|Date of birth:January 9, 1934|
|Place of birth: Montgomery, Alabama|
|High school: Montgomery (AL) Sidney Lanier|
|NFL Draft: 1956 / Round: 17 / Pick: 200|
|Debuted in 1956 for the Green Bay Packers|
|Last played in 1971 for the Green Bay Packers|
As head coach
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Bryan Bartlett "Bart" Starr (born January 9, 1934) is a former professional American football player and coach. He wore #15 and he was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers from 1956 to 1971, during which time he became the only quarterback in NFL history to lead a team to five championships (1961–62, 1965–67) as well as Super Bowls I and II. He was less successful as the Packers' head coach, compiling a record of 52–76–3 from 1975 to 1983.
He was named the Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls and earned four Pro Bowl selections. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1977. He won the league MVP award in 1966.
Starr has the highest playoff passer rating (104.80) of any quarterback in NFL history and a playoff record of 9–1. Starr's career completion percentage of 57.4 was an NFL best when he retired in 1972. Starr also held the Packers' franchise record for games played (196) for 32 years, through the 2003 season.
Starr played at the University of Alabama from 1952 to 1956 and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the 17th round of the 1956 draft (200th overall).
Bart Starr was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, the son of Ben, a labor foreman with the state highway department, and Lula Starr. Bart Starr’s early life was marked by hardships. Shortly after the start of World War II, his father's reserve unit was activated and in 1942 he was deployed to the Pacific Theater. His was first in the US Army but transferred to the US Air Force for his military career.
Starr had a younger brother, Hilton "Bubbly" Starr. In 1947, Bubbly stepped on a dog bone while playing in the yard and three days later died of tetanus. Starr’s relationship with his father deteriorated after Hilton’s passing. He was an introverted child who rarely showed his emotions and his father pushed Starr to develop more of a mean streak.
Starr attended Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, Alabama. He tried out for the football team in his sophomore year, but decided to quit after two weeks. His father gave him the option of playing football or working in the family garden; Starr chose to return to the football field.
In his junior year, the starting quarterback broke his leg and Starr became the starter. He led Lanier to an undefeated season. In his senior season, Starr was named all-state and All-American, and received college scholarship offers from universities across the country. He seriously considered the University of Kentucky, coached by Bear Bryant. Starr's high school sweetheart, Cherry Louise Morton, was planning to attend Auburn and Starr wished to attend a college close to her. Starr changed his mind and committed to the University of Alabama.
College career (1952–1956)
As the Korean War was fought during Starr’s freshman year, the Southeastern Conference – of which Alabama is a part – allowed freshmen to play varsity ball. Starr did not start for Alabama his freshman year, but did play enough minutes to earn a varsity letter. His high point of the season was in the Orange Bowl, where in quarterback relief he completed eight of 12 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Bart Starr entered his sophomore year as Alabama’s starting quarterback, safety and punter. His punting average of 41.4 yards per kick ranked second in the nation in 1953 behind Zeke Bratkowski. Alabama recorded a 6–2–3 record and lost in the Cotton Bowl to Rice by a score of 28–6. Starr completed 59 of 119 passes for 870 yards, with eight touchdowns that season.
In May 1954, Starr eloped with Cherry Morton. The couple chose to keep their marriage a secret. Colleges often revoked the scholarships of married athletes in the 1950s, believing their focus should remain on sports. Cherry remained in Jackson, Alabama, while Starr returned to the University of Alabama.
That summer, Starr suffered a severe back sprain while punting a football. He rarely played during his junior year due to the injury. The back sprain would occasionally bother him the rest of his football career. After a disappointing season of 4–5–2, Red Drew was replaced by J.B. Whitworth as coach of Alabama.
Whitworth conducted a youth movement in Alabama for the 1955 season and only two seniors started for the team. While healed from the back injury, Starr rarely played in his senior season either. Starr played briefly in the Blue–Gray bowl of 1955.
Johnny Dee, the basketball coach at Alabama, was a friend of Jack Vainisi, the personnel director of the Green Bay Packers. Dees recommended Starr as a prospect to Vainisi. The Packers were convinced that Starr had the ability to succeed in the NFL and would learn quickly. In the 17th round of the 1956 NFL Draft, Starr was selected by the Packers, with the 200th pick.
Starr spent the summer of 1956 living with his in-laws and throwing footballs through a tire in their backyard, in order to prepare for his rookie season. The Packers offered $6500 to sign Starr and he accepted, with the added condition, requested by Starr, that he receive $1000 up front.
Starr began as a backup to Tobin Rote in 1956 and split time with Babe Parilli until 1959, Vince Lombardi's first year as Packers coach. In that season, Lombardi pulled starter Lamar McHan in favor of Starr, and he held the starting job henceforth. The following season the Packers advanced to the 1960 NFL Championship Game, but lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, Lombardi's only post-season loss as a head coach. The Packers returned to the title game and won in 1961 and 1962, both over the New York Giants. In 1966, Starr was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press (AP), the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) and UPI.
Starr was responsible for calling plays when he was quarterback, as was the norm at the time. One of his most famous play calls was in the Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game on the final day of 1967. In Miami, the Packers defeated the AFL champion Oakland Raiders 33–14 in Super Bowl II, Lombardi's final game as head coach of the Packers. Bart Starr and the Packers didn't really surprise the runner-up Raiders, as they were favored by 13 1/2 points going into the game.
