Bill Wade
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Bill Wade

Bill Wade
Donna Reed Bill Wade 1959
Wade with Donna Reed, 1959
No. 9
Personal information
Born:(1930-10-04)October 4, 1930
Nashville, Tennessee
Died:March 9, 2016(2016-03-09) (aged 85)
Nashville, Tennessee
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school:Montgomery Bell Academy
College:Vanderbilt (1949-1951)
NFL Draft:1952 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Pass attempts:2,523
Pass completions:1,370
Passing Yards:18,530
Passer rating:72.2
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

William James Wade (October 4, 1930 - March 9, 2016) was an American football quarterback who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL). He is considered one of the greatest athletes in Nashville and Vanderbilt University history. Wade is a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. He is best known for being the starting quarterback on the Chicago Bears' 1963 NFL championship team.

Wade played for Vanderbilt University. He was named the Southeastern Conference's (SEC) Most Valuable Player and a second-team All-American. He was named MVP of the 1951 North-South Shrine Game in Miami. Wade also played in the Senior Bowl of 1952 and was selected to play in the College All-Star Game in Chicago.

He was the first player selected in the 1952 NFL draft, by the Los Angeles Rams.

Quarterbacking the Rams for seven seasons, Wade's best year personally was 1958, when he led the NFL in passing yards with 2,875. He was traded to the Bears in 1961 with teammates Del Shofner and John Guzik for two players and a draft pick. Wade topped the league in 1962 in pass completions and attempts, and threw for 466 yards on Nov 11 in Dallas, second in franchise history to Johnny Lujack (468).[1] He was the first Bear to record four games with 300+ passing yards in a season.[2] In 1963, he led Chicago to the 1963 NFL Championship Game, scoring both Bears touchdowns on two 5-yard drives after turnovers in a 14-10 victory over the New York Giants in a game played in freezing weather conditions at Wrigley Field.

Wade in 1959

Wade was named to the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.[3]

Following eye surgery for glaucoma, Wade became legally blind. In an interview with Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune on January 30, 2007, days before the Bears played in Super Bowl XLI in Miami Gardens, Florida, Wade said from his Nashville home, "I could get there for the game, but I can't see it." He added: "I've got a Bears cap on right now."[4] He died on March 9, 2016 in Nashville.[5][6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ As of 2017, a record shared with Jay Cutler (2014) and Brian Hoyer (2016).
  3. ^ "Vanderbilt Athletics Announces Inaugural Hall of Fame Class". Vanderbilt University. June 26, 2008. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008.
  4. ^ Downey, Mike (January 30, 2007). "Bears still rule Wade's world". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017.
  5. ^ "Bill Wade, Star Quarterback Who Led Bears to the N.F.L. Title, Dies at 85". The New York Times. AP. March 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Vanderbilt, NFL great Bill Wade dies". The Tennessean. March 10, 2016. Retrieved 2016.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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