Hank Bauer (American football)

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Hank Bauer
No. 37
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1954-07-15) July 15, 1954 (age 60)
Place of birth: Scottsbluff, Nebraska
Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight: 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school: Magnolia (CA)
College: California Lutheran
Undrafted: 1976
Career history
As player:
*Inactive and/or offseason member only
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Awards
  • Chargers Most Inspirational Player 1978
  • Chargers Special Teams MVP 1980–1981
  • NFL Alumni Special Teams Player of the Year
  • TBS NFL Special Teams Player of the Year
Honors
NFL Records
  • NFL Record 52 special teams tackles in 1981
  • Scored 3 TDs on 4 carries, but gained just 1 net yard vs New Orleans (9 December 1979)
Career NFL statistics
Games played - started: 86 - 4
Touchdowns: 21
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com

Henry John Bauer (born July 15, 1954)[1] is a former American football running back and current professional television and radio broadcaster.

Professional career[edit]

Dallas Cowboys[edit]

After graduating California Lutheran University, Bauer signed as a free agent in 1976 with the Dallas Cowboys only to be cut three weeks into training camp.[2]

San Diego Chargers[edit]

He was picked up in 1977 by the San Diego Chargers and went on to a distinguished playing and broadcasting career entirely in San Diego. Bauer was honored in November 2009 as one of the 50 Greatest Chargers[3] in team history as part of the Chargers' 50th Anniversary season celebration held at a large outdoor ceremony in downtown San Diego. Bauer also developed as a noted media spokesman during his career and went on to TV sportcasting as well as radio.

Bauer holds the NFL single season record for most special teams tackles with 52. As a short-yardage specialist and often referred to "Hank the Howitzer" for his explosive running, Bauer finished one season with 18 carries for a total of 28 yards, scoring 8 touchdowns and achieving 9 first downs. Bauer was forced to retire in 1983, after playing six games with a broken neck.[4]

Personal life[edit]

After retiring from professional football he coached running backs and special teams for four years with the Chargers, then became a sports anchor for KFMB from 1987–2002.

Since 1998 he has been the color commentator for the Chargers radio broadcasts on FM105.3 and AM1360 in San Diego. Bauer appeared in the NFL Films production, Americas Game: Missing Rings with Dan Fouts and Kellen Winslow with several observations about their 1981–1982 season. Bauer was the sports anchor at KFMB-TV8 in San Diego from 1987 through March, 2003.

Bauer appeared and provided commentary in the NFL Films production, The San Diego Chargers: The Complete History released on DVD in September, 2009 commemorating their 50th anniversary.

The highlight of his career included two USO tours on behalf of the NFL. In 1979 he joined Joe Klecko, Jon Kolb, and Matt Blair visiting troops in Japan, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines, and Hawaii. In 1980 he became one of only 19 players to make more than one USO Tour, visiting troops in Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Germany.

During a broadcast of an August 2014 pre-season game between the Chargers and 49ers, Bauer made a joke to his broadcast partner, Josh Lewin, that was widely seen as playing on an anti-Semitic stereotype.[5] Bauer apologized a day after the remark was publicized by Deadspin.[6] He was subsequently suspended for the team's preseason final vs the Arizona Cardinals.[7]

References[edit]