Total 1889–present 644–476–51 338–365–41 14 24 11–13 0 1

Updated on: January 1, 2013 All Data from The Wisconsin Football Fact Book[4]


Current rivalriesEdit


The UW-UM series is the nation’s most-played rivalry in Division I football and has been played continuously since 1907. Much prestige was always associated with the game, and the significance was emphasized with its place on the schedule. Between 1933 and 1982, the Wisconsin-Minnesota game was always the final regular-season contest for each school. The series took an added twist in 1948 when more than state bragging rights were on the line. After a 16-0 setback that season, the Wisconsin lettermen's group, the National 'W' Club, presented Minnesota with an axe wielded by Paul Bunyan. He was the mythical giant of Midwestern lumber camps. Each year since, the winner of the annual battle between the Big Ten rivals is presented with the axe, complete with scores inscribed on the handle, for display on its campus.


The Iowa-Wisconsin rivalry, which dates back to 1894, is Wisconsin's other arch rival. Although the series is over 100 years old the Heartland Trophy was inaugurated in 2004 and goes each year to the winner. The trophy was designed and crafted by artist and former Iowa football player Frank Strub. The trophy, which is a bull mounted on a walnut base (native to both Wisconsin and Iowa), has been inscribed with the scores of all games in the long-time series. With Big Ten expansion, the Wisconsin and Iowa football teams were placed in separate divisions, thus ending their annual rivalry. The teams now play each other four out of every ten years. The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 42-42-2.

Inactive rivalriesEdit


From 1904 to 1960 Wisconsin forged an intense rivalry with the Marquette Golden Avalanche. During this time these two schools were the only two Division I football in the state of Wisconsin (Marquette being located in Milwaukee). These two schools played every year from 1932 to 1960 until Marquette terminated their football program. The Badgers won the series record 32-4. Marquette no longer has a Division I football program.

Individual school recordsEdit

Rushing recordsEdit

Passing recordsEdit

Receiving recordsEdit

  • Most receptions, career: 202, Brandon Williams (2002–05)
  • Most receptions, season: 75, Lee Evans (2001)
  • Most receptions, game: 13, Matt Nyquist (November 18, 1995 vs Iowa)
  • Most receiving yards, career: 3,468, Lee Evans (1999–2003)
  • Most receiving yards, season: 1,545, Lee Evans (2001)
  • Most receiving yards, game: 258, Lee Evans (November 15, 2003 vs. Michigan State)
  • Highest average yards per reception, career (min 50 rec.): 20.1, Tony Simmons (1994–97)
  • Highest average yards per reception, season (min 30 rec.): 21.3, Larry Mialik (1970)
  • Highest average yards per reception, game (min 3 rec.): 47.3, Larry Mialik (October 3, 1970 vs. Penn State Nittany Lions)
  • Most touchdown receptions, career: 27, Lee Evans (1999–2003)
  • Most touchdown receptions, season: 13, Lee Evans (2003)
  • Most touchdown receptions, game: 5, Lee Evans (November 15, 2003 vs. Michigan State Spartans)
  • Most consecutive games with a reception, career: 38, Lee Evans (1999–2003)

Scoring recordsEdit

Kickoff/Punt return recordsEdit

Defensive recordsEdit

All Data from The Wisconsin Football Fact Book[4]


Retired numbersEdit

Wisconsin Badgers retired numbers
No. Player Position
33 Ron Dayne RB
35 Alan Ameche FB
40 Elroy Hirsch RB, WR
80 Dave Schreiner E
83[5] Allan Shafer 1 QB
88 Pat Richter E, WR, P

1 Shafer only played 6 games for the team before his death of injuries received in a game on November 11, 1944. He was 17 years old.[6]

College Football Hall of FamersEdit

File:Gabe Carimi ASU.jpg
Name Position Year Inducted
Barry Alvarez Head Coach 2010
Alan Ameche Fullback 1975
Marty Below Tackle 1988
Bob Butler Tackle 1972
Ron Dayne Running Back 2013
Pat Harder Fullback 1993
Elroy Hirsch Running Back/Wide Receiver 1974
Phillip King Head Coach 1962
George Little Head Coach 1955
Pat O'Dea Punter/Kicker 1962
Pat Richter Wide Receiver 1996
Dave Schreiner Tight End 1955[7]

Pro Football Hall of FamersEdit

Name Position
Arnie Herber Quarterback
Elroy Hirsch Wide Receiver
Mike Webster Center

Individual award winners and finalistsEdit

The following players have been nominated for national awards. Players highlighted in yellow indicate winners:

