Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dick Kazmaier Nov. 23, 1930 - Aug. 1, 2013 Heisman Winner Who Passed on NFL

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Dick Kazmaier Nov. 23, 1930 - Aug. 1, 2013 Heisman Winner Who Passed on NFL

Article excerpt

Dick Kazmaier, a Princeton halfback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1951 as the nation's outstanding college football player, but who rejected a career in the National Football League, saying he had achieved all he wanted in the sport and could make more money in business, died Thursday in Boston. He was 82.

The cause was heart and lung disease, said Bob Ruxin, president of Mr. Kazmaier's company, Kazmaier Associates, an investment and financial consulting business with a special interest in sports.

Mr. Kazmaier, the last Ivy Leaguer to win the Heisman, an athlete who won varsity letters in five sports in high school and graduated second in his class, went from Princeton to graduate school at Harvard and a rewarding, lucrative career. He was chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and president of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame.

But he is probably best remembered for exploits on the football field that almost surely would have continued in the professional game if he had chosen that path.

At 5 feet 11 inches and 171 pounds, Mr. Kazmaier looked too fragile to play high-level college football, especially in an old- fashioned single-wing offense that favored bruising 2-on-1 blocking. Still, he succeeded in the triple-threat role of runner, passer and punter.

As a junior and senior, he led Princeton to undefeated seasons and was named to most All-American teams. As a senior, in separate player-of-the-year polls, he won the Heisman Trophy, the Maxwell Award and the Walter Camp Trophy. He was voted The Associated Press athlete of the year in 1951 -- ahead of Ben Hogan and Stan Musial.

But football was not the focus of his life. When Princeton's dean of students told him he had won the Heisman Trophy, he recalled: "I thought it was nice. Then I went back to class. …

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