Ron Vander Kelen

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Ron Vander Kelen
No. 11, 15
Position: Quarterback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1939-11-06) November 6, 1939 (age 75)
Place of birth: United States Preble, Wisconsin
Career information
College: Wisconsin
AFL draft: 1963 / Round: 21 / Pick: 163
(By the New York Jets)
Undrafted: 1963
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
TD-INT: 6-11
Yards: 1375
QB Rating: 50.0
Stats at
Vander Kelen (#15, white) in the 1963 Rose Bowl

Ronald Vander Kelen (born November 6, 1939)[1] is a former American football quarterback. He played at the collegiate level at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is best known for his MVP performance in the 1963 Rose Bowl, where he broke several Rose Bowl records (some of which still stand). In that game, he orchestrated a legendary fourth quarter comeback attempt against the USC Trojans in the first #1 (USC) versus #2 (Wisconsin) bowl game in college football history. Vander Kelen was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1991.[2]

In August 1963, he was named the starter in the Chicago College All-Star Game (a game which pitted college all-stars selected from the graduating class from the previous season against the NFL champion) over a group of quarterbacks which included 1962 Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker. The college all-stars defeated the Green Bay Packers 20-17, with a 74-yard touchdown completion to his college teammate, Pat Richter, providing the winning touchdown. Vander Kelen was named the game MVP.[3] The 1963 game would prove to be the last time the college all-stars defeated the NFL champion in this series.

He was not drafted in the 1963 NFL Draft and drafted in the 21st round of the 1963 AFL Draft by the New York Jets. He entered into a contract with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent. He was the backup to Fran Tarkenton from 1963 to 1966[3] and competed for the starting position after Tarkenton was traded to the New York Giants in 1967.

Early life[edit]

Vander Kelen was born on November 6, 1939 in Preble, Wisconsin, which has since been annexed by Green Bay. He graduated from Preble High School in 1958.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rose Bowl Hall of Fame Inductees
  3. ^ a b John Underwood (September 9, 2010). "Vander Kelen". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on November 27, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2011. 

External links[edit]