Summer 2024

Hall of Fame QB Bart Starr, whose 'ultimate role model' was Jesus, passes away

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 on Sunday. A 1977 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Starr threw for 24,718 yards in his career and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times. After suffering a serious stroke in 2014, his health had been ailing.

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Starr played 16 seasons for the Packers, starting 157 games. He led Green Bay to NFL championships in 1961, 1962 and 1965. At the end of the 1966 season, the Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL to win Super Bowl I, with Starr named as the game’s MVP.

Green Bay won Super Bowl II the next year, knocking off the Oakland Raiders, and Starr was named MVP again. He is one of five players to win Super Bowl MVP multiple times.

Following his retirement in 1972, Starr became the Packers’ quarterback coach. After working as a broadcaster for two years, he was hired as Green Bay’s head coach in December 1974, a position he held for nine seasons.

Starr also held a strong relationship with Christ, which was aided by growing up in a strong Christian family. From a young age, he strived to live the way Jesus did.

“Like most kids, I idolized one sports figure or another,” Starr wrote in a piece for Beyond the Ultimate. “However, Jesus was the ultimate role model for me.”

Throughout his life, Starr made spreading God’s love a main priority.

“Regardless of the successes I have experienced, if my life does not exhibit God’s love, it becomes less meaningful,” he wrote.

Starr’s life certainly produced meaning. One such example is through the Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award, which is given out annually at the NFL-sanctioned Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast in the Super Bowl host city. The award is presented to the “NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community.”

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