Ron Dayne, the NCAA Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) career rushing leader and 1999 Heisman Trophy winner, will have his No. 33 officially retired by the University of Wisconsin Department of Athletics at the Badgers’ 2007 home finale against Michigan on Nov. 10.
“I’m thrilled we are going to be able to recognize Ron in this way,” said UW Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez, who also was Dayne’s coach. “He was obviously a very special player here. We’re pleased he will be back in Madison on Nov. 10 for the ceremony.”
Dayne, currently a running back with the Houston Texans, is able to be in Madison for the number retirement because the Texans do not play that weekend.
No one has worn No. 33 for the Badgers since Dayne left following the 1999 season. His name and number were unveiled on the façade of Camp Randall Stadium in a memorable post-game ceremony after the Badgers had defeated Iowa, 41-3, to clinch a Big Ten title on Nov. 13, 1999. Dayne broke the NCAA career rushing mark in that contest. Dayne’s number, however, has never been officially retired.
The rushing total recognized by the NCAA as the record (Dayne’s 6,397 yards from 1996-99) does not include bowl games. Including bowl games, Dayne rushed for 7,125 yards and 71 touchdowns on 1,220 carries, all school records. He was a runaway winner in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting and won the Maxwell, Walter Camp and Doak Walker Awards that season, as well. He was a three-time, first-team All-Big Ten selection and member of both the 1998 and 1999 Big Ten championship teams. Dayne rushed for a combined 446 yards and five TDs in the Badgers’ Rose Bowl wins in 1999 and 2000, earning game MVP honors both times.
Dayne was the No. 11 overall selection (N.Y. Giants) in the 2000 National Football League draft. He has played for the Giants, Denver and now, Houston, during his eight-year NFL career.