Dayne's Number to be Officially Retired

The NCAA's all-time leading rusher and the most famous running back in Wisconsin's history will have his number retired during UW's home finale against Michigan.

MADISON – Ron Dayne, the NCAA BCS (formerly Division I-A) career rushing leader and 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, will have his famous No.33 officially retired by Wisconsin at its home finale against Michigan on November 10.

Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez made the announcement official on Monday.

"We really felt that this would be the appropriate time to do it," Alvarez said. "Ron has an open date that weekend (a bye week with the NFL's Houston Texans) and he and his family are really excited about coming back and participating. His accomplishments are well documented and we'll be proud to do that officially on November 10th."

No one has worn No. 33 for the Badgers since Dayne left following the 1999 season. His name and number were unveiled on the façade of Camp Randall Stadium in a memorable post-game ceremony after the Badgers had defeated Iowa, 41-3, to clinch a Big Ten title on Nov. 13, 1999.

Dayne broke the NCAA career rushing mark in that contest. Dayne's number, however, has never been officially retired.

The rushing total recognized by the NCAA as the record (Dayne's 6,397 yards from 1996-'99) does not include bowl games. Including bowl games, Dayne rushed for 7,125 yards and 71 touchdowns on 1,220 carries, all school records.

"If they would include his bowl games, I don't know if (his records) would be broken," Alvarez said. "The fact that everyone now has four more games to break the records. If you would tack on those numbers in those four bowl games, I think it would be really hard if you tack those numbers on."

He was a runaway winner in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting (earning 586 out of 770 first place votes) and won the Maxwell, Walter Camp and Doak Walker Awards that season, as well. He was a three-time, first-team All-Big Ten selection and member of both the 1998 and 1999 Big Ten championship teams.

Dayne rushed for a combined 446 yards and five TDs in the Badgers' Rose Bowl wins in 1999 and 2000, earning game MVP honors both times.

Dayne was the No. 11 overall selection (N.Y. Giants) in the 2000 National Football League draft. He played for the Giants and Denver Broncos before signing with Houston.

In addition to his records, Dayne will forever be remembered for his running style, a style that helped label Wisconsin as a dominant power running school.

"He was very unique in his body size, had a fullback built with tremendous speed," Alvarez said. "More than anything else, he identified our program. As you talk to people around the country today and you mention Wisconsin football, you think of a bruising running game with big offensive linemen. Ronny really put the stamp on our program offensively."


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