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Otto Schnellbacher

Inducted 1972

1923 – 2008
Inducted – 1972

Otto Schnellbacher is one of the rare atheletes in sports history to have played professionally in both the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. Twice an All-Big Six end (1946 and 1947), he joined teammate Ray Evans on the 1947 All-American football team to become the first Kansas Jayhawks to be named football All-Americans. Schnellbacher finished his playing career as the Jayhawks’ all-time leader in both receptions (58) and receiving yards (1,069). Both marks stood 22 years, until 1969. He was named to the all-time KU football team in a poll of fans in 1969. As a senior, Schnellbacher was co-captain of the 1948 Orange Bowl team at Kansas. He went on to become an all-pro defensive back for the New York Giants in 1950 and 1951. He led the NFL in interceptions in 1951 with 11. As a member of the Kansas University basketball team, Schnellbacher earned first team All-conference honors four times. His career at Kansas was interrupted with a two-year stint in the military during 1944 and 1945. After graduating from KU, he spent the 1948-49 season in the NBA with the St. Louis Bombers and the Providence Steamrollers before changing sports to play football for the Giants in the NFL. Also inducted into the University of Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. Born April 15, 1923 – Sublette, Kansas. Died March 10, 2008 – Lawrence, KS. Graduated Sublette (KS) H.S., 1941; University of Kansas, 1948.

Presented by Frank Sabatini

Otto Schnellbacher
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