Pat Richter, the star receiver for the University of Wisconsin football team who went on to rejuvenate the Badgers' fortunes as athletic director, has been named the Person of the Year by the Big Ten Club of Southern California.
Richter was honored Tuesday at a banquet at the Wrigley Mansion in Pasadena, Calif., where in the 1963 Rose Bowl he set records by catching 11 passes for 163 yards in the Badgers' dramatic 42-37 loss to Southern California.
Richter, the last nine-time letterwinner at Wisconsin, was an All-American in football and also played basketball and baseball. He was a first-round draft pick of the Washington Redskins and played eight NFL seasons.
During his tenure as athletic director from 1989-2004, Richter eliminated a substantial deficit and oversaw three Rose Bowl victories, the start of a 13-year streak of NCAA men's basketball tournament appearances, and the construction of the Kohl Center, and laid the groundwork for the renovation of Camp Randall Stadium.
Notably, Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez, whose hiring by Richter was the cornerstone of UW's athletic renaissance, was honored by the Big Ten Club as Man of the Year in 2007.
Among his various honors, Richter is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, and the UW Athletics Hall of Fame. He was named to Sports Illustrated’s NCAA Football All-Century team.
Also being honored at Tuesday's ceremony, as the Big Ten Club Member of the Year, is UW graduate Derek Hildebrandt.
A former Bucky mascot, Hildebrandt graduated in 1993 with degrees in economics and psychology. He is a senior vice president with SypderLynk, a mobile marketing company.
Hildebrandt founded the Greater Bucky Open, an annual charity outing for the UW Children’s Hospital and student mascot program. He served as president of the Big Ten Club in 2007.