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Robert Teague belongs in UW Hall of Fame -- Fred Budde

Robert Teague belongs in UW Hall of Fame -- Fred Budde


In 1949, Ivy Williamson entered his inaugural year as the University of Wisconsin football coach. Williamson took over a two-win team and decided to shake things up mid-season and start a senior reserve running back, Bob Teague. Teague started the remainder of the season and was a spectacular running back, becoming the first Black athlete to start a contest for the Wisconsin football team.

Teague started the final five or six games for the Badgers as the team finished 4-2. He led the 1949 squad in rushing yards (521), yards per carry (5.4), and touchdowns (6). He placed second in the conference in rushing and was named second team all conference.

UW football’s first Black starter was an undeniable star on the gridiron -- but more astounding feats were achieved by Teague as a pioneering journalist who covered the most challenging stories of the 20th century.

Teague was hired as the first Black reporter of the Milwaukee Journal in 1950. After military service, he moved to New York City in 1956 and became a successful reporter for the New York Times. In 1963, he became a reporter for New York's NBC affiliate, WNBC, covering some of America’s most compelling stories including national political conventions and a series of events relating to the Civil Rights movement.

Teague wrote several books including an innovative study that critiqued broadcast journalism.

Teague’s accomplishments during a period of heightened obstacles should make him an overwhelming choice for the UW Athletic Hall of Fame.

Fred Budde, Madison, UW Law 1981

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