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Chen, Sharon; Hromadka, Nancy (ed.) / Wisconsin engineer
Volume 94, No. 3 (March 1990)

Waters, Mike
Professor Kulcinski remembers the war of the roses,   pp. 10-11

Page 10

Few people can remember the last time our UWfootball
team made it to the Rose Bowl. Undoubtedly, even fewer people
are aware that a member of the engineering faculty played on
one of only three UWfootball teams ever to participate in the
Rose Bowl. For those of you among the uninformed majority,
allow me to introduce you to this faculty member, Dr. Gerald
Kulcinski, a professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department.
A native of the LaCrosse area and a
graduate of LaCrosse Central High
School, Kulcinski came to the University
of Wisconsin in 1957. After joining the
UW football team as a "walk-on" his
freshman year, he played his remaining
three seasons on a football scholarship.
A high school quarterback, Kulcinski was
converted to offensive lineman after
dislocating his shoulder. As a starter
during the 1959 and 1960 seasons, he was the smallest guard in
the Big Ten. In addition to this formidable challenge on offense,
Kulcinski was also required to play middle linebacker on
defense. He recalls, "In those days, teams were only allowed
four substitutions per quarter, so everyone had to play two
positions, and on special teams as well." He adds, "Another big
difference between those days and now was that we [the
players] called our own plays." Kulcinski also assures this
reporter that he and his teammates were student-athletes with
emphasis on "student," commenting, "It was a whole different
group of people that played football in those days. We had law
students, medical students and engineering students, simply
because the possibility of getting a million-dollar contract [to
play professional football] just didn't exist."
The 1959 season proved to be the most memorable one for
Kulcinski and his teammates as they became the second UW
football team to compete in the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, these
fond memories are clouded by a disappointing post-season loss
to the University of Washington. However, one of Kulcinski's
fondest memories of his football days at the UW came the year
after his final season when he played with former athletic
director and Heisman Trophy winner Elroy Hirsh in the annual
alumni game.
Scholastically, Kulcinski did not find it extraordinarily
difficult to balance football with academics. In fact, he feels that
Kulcinski shows the look of determination that brought him success on
the gridiron and in the world of high technology.
Wisconsin Engineer, March 1990

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