The 1967 Packers were the first, last, and so far only team to win three consecutive NFL titles since the playoff system was instituted. Starr's playing career ended at the conclusion of the 1971 season, and at the time had the second best career passer rating at 80.5 (First at the time was Otto Graham at 86.6).
Immediately after his retirement as a player, he served as the Packers' quarterbacks coach in 1972 under Dan Devine, when the Packers won the NFC Central division title at 10–4 with Scott Hunter under center. He was then a broadcaster for CBS for two seasons. When Devine left for Notre Dame after the 1974 season, Starr was hired as head coach of the Packers. He coached the Packers for nine years, the first five as his own general manager. His regular season record was a disappointing 52–76–2 (.408), with a playoff record of 1–1. Posting a 5–3–1 record in the strike-shortened season of 1982, Starr's Packers made their first playoff appearance in ten years (and their last for another 11 years). They defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 41–16 in the expanded wild card round of 16 teams on January 8, 1983, then lost to the Dallas Cowboys 37–26 in the divisional round the following week. He tallied only three other non-losing seasons as Packers coach. After a disappointing 8–8 finish the following year, Starr was dismissed in favor of his former teammate Forrest Gregg, who previously led the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl XVI and coached the Cleveland Browns before.
Starr was voted to the NFL Pro Bowl four times. He was voted NFL Most Valuable Player by both AP and UPI in 1966, and was chosen Super Bowl MVP in 1966 and 1967. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
He is one of five Green Bay Packers to have his number (15) retired by the team. The others are Tony Canadeo (3), Don Hutson (14), Ray Nitschke (66), and Reggie White (92). Of the five, only Starr is still living.
On October 17, 1970, President Richard Nixon spoke at a testimonial reception honoring Bart Starr in the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "We honor him as a very great practitioner of his profession, the proud profession of professional football," Nixon said. "And as we honor him for that, we honor him not only for his technical skill but, as I've indicated, also for something that is just as important: his leadership qualities, his character, his moral fiber ... But I think the best way that I can present Bart Starr to his friends is to say very simply that the sixties will be described as the decade in which football became the number one sport in America, in which the Packers were the number one team, and Bart Starr was proudly the number one Packer."
Starr was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.
Starr has an NFL award named after him. The Bart Starr Award is given annually, by a panel of judges, to an NFL player of outstanding character. Aaron Rodgers was the recipient of the 2014 award, presented in Dallas, Texas.
Head coaching record
|Team||Year||Regular Season||Post Season|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|GB||1975||4||10||0||.286||3rd in NFC Central||–||–||–||–|
|GB||1976||5||9||0||.357||4th in NFC Central||-||-||-|
|GB||1977||4||10||0||.286||4th in NFC Central||-||-||-|
|GB||1978||8||7||1||.531||2nd in NFC Central||-||-||-|
|GB||1979||5||11||0||.313||4th in NFC Central||-||-||-|
|GB||1980||5||10||1||.344||5th in NFC Central||-||-||-|
|GB||1981||8||8||0||.500||2nd in NFC Central||-||-||-|
|GB||1982||5||3||1||.611||3rd in NFC||1||1||.500||Defeated St. Louis Cardinals in first round.
Lost to Dallas Cowboys in second round.
|GB||1983||8||8||0||.500||2nd in NFC Central||-||-||-|
In 1965, Starr and his wife Cherry helped co-found Rawhide Boys Ranch in New London, a facility designed to help at-risk and troubled boys throughout the state of Wisconsin, and continue to be affiliated with it.
In September, 2014, Starr suffered an ischemic stroke followed by a hemorrhagic stroke and a mild heart attack five days later. Although in rehabilitation, his progress has been slowed by seizures.
- Wife: Cherry Louise Morton
- Profootball Hall of fame – Bart Starr
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg. 15
- Mooney, Loren (1998-10-12). "Bart Starr, Green Bay Packers Legend". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
- Butterball 2004 pg. 19–20
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg 17
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 21
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 23
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg 18
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 24–25
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg 21
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 27–28
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 32
- Bart Starr by John Delaney, pg 32
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg 25
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 34–35
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 35–36
- Bart Starr, by John Devaney, pg. 34
- Bart Starr, by John Devaney, pg. 36
- Bart Starr, by John Devaney, pg. 38
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg 26
- Starr, by Bart Starr, pg 29
- Bart Starr, by John Devaney, pg. 40
- "Bart Starr at ProFootballHOF.com". profootballhof.com. Archived from the original on 11 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-12.
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 47–48
- Bart Starr, by John Devaney, pg. 42
- Claerbaut 2004 pg. 49–50
- "Bart Starr is Clearly Underrated". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- "Green Bay Packers.com, "Retired Numbers"". packers.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- The American Presidency Project: Richard Nixon, Remarks at a Testimonial Reception in Honor of Green Bay Packers Quarterback Bart Starr, October 17, 1970
- "Bart Starr Award". superbowlbreakfast.com. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
- "ambassadors: Bart Star [sic]". Retrieved 2014-10-08.
- "Packers legend Bart Starr and wife, Cherry retiring from Lombardi Foundation".
- "Bart Starr".
- Rob Demovsky, "Bart Starr also suffered heart attack", ESPN.com.
- Claerbaut, David (2004), Bart Starr: When Leadership Mattered, Lanham, MD.:Taylor Trade Publishing ISBN 1-58979-117-7
- Bart Starr at the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • Pro-Football-Reference • Databasefootball.com