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William Shakespeare


William Valentine Shakespeare

Inducted 1983

Date of Birth



Staten Island, NY


University of Notre Dame (1933-1935)


In 1933, a halfback with the unlikely name of William Shakespeare came to Notre Dame with a reputation as a potent kicker and passer. In his sophomore year, he booted five punts that averaged 53.2 yards, but he did not win a letter. In his junior year, he did so well that he was in the line-up most of the time, and had 41 punts for a 40.0 yard average. He also made a name for himself as a runner-passer-kicker you could count on. Trailing 13-12 against Ohio State in his senior year the "Bard" - Shakespeare's South Bend nickname - came in and calmly threw the winning touchdown pass with 32 seconds to go. As a senior, Shakespeare punted 45 times for a 40-yard average, completed 19 passes, rushed for 374 yards and scored four touchdowns. He set Notre Dame career punting records: 91 punts for a 40.7 average. Longest punt: 86 yards vs Pittsburgh in 1935. He won first-team All-America citations and placed third in the Heisman voting. In World War II, Shakespeare went from private to captain, won four battle stars and the Bronze Star for gallantry in action.


Height 5'11

Weight 179

Career Highlights

  • 1935 First Team All-America
  • 1935 Heisman -Third
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