First things first. What is Legends of the 715?
Well, it’s easy. The 715 area code is full of amazing sports stories and legendary people all from the 715 that many people do not know about. The purpose of this blog is to highlight those stories and people and to keep those “legends” alive.
So for my first Legend of the 715, I’m giving the honor to a Green Bay Packer all-time great, whom many have never heard of. Plus, he’s from Eau Claire.
Let me introduce you all to Howard “Cub” Buck.
Howard “Cub” Buck was born on August 7, 1892 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. He was a standout high school football player for Eau Claire, in which he was named to Wisconsin’s all-state prep team as a center.
He then would play college ball for the Wisconsin Badgers from 1913-1915, earning All-Western Conference honors three times. Oh, and never missing a game.
In 1916, he became an assistant coach for Wisconsin while also playing professional football for the Canton Bulldogs. One of his teammates? One of the all-time great athletes, Jim Thorpe. Thorpe even called Buck the best lineman in the game.
Then at the end of the 1920 season, Buck joined up with a newer football team, called the Green Bay Packers, to play in their last game that season. Then in 1921 when the Packers joined the newly formed league that would later become the NFL, Packers founder, general manager, and coach Curly Lambeau signed Buck for $100 a game and making him the first Packer with a guaranteed salary. It is still one of the biggest and best free agent signings in Packers history.
According to Packers team historian Cliff Christl, Pro Football Hall of Famer Red Grange wrote about the signing in the Chicago Tribune in 1937 and said, “Lambeau signed Buck because he was “a great football player” and also for his “box office value.”
Buck would play both offensive and defense and even punted and kicked for the Packers. He would retire from the Packers in 1926 to become the first ever head coach at the University of Miami.
Yes, the U. The Miami Hurricanes.
Buck left coaching in 1929, moved to Rock Island, Illinois where he opened a car dealership. He passed away in 1966 in Davenport, Iowa. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1977.
So now when you think about long history of the Green Bay Packers, the Badgers, and even the Miami Hurricanes, there will always be a connection to the 715 because of Howard “Cub” Buck. A legend of the 715.