The Louisville Sports Commission announced Friday that college and Pro Football Hall of Famer Paul Hornung has died. Hornung, who has long struggled of dementia, was 84.
Hornung, a Louisville native, played football, basketball and baseball at Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget High School. He then went to college at Notre Dame where he played quarterback and halfback.
In his last two years with the Fighting Irish, he passed for 1,656 yards and 12 touchdowns while rushing for 892 yards and six touchdowns. Hornung won the Heisman Trophy in 1956 despite Notre Dame finishing that season with a record of 2-8.
Mike Comerford, president of the The Heisman Trust, shared his condolences for Hornung's death in a tweet.
"The Heisman Trust mourns the passing or Paul Hornung," Comerford said. "A true legend in every sense of the word, Paul was a cherished member of the Heisman family. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Angela. He will truly be missed."
Following his college career, the Green Bay Packers selected Hornung with the first overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft. He played halfback for the Packers from 1957 to 1966. However, Hornung missed the 1963 season after admitting to gambling on NFL games.
Hornung played an integral part under legendary coach Vince Lombardi's offense, where he was a runner in the sweep and option-pass offense. Hornung also handled some placekicking duties, leading Lombardi to refer to Hornung as one of the most versatile players in the NFL.
In Lombardi's book "Vince Lombardi on Football" he mentioned Hornung as a major asset to the Packers' franchise.
"Paul may have been the best all-around back ever to play football," Lomabrdi wrote.
Hornung's talent helped him earn NFL MVP honors in 1961. He also earned two first-team All-Pro selections and was part of the Packers team that won the first Super Bowl despite not playing due to pinched nerve injury in his neck.
Hornung was arguably the most important player for Green Bay, when the Packers won three NFL championship games and made four championship appearances from 1960 to 1965. Hornung also won three NFL scoring titles during that five-year stretch.
Hornung retired with 3,711 rushing yards, 1,480 receiving yards and 62 career touchdowns. He was voted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1975 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.