Norm Rathje ('57)

Football - Track & Field - Wrestling

Norm Rathje - Hall of FameNorm Rathje was a four-year letter winner in football and track, and three-year letter winner in wrestling. Rathje was a tremendous leader and competitor. He started every game except one during his four years of football. An fullback and linebacker, he was fourth in the conference in scoring as a freshman leading Dubuque to a 4-1-1 record. Rathje earned First Team All-Iowa Conference in 1955 and 1957, Second Team All-IIAC in 1954, and served as Team Captain as a senior. While getting his master's degree from UD he was an assistant coach for the football team. 

Rathje helped the Spartans wrestling team to a 22-4 dual meet record during his collegiate career. He was a member of the 1956 squad that finished 8-1 with Rathje posting a 7-2 record and a team high six pins at 167 lbs. He also threw the discus and shot put for four straight IIAC Track & Field Championship teams from 1954-57. 

While at UD he won all three of the school's major athletic awards - Outstanding Freshman Athlete, Outstanding and Most Valuable Athlete Award and Kiwanis Sportsmanship Award. A native of Marion, Iowa, he taught and coached following graduation and in 1962 played professional football with the Chicago Bulls of the United Football League.

Rathje would spend over 40 years as a teacher, coach, and administrated in the Chicagoland area. He served as the Head Football Coach for two season at North Park College with his signature win being a 104-32 victory vs. North Central College (Ill.) in 1968, the modern-day collegiate record. He retired from coaching in 1980 but still teaches at Buffalo Grove High School in Illinois. 

- from 1989 Hall of Fame program