2017 - Barry Alvarez
Barry Alvarez is in his 14th year as Director of Athletics at the University of Wisconsin 2016-17. Alvarez served as A.D. and football coach from 2004-05. During Alvarez's tenure at the head of the athletic department, UW has won 14 team national titles and 57 conference regular-season.
2016 - Bud Selig
MLB’S Commissioner Emeritus, Bud Selig transformed the game of baseball in many ways during 20+ years with MLB, and is credited with bringing baseball back to Milwaukee. A cancer survivor himself, he used MLB to raise cancer awareness, support research and celebrate survivorship.
2015 - Bob Uecker
“Mr. Baseball” started his career as a catcher for the Milwaukee Braves in 1962 and later became a television host and actor. Uecker is a beloved member of the Milwaukee community and has been the Milwaukee Brewers play-by-play announcer since 1971.
2014 - Robin Yount
With a 20-year career with the Milwaukee Brewers, Robin Yount collected more hits in the 1980s than any other player. This MVP gives back to the community in many ways, and has been a great friend of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
2013 - Andy North
A Wisconsin native, Andy North has embarked on a successful PGA career, winning the 1978 and 1985 U.W. Open Championships, and becoming one of the sport’s top earners. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
2012 - David Robinson
Known by the NBA fans as “The Admiral,” David Robinson is a scholar and athlete. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Robinson was a first-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs. The David Robinson Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to community programs.
2011 - Green Bay Packers
Thirteen representatives from Super Bowl I, II, XXXI and XLV joined us to recognize the four Super Bowl Championship teams. Each of the players and coaches recounted how difficult it was to get to the Super Bowl and come away victorious, but what an honor it is to be a member of the Green Bay Packers.
2010 - Mike Ditka
For the first time, the Award of Excellence was presented to one of the Chicago Bears. Not just any Bear— ”Da Coach.” Iron Mike Ditka was presented the award for his excellence in football, as well as his philanthropy.
2009 - Roger staubach
Roger Staubach is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, a Heisman Trophy winner, and a legendary Hall of Fame quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Today, he is a successful business person and heavily involved with his community.
2008 - Willie Davis
Willie Davis made his mark on the Green Bay Packers as a competitive defensive lineman. He earned his master’s degree, has been president of All-Pro Broadcasting since 1976 and silenced the crowed at the 18th Annual Dinner Ball with his personal story of prostate cancer.
2007 - Mario Andretti
Having proven himself a winner at all levels of competition, Mario Andretti is often referred to as the greatest race car driver of all time. He took the checkered flag 111 times during his career, which stretched over five decades.
2006 - Mia Hamm
Mia Hamm is widely recognized as the world’s best all-around women’s soccer player, a pioneer in her sport, and a role model for athletes and fans alike. In 1999, she founded the Mia Hamm Foundation to raise funds for those in need of bone marrow transplants.
2005 - Cal ripkEn jr.
Recognized as MLB’s all-time Iron Man, Cal Ripken Jr. broke the record for consecutive games played with an outstanding 2,632 consecutive games. Ripken retired from baseball in 1998 as one of only seven players to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits.
2004 - Mark Johnson
Mark Johnson’s MVP performance with the U.S. Olympic Hockey team in the 1980 Lake Placid winter games made our nation cheer. His achievements include 11 years in the National Hockey League and his All-American performance as a Badgers hockey player.
2003 - Peggy Fleming
The Olympic Gold Medalist and three-time World Champion figure skater, Peggy Fleming brought grace, beauty and enthusiasm to her career for over 2 decades. After fighting her own battle with breast cancer, she became an advocate for early detection.
2002 - Hank Aaron
At the time of his retirement, Hank Aaron held most of Major League Baseball’s key career power-hitting records outright. The Home Run King also has received the Presidential Citizens Medal and numerous civic awards for his contributions to youth programs.
2001 - jack nicklaus
As one of the greatest and most revered golfers in history, Jack Nicklaus was named one of the greatest athletes of the 20th Century. After having played golf with Vince Lombardi in 1964, Nicklaus closed the circle by accepting the Award of Excellence.
2000 - John Wooden
Exhibiting excellence in sport, Wooden is the only man to be in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and a coach. His legacy results from his unparalleled championship-winning record along with his brilliance as a tactician and teacher.
1999 - Don Shula
Coach Shula led the Miami Dolphins to 347 a total of wins, surpassing any other NFL coach in victories with only two losing seasons in his 36-year career. Coach Shula also remains unbeaten in his continuing contribution to humanitarian efforts.
1998 - eddie robinson
Coach Robinson amassed the most victories by an NCAA Division I football coach in the history of the game. More importantly, Coach Robinson was a molder of men and a positive influence on every community he touched.
1997 - Bart Starr
Bart Starr’s legacy began under the successful coaching of Vince Lombardi where the Hall of fame quarterback won two Super Bowl games. Now, he continues Lombardi’s legacy as an influential Chairperson of the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
1996 - Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf
The commanding general of the Gulf War took on another fight with prostate cancer and, in the same way, won his personal battle. Gen. Schwarzkopf was the worthy spokesperson for the fight against cancer.
1995 - Dan JAnsen
Few will forget the 1994 Winter Olympic Games and the heroics shown by one of the greatest speed skaters of all time. Not to be denied, Milwaukee’s own Dan Jansen captured the gold and the fifth annual Award of Excellence.
1994 - Jane & lloyd Pettit
Few people have left a lasting imprint on the city of Milwaukee more than Jane and Lloyd Pettit. Their behind-the-scenes work to improve our community has influenced the lives of all Milwaukeeans.
1993 - president george h.w. bush
The 43rd President of the United States was honored for his stately service to country and pronounced philanthropic efforts with Thousand Points of Light, which encourages individual contribution to society.
1992 - bob hope
Bob Hope, a celebrated ambassador of humor, tireless entertainer, frequent participant in the annual Vince Lombardi Golf Classic, and a noble American, took center stage in 1992 to accept the Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence.
1991 - pete rozelle
Pete Rozelle, an influential leader in the NFL, received the inaugural Vince Lombardi Award of Excellence. As NFL commissioner, Rozelle presented the World Championship Game trophy to Coach Lombardi after the Packer’s victory in Super Bowl I.