Bart Starr played at Alabama in the 1950s, but only started 11 games at Alabama, all during his sophomore season.
With injuries and different coaching philosophies at Alabama, he was not a highly rated player coming out of college.
Johnny Dee, the basketball coach at Alabama, was a friend of the personnel director of the Green Bay Packers. Dee recommended Starr as a prospect to the Packers. In the 17th round of the 1956 NFL Draft, Starr was selected by the Packers with the 200th overall pick.
However, the move that might have saved Starr's career came three years later when Vince Lombardi took over as the Packers coach.
Lombardi, in tireless study of films, found that he liked Bart's mechanics, his arm, his ball-handling techniques and, most of all, his decision-making abilities. Under the coach, Starr gained the confidence to become one of the NFL's great field leaders.
By 1960, Starr led Green Bay to the Western Division championship, the first in a long string of successes for Starr and the Packers.
From 1960 through 1967, Bart's "won-lost record" was a sizzling 62-24-4 and the Packers won six divisional, five NFL, and the first two Super Bowl championships. He was named the MVP of both games.
Although Starr seemed to receive minimal personal recognition for the team’s successes, he made the Packers click. Because it was a balanced attack that he led, Starr's passes were limited. Remarkably, he never threw as many as 300 passes in any one season.
Starr held several NFL passing records, including the lifetime record of completing 57.4 percent of his passes over a 16-year period. He led the league in passing three times. He was the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1966.
After their first title loss to Philadelphia in 1960, the Packers never lost another playoff game under Starr.
After retiring as a player in 1972, Starr became head coach of the Packers from 1975 through 1983, however, his coaching success did not equal his success as a player.
Starr was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
"The quarterback’s job is to be a coach on the field. I’d say there are three things a quarterback must have," he was quoted as saying. "One, he’s got to have the respect of his teammates. Two, his authority must be unquestioned. And three, his teammates must be willing to go to the gates of hell with him.”
Starr died in 2019.