Year Athlete Place
1938 Howard Weiss 6th
1942 Dave Schreiner 10th
1953 Alan Ameche 6th
1954 Alan Ameche Winner
1959 Dale Hackbart 7th
1962 Pat Richter 6th
1962 Ron Vander Kelen 9th
1999 Ron Dayne Winner
2011 Montee Ball 4th
2011 Russell Wilson 9th
Year Athlete Place
1999 Ron Dayne Winner
2012 Montee Ball Semi-finalist
Year Athlete Place
1953 Alan Ameche Winner
1999 Ron Dayne Winner
2012 Montee Ball Semi-finalist
Year Athlete Place
1998 Ron Dayne Finalist
1999 Ron Dayne Winner
2001 Anthony Davis Semi-finalist
2005 Brian Calhoun Semi-finalist
2006 P. J. Hill, Jr. Semi-finalist
2010 John Clay Finalist
2011 Montee Ball Finalist
2012 Montee Ball Winner
Year Athlete Place
2006 John Stocco Semi-finalist
2011 Russell Wilson Semi-finalist
Year Athlete Place
2002 Al Johnson Finalist
2011 Peter Konz Finalist
Year Athlete Place
1998 Aaron Gibson Finalist
1999 Chris McIntosh Finalist
2006 Joe Thomas Winner
2010 Gabe Carimi Winner
Year Athlete Place
1998 Aaron Gibson Finalist
2000 Wendell Bryant Semi-finalist
2001 Wendell Bryant Semi-finalist
2004 Erasmus James Finalist
2005 Joe Thomas Semi-finalist
2006 Joe Thomas Semi-finalist
2012 Chris Borland Semi-finalist
Year Athlete Place
2006 Joe Thomas Finalist
Year Athlete Place
2004 Jim Leonhard Finalist
2006 Joe Thomas Finalist
Year Coach Place
2006 Bret Bielema Finalist
2010 Bret Bielema Semi-finalist
2011 Bret Bielema Finalist
Year Athlete Place
2004 Erasmus James Finalist
2009 O'Brien Schofield Semi-finalist
2010 J. J. Watt Semi-finalist
Year Athlete Place
2004 Erasmus James Finalist
Year Athlete Place
2004 Erasmus James Finalist
2010 J.J. Watt Finalist
Year Athlete Place
2001 Lee Evans Finalist
Year Athlete Place
2000 Kevin Stemke Winner
Year Athlete Place
1998 Matt Davenport Semi-finalist
1999 Vitaly Pisetsky Finalist
2006 Taylor Mehlhaff Semi-Finalist
2007 Taylor Mehlhaff Finalist
2008 Philip Welch Semi-Finalist
Year Athlete Place
1991 Troy Vincent Semi-finalist
2000 Jamar Fletcher Winner
2004 Jim Leonhard Semi-finalist
Year Athlete Place
1999 Nick Davis Semi-finalist
1999 Vitaly Pisetsky Finalist
2001 Nick Davis Finalist
Year Athlete Place
2004 Jim Leonhard Finalist
2010 J.J. Watt Winner
Year Athlete Place
2006 Travis Beckum Semi-finalist
2007 Travis Beckum Finalist
2010 Lance Kendricks Finalist
Year Coach Place
2010 Scott Tolzien Winner
2011 Russell Wilson Finalist
Year Coach Place
2010 Bret Bielema Semi-finalist
Year Coach Place
2010 Paul Chryst Finalist

National Jewish Sports Hall of FamersEdit

Current NFL playersEdit

Wisconsin Badgers in the NFL
NFL Draft selections
Total selected: 261
First picks in draft: 0
1st Round: 28
NFL achievements
Hall of Famers: 3
Pro Bowlers 24
Name Position Current Team
Montee Ball Running Back Denver Broncos
Travis Beckum Tight End New York Giants
Jake Byrne Tight End Houston Texans
Gabe Carimi Offensive Tackle Chicago Bears
Jonathan Casillas Linebacker New Orleans Saints
Marcus Cromartie Cornerback San Diego Chargers
Owen Daniels Tight End Houston Texans
Bradie Ewing Fullback Atlanta Falcons
Travis Frederick Center Dallas Cowboys
David Gilreath Wide Receiver Pittsburgh Steelers
Garrett Graham Tight End Houston Texans
Peter Konz Guard Atlanta Falcons
Lance Kendricks Tight End St. Louis Rams
Jim Leonhard Safety Denver Broncos
DeAndre Levy Linebacker Detroit Lions
Chris Maragos Safety Seattle Seahawks
John Moffitt Guard Seattle Seahawks
Bill Nagy Center Detroit Lions
Brad Nortman Punter Carolina Panthers
Chris Pressley Fullback Cincinnati Bengals
O'Brien Schofield Linebacker Arizona Cardinals
Matt Shaughnessy Defensive End Oakland Raiders
Devin Smith Cornerback Dallas Cowboys
Joe Thomas Tackle Cleveland Browns
Scott Tolzien Quarterback San Francisco 49ers
Nick Toon Wide Receiver New Orleans Saints
Kraig Urbik Guard Buffalo Bills
Ricky Wagner Offensive Tackle Baltimore Ravens
J.J. Watt Defensive End Houston Texans
Russell Wilson Quarterback Seattle Seahawks
Kevin Zeitler Guard Cincinnati Bengals

Current Arena Football League playersEdit

Future non-conference opponents Edit

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
vs UMass at Washington State vs. Alabama* at Virginia Tech vs Washington at Washington
vs Tennessee Tech vs Bowling Green vs Washington State vs Virginia Tech vs BYU
at Arizona State at BYU
vs BYU

* The 2015 game against Alabama will be part of the Cowboys Classic held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. [8]


External linksEdit

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