Inducted – 2003
Known as the “One Man Gang,” Elmer L. Hackney of Oberlin achieved near legendary status during his playing days at Kansas State University during the 1930s. Also called the “Mahrajah of Might” and “Mr. Muscle,” Hackney impressed teammates and opponents alike. In 1938, Northwestern players called Hackney the strongest man they’d ever come up against in a football uniform. A bruising fullback who was 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Hackney was selected All-Big Six as a sophomore in 1937 and junior in ’38. He was being touted for the All-American team in ’39 before an injury ended his season. Hackney earned his greatest fame in track and field. He won the NCAA championship twice and the Big Six title three times in the shot put. He established an incredible 18 new shot put records in 12 collegiate meets during his junior season, including an American record of 55-feet, 11-inches. Hackney earned a berth on the 1940 U.S. Olympic Team, but the Games were cancelled because of World War II. A rare blend of strength and speed, Hackney was also a three-time Big Six heavyweight wrestling champion. Following his graduation from Kansas State in 1940, Hackney played seven seasons in the National Football League, the last five with the Detroit Lions. At Oberlin High School, Hackney was a two-time state champion (all classes) in the heavyweight division. He was inducted into the Kansas State Hall of Fame in 1991. Born July 8, 1916 - Decatur County, Kansas. Died June 2, 1969 – Manhattan, Kansas. Graduated Decatur County High School, 1936; Kansas State University, 1940.