Class of 1991
Paul Giel was truly a Gopher legend. On the gridiron Giel rushed for 2,188 yards; caught 281 passes; posted 417 return yards on both punts and kicks; en route to collecting 3,165 career all-purpose yards as well as 22 touchdowns. Giel, who was awarded the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1954, was also a two-time All-American and the first-ever two-time Big Ten MVP. In 1953, Giel was named as the College Football Player of the Year and finished runner-up to Notre Dame's Johnny Lattner in the Heisman Trophy race, in what remains the closest balloting ever recorded. In addition, Giel starred as a pitcher on the baseball diamond, where, from 1953-54, he was named to the All-American and All-Big Ten teams. On the mound, he earned 21 wins, and still ranks second more than a half century later for the most all-time career strikeouts with 243. Giel went on to play Major League Baseball for six seasons, interrupted only by a two-year stint to serve his country in the military, and then later served as the U of M's longtime Director of Men's Intercollegiate Athletics. Among his many honors and accolades, Giel was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975. In addition, the Gopher football program named an award in his honor which is given annually to student-athlete who exemplifies unselfishness and concern about the U of M both on and off the field.
M Club Hall of Fame