Hank Bauer (American football)
|Date of birth:||July 15, 1954|
|Place of birth:||Scottsbluff, Nebraska|
|NFL Draft:||1977 / Round: free agent|
|1977-1982||San Diego Chargers|
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. Charger team captain|
|Records:||NFL Record 52 special teams tackles in 1981; 21 career touchdowns; scorced 3TDs on 4 carries, but gained just 1 net yard vs New Orleans (9 December 1979)|
|Playing stats at|
After graduating California Lutheran University, Bauer signed as a free agent in 1976 with the Dallas Cowboys only to be cut in training camp. 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 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. He later 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.