Oct. 25, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Len Dawson took Purdue quarterback play to a whole new level. He opened his first season as a starter throwing four touchdown passes in a 31-0 victory over Missouri, and then, like Dale Samuels before him, Dawson led his team over No. 1-ranked Notre Dame in South Bend (ending a 13-game Irish win-streak.
Behind its anointed "Golden Boy," Purdue won three Old Oaken Buckets, two Cannons and two Shillelaghs, going a collective 7-1-1 against Indiana, Notre Dame and Illinois in "trophy" games. At the end of his career, Dawson held Purdue records with 3,325 passing yards and 29 touchdowns.
His most-lasting connection, however, would be with assistant coach Hank Stram. Later, with Stram as head coach, Dawson led the Kansas City Chiefs to three AFL titles and a victory in Super Bowl IV, of which he was MVP. He also set the trend of quarterbacks becoming sportscasters, something Dawson did part-time to "supplement" his income while playing in Kansas City and then turned it into a long-term profession after his playing days were over.
Dawson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.
Dawson will be recognized in absentia during Purdue's Nov. 6 home game vs. Wisconsin.
In recognition of its "Cradle of Quarterbacks" heritage and with help from thousands of on-line voters this spring, Purdue's Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, in conjunction with "Gold & Black Illustrated" and the Office of Trademark Licensing, has selected Purdue's top 12 quarterbacks of all-time from a list of 31 multiple-time starters.
A different quarterback will be highlighted each week during the 2010 season. Several will appear on campus during the fall and will be honored at President's Council pregame programs and during games.