top of page

Recognized as one of the greatest players in Virginia football history, Bill Dudley lettered at Virginia from 1939-1941 and capped his incredible career by being named the winner of the Maxwell Trophy in 1941 as the nation’s top player. During his senior campaign, as a 19-year-old halfback, he led the nation in scoring (134 points), touchdowns (18) and all-purpose yards (1675). Voted a consensus All-American, he was the first Cavalier player to earn that distinction. Known as a great runner, passer, kicker and defensive player, he finished fifth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy that year.

He was a first-round draft pick of the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers in 1942 and enjoyed a nine-year career in professional football. His career was interrupted in 1943 and 1944 when he served with the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Dudley was a standout player as a professional. He earned all-league honors his rookie season and was tabbed the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1946. That year he led the NFL in rushing, punt returns, interceptions and lateral passes attempted. He was the first player to lead the league in four different statistical categories. Dudley was named to three Pro Bowls and six times was a first- or second-team all-NFL selection.

In 1956 Dudley became the first Virginia player inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Exactly 10 years later he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dudley became the first Virginia player to have his uniform number (35) retired.

Since 1993 The Bill Dudley Scholarship Foundation has awarded scholarships to Richmond-area high school senior football players. The winners must distinguish themselves based on academic performance, extra-curricular and community activities, financial need and athletic achievement.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch and Touchdown Club of Richmond partner to honor the top Division I football player in the Commonwealth of Virginia each year by presenting The Dudley Award, named in Bill Dudley’s honor. Dudley was named to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 1972.

Bill Dudley

bottom of page