Former Tulane and Green Bay Packers standout Max McGee was honored by the Southeastern Conference for his accomplishments both on and off the field.
July 25, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, La. - Former Tulane University football standout Max McGee was recognized for his athletic and professional careers as the former All-Southeastern Conference running back was named to the SEC's "Stories of Character" as part of the league's 75th Anniversary celebration.
A star halfback for the Green Wave from 1951-53, McGee went on to have a long and illustrious NFL career as a wide receiver with the Green Bay Packers. McGee is one of seven former student-athletes from a Louisiana school listed among the "Stories of Character," joining LSU's James Andrews (track), Madeline Doucet West (basketball), Cecila Montanini Cuntz (gymnastics), Frank Polozola (baseball), Collis Temple, Jr. (basketball) and David Toms (golf).
The SEC's "Stories of Character" features 75 former student-athletes and the contributions they have made to society since the completion of their collegiate careers, applying what they learned in the classroom and in athletic competition to make an impact in their communities and beyond. The list includes six individuals from each of the conference's 12 member institutions and one each from Georgia Tech, Sewanee and Tulane, three of the original members of the conference.
Perhaps known best for his playing career, McGee added to his legacy in 1999 when he founded the Max McGee National Research Center for Juvenile Diabetes at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin to raise money for diabetes research. Together, the Max McGee Research Center and the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin have committed to establishing an internationally recognized center for diabetes research.
McGee and his wife, Denise, know intimately the challenges of living with diabetes. Diabetes is prevalent in McGee's family. His brother fought diabetes in his lifetime, and today Max and Denise's younger son Dallas lives every day with Type I diabetes.
The McGees wanted to make a difference, not just for their own son, but for the 1.6 million American people living today with Type 1 diabetes. Their hope was to secure support for the creation of a new, state-of-the-art diabetes research center.
A native of Longview, Texas, McGee came to Tulane from White Oak High School where he was a four-year letterman and was named All-Texas twice. A member of Tulane's Freshman Team in 1950, he led the SEC with 125 yards per game. As a member of the Tulane varsity, McGee led the Green Wave in rushing in each year with 543 yards in 1951, 428 in 1952 and 430 in 1953. His best day running the ball came against The Citadel when he galloped for 132 yards on only nine carries on Sept. 19, 1953.
An accomplished receiver out of the backfield, McGee completed his career with 34 receptions for 437 yards and four touchdowns. He also was a weapon on special teams where he saw time as a punt and kickoff return man, as well as serving as the team's primary punter. McGee averaged 13.3 yards on 12 career punt returns, 21.3 yards on 36 career kickoff returns and 36.4 yards on 142 career punting attempts.
At the conclusion of his collegiate career, McGee held Tulane career records for kickoff returns (142), kickoff return yards (766), kickoff return average (21.3), total punts (142) and punting yardage (5,174). His 1,401 career rushing yards ranked fourth in team history at the time of his graduation, and still ranks 14th in the Tulane record book. In addition, McGee currently ranks 10th in Tulane history in career kickoff return average, total punts and yards per rush (4.46).
Following his Tulane career, McGee was drafted in the fifth round of the 1954 NFL Draft by Green Bay and went on to star at wide receiver and punter for the Packers for 12 seasons. After hauling in 36 passes for 614 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns as a rookie, McGee missed the next two seasons while serving as a pilot in the United States Air Force. Upon his return to the team, McGee led the Packers in receiving from 1958-62.
After the legendary Vince Lombardi took over as the team's head coach in 1959, McGee helped the team to six NFL championship appearances, five NFL championship victories and two Super Bowl wins during the remaining years of his career.
McGee hauled in at least 30 passes eight times, had at least 600 receiving yards on seven occasions and averaged at least 15.0 yards per grab in all but his final season in the NFL. In 1961, he was named to the Pro Bowl after posting career high-water marks in receptions (51) and receiving yards (883) while scoring seven touchdowns.
His best-known game, however, came in Super Bowl I when he came off the bench in relief of an injured Boyd Dowler early in the ballgame to tally seven catches for 138 yards and two scores - including a highlight-reel, one-handed reception from Bart Starr for a 37-yard touchdown - in the Packers' 35-10 win over Kansas City.
He finished his pro career with 345 receptions for 6,346 yards and 12 carries for 121 yards. He also scored 51 touchdowns (50 receiving and 1 fumble recovery). On special teams, he punted 256 times for 10,647 yards, an average of 41.6 yards per punt, and returned 4 kickoffs for 69 yards.
After his retirement, McGee remained part of the Packers' program as the radio team's color commentator where he was named Wisconsin "Sportscaster of the Year" an unprecedented 10 times from 1979-98.
McGEE'S CAREER STATS AT TULANE
Rushing Year Att. Yards Avg. Long TD 1951 123 543 4.7 41 3 1952 109 428 3.9 25 3 1953 82 430 5.2 75 2 Career 314 1,401 4.5 75 8
Receiving Year Rec. Yards Avg. TD 1951 9 72 8.0 0 1952 12 199 16.6 2 1953 13 166 12.8 2 Career 34 437 12.9 4
Punt Returns Year No. Yards Avg. TD 1951 0 0 ---- 0 1952 8 132 16.5 0 1953 4 27 6.7 0 Career 12 159 13.3 0
Kickoff Returns Year No. Yards Avg. TD 1951 10 175 17.5 0 1952 9 220 24.4 0 1953 17 371 21.8 0 Career 36 766 21.3 0
Punting Year No. Yards Avg. 1951 68 2,380 35.0 1952 49 1,838 37.5 1953 25 956 38.2 Career 142 5,174 36.4
McGEE'S CAREER NFL STATS IN GREEN BAY
Receiving Year Rec. Yards Avg. TD 1954 36 614 17.1 9 1957 17 273 16.1 1 1958 37 655 17.7 7 1959 30 695 23.3 5 1960 38 787 20.7 4 1961 51 883 17.3 7 1962 49 920 16.7 3 1963 39 749 19.2 6 1964 31 592 19.1 6 1965 10 154 15.4 1 1966 4 91 22.8 1 1967 3 33 11.0 0 Career 345 6,346 18.4 50