The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame honors distinguished members of Wisconsin's sports history. The Hall of Fame hosts several annual events, including an induction ceremony to honor new members, nomination luncheons, speaker series breakfasts and more. Bronze commemorative plaques honoring the members of the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, including Hank Aaron, Vince Lombardi, Oscar Robertson, Bart Starr and others, are displayed in the Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame promenade in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was created in 1951 by the Milwaukee Arena (now UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena). It was created to "honor outstanding sports figures whose achievements earned them special acclaim." The Hall of Fame plaques were originally available only to paying customers at the Milwaukee Arena; however for the 50th anniversary in 2001, the Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation (WSDC) constructed a Wisconsin Athletic Walk of Fame outside of the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena in Milwaukee so the plaques could be on permanent public display at no cost.
In 2014, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame was acquired by Lammi Sports Management, a Milwaukee-based sports marketing corporation. Shortly after the acquisition, Lammi Sports announced that Wisconsin Hall of Fame LLC will manage and control the assets related to the Athletic Hall of Fame.
On October 27, 2015, the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame announced that Wisconsin Badgers men's basketball coach Bo Ryan and Green Bay Packers all-time leading wide receiver Donald Driver were selected for induction into the Athletic Hall of Fame's 65th Anniversary Class. The pair will be inducted during a special event celebrating their careers and contributions to athletics in Wisconsin on April 30, 2016 at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the site of the first Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame induction event in 1951.
On October 25, 2016, it was announced that Wisconsin Badgers Heisman Trophy winner Ron Dayne, LPGA legend Sherri Steinhauer, and Green Bay Packers Super Bowl Champion Charles Woodson will be inducted as part of the 2017 Class on April 29, 2017. Bud Selig will also be honored for his efforts to advance athletics and better the community in the state of Wisconsin with the Lifetime Achievement Award. 2016 inductee and Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Donald Driver will serve as the MC for the event, taking place again at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.
There are over 135 people inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame. Inductees come from a variety of sports, including auto racing, football, basketball, water skiing, bowling, baseball, and bicycling, and various Olympic sports.
A full list of inductees, along with pictures of their corresponding Hall of Fame plaques, can be found on the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame's official website: www.wihalloffame.com.
An asterisk (*) indicates a deceased member