The historic Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame today announced that Wisconsin Golf Contributor Herbert Kohler, Jr., Milwaukee Bucks Legend Marques Johnson and Green Bay Packers General Manager and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ron Wolf have been selected for induction into the 69th Anniversary Class of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame on January 24, 2019. They join 140 of the state’s greatest athletic icons, including Vince Lombardi, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Donald Driver, Barry Alvarez, Al McGuire, Bud Selig, Junior Bridgeman, Charles Woodson, Herb Kohl, Bo Ryan, Bart Starr, Bob Harlan, Robin Yount, Bonnie Blair and Bob Uecker.
The induction will be held in downtown Milwaukee on Thursday January 24, 2019. Interested organizations can contact the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame at 414-727-3605 to purchase tables. Select tables will afford guests the opportunity to mix and mingle with current and past Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Famers.
Board President Donald Driver: “Our 69th Anniversary Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame Class is unbelievably accomplished, each of them in their own special way have helped create something amazing in Wisconsin sports. As a proud Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame member, I know that these three inductees will be an awesome addition to our Hall. And for Ron Wolf specifically, I can’t wait to break out some stories!”
Executive Director Brian Lammi: “Herbert Kohler transformed Wisconsin into a worldwide golfing destination and brought six golf Majors to Wisconsin. Marques Johnson led the Milwaukee Bucks back to prominence, including five Central Division titles. Ron Wolf restored the glory to Titletown, trading for Brett Favre, signing Reggie White, and ultimately leading the Packers back to a World Championship for the first time in 29 years. Together, they represent an incredible class of Wisconsin athletic excellence.”
Herbert Kohler, Jr.:“It is quite an honor to be considered and inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame particularly alongside Marques Johnson and Ron Wolf, both of whom I have cheered for quite aggressively. Rather loudly for Marques, silently but emphatically for Ron.
One of our Guiding Principles at Kohler Co. is to design and create on the leading edge. When it comes to golf that hasn’t been easy considering the more than 15,000 golf courses in this country. With Pete Dye however, we were able to create some of the best, and over the years have brought six golf Majors to the Village of Kohler ----- two Women’s Open, a U.S. Senior Open, three PGA Championships and coming up in just two years, the Ryder Cup.
What made this possible was the strong support from Wisconsin’s very enthusiastic fans. Today, our courses and the others that have followed in our footsteps have placed Wisconsin at the very top of the game of golf.”
Marques Johnson adds:“What a tremendous honor to be inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. When I think of the all-time greats that have graced the Wisconsin sports scene, to be included in that number is humbling. Thank you to the supportive fans that continue to display unrivaled passion for their teams and athletes.”
Ron Wolf:“It is such a wonderful honor to be inducted into the Wisconsin hall of fame and I owe so much to so many who made this possible. I thank you for this most prestigious award.”
No one in the state of Wisconsin has done more to elevate the game of golf than Herbert Kohler, Jr. Always an avid fan of professional golf, Kohler Jr. expanded his involvements into creating two championship level golf courses. Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits have hosted six separate majors; the U.S. Women’s Open; the PGA Championship, three time; the U.S. Senior Open, and the upcoming Ryder Cup in 2020. These tournaments and their host course have turned Wisconsin into an international golf destination and given fans the chance to see the game’s best compete right here in Wisconsin.
Milwaukee Bucks legend Marques Johnson came to Milwaukee after being selected third in the 1977 NBA draft. During his seven-year career with the Bucks, Johnson was a four-time All-Star, an All-NBA First Team, and two-time All-NBA Second Team player. An all-around talent, He averaged 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal per game. Johnson is one of those players that changed the direction of the sport through his work ethic and uniqueness. He changed the role of the small forward position coining the phrase “point forward”. His ability to score as a forward and shooting guard was impressive and it opened up doors for offenses to be run through players in his positions like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Lebron James. Johnson helped lead the Bucks through their most successful period in team history. From 1980 until 1984 Johnson was a part of five straight Central Division teams.
Ron Wolf became General Manager of the Green Bay Packers during the 1991 season. That first season was the only losing season that he had with the Packers. Right away, Wolf made some big changes and the Packers started seeing some success. Following the 1991 season he hired Mile Holmgren as head coach and traded for Brett Favre. Following the 1992 season Wolf signed the most sought after free-agent, Reggie White. White delivered on the field, and also made Green Bay a much more desirable team to play on for future prospects. In Wolf’s eleven seasons with the Packers, the team made it to the playoffs six consecutive seasons with two consecutive Super Bowl appearances, a win over the Patriots in 1997 and a loss against the Broncos in 1998. Wolf retired from the Packers in 2001 and was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class.