(Book orders will begin shipping on October 10th, 2016)
Walk On This Way The On-Going Legacy of the Wisconsin Football Walk-On Tradition 6x9 Hardcover 256 pages with photos included.
University of Wisconsin football has enjoyed a renaissance over the past 25 years due in large part to the hiring of Barry Alvarez as head coach in 1990. Alvarez’s initial blueprint for rebuilding the abysmal UW program, which had won only six games between 1987-89, included utilizing walk-ons —student–athletes who initially play without an athletic scholarship— to bolster his depleted roster.
Four short years later the Badgers won their first–ever Rose Bowl by beating UCLA, 21–16, with two former walk–ons —Joe Panos and Jeff Wirth— serving as team captains.
Walk On This Way highlights the contributions made by the “undersized, underdeveloped and under recruited” players that have played a vital role in the success of Wisconsin football’s 216 wins and six Rose Bowl appearances since 1990, featuring first person accounts and over 100 interviews with former players and coaches.
Walk–ons are now a staple of the highly successful UW program. Former Badger walk–ons like Jim Leonhard, JJ Watt, Mark Tauscher, Ricky Wagner and Chris Maragos have gone on to excel in the NFL, but many others continue the legacy of making significant contributions to the program while toiling outside of the limelight.
Walk On This Way provides Wisconsin fans with the stories of the unheralded and underappreciated players whose love for the game and sacrifice for the good of the team helped build one of the top football programs in the country.