As the countdown to the first Wisconsin football game of the season continues, Badger of Honor is taking a look at Badgers by the numbers, checking in on a different Badger or Badgers players who wore the number corresponding with the remaining days until the Badgers head to Texas to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, Sept. 5.
Next up in our countdown, signifying 86 days until college football is back, is Ron Leafblad.
We recognize Leafblad not only for the work he did on the field as a player, but the philanthropic endeavors he’s taken on off the field.
At UW, Leafblad played football for the Badgers from 1962 to 1964.
Leafblad was a two-way player for Wisconsin, a tight end and a defensive end. He started for the Badgers 1962 squad that won a Big Ten Championship and played in the 1963 Rose Bowl. He returned to the Badgers in 1964 as a captain.
Since graduating from UW, it’s an understatement to say Leafblad has done well for himself in the business world. He is the CEO and founder of Gold Country Inc. — a holding company with five separate companies involved in retail, license apparel manufacturing, website development and fulfillment, and corporate uniforms and sportswear — and is the owner and CEO of Leaf Industries Inc. — a manufacturer of precision parts for the computer and medical equipment industries.
According to UWBadgers.com, “Leafblad has been active in Young Presidents Organization and World Presidents Organization and numerous corporate, trade, charity, and church boards over the years. Leafblad has stayed close to Wisconsin through his involvement in the National W Club, and the Wisconsin Alumni Association.”
He recently donated $1 million which helped UW build the Ron Leafblad Family Football Team Suite, “which includes a locker room for the team, a 2,300-square foot coaches’ locker room and a players’ lounge.”
His continued dedication to Wisconsin football is helping future members of the Badgers football family.
Who wore No. 86 first?
• Guard Edwin Pick was the first to wear No. 86 back in 1937.
Who wears No. 86 now?
• Wide receiver Alex Erickson sports No. 86 currently for the Badgers. The redshirt senior — a former walk-on — led the Badgers last season in both receptions (55) and receiving yards (772). He caught three touchdown passes and looks to be developing a nice relationship with quarterback Joel Stave.
The Badgers will expect big things from Erickson in 2015.
Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.