Illini Grid Legend Stan Wallace Passes Away
Dec. 7, 1999
Former University of Illinois and Chicago Bears standout Stan Wallace passed away early yesterday afternoon at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana following heart surgery. Wallace, 68, was a three-year letterwinner in football from 1951-53 and played safety for the NFL's Chicago Bears from 1954-58. Wallace also played for the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League from 1959-61, earning all-CFL honors twice.
Wallace returned to Champaign-Urbana and operated AgriLabs, Bear Research, Stan's SportsWorld and other businesses for more than 30 years. A popular dinner speaker and entertainer, Wallace also was a member of the Illini Sports Network football radio broadcast team for nearly two decades. Wallace served as President of the Varsity "I" Association in 1978 and was selected to the Illinois All-Century Football team in 1990.
"Stan Wallace was a standout football player and a great friend to the University of Illinois throughout his lifetime," said Director of Athletics Ron Guenther. "He and his wife, Midge, have been strong community leaders and loyal Illini for nearly four decades in the Champaign-Urbana area. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. He will be missed."
A native of Hillsboro, Ill., Wallace is best remembered for his third-quarter interception in the 1952 Rose Bowl, returning a Gary Kerkorian pass 56 yards to set up Bill Tate's go-ahead touchdown run. Illinois went on to score 34 unanswered points to defeat Stanford, 40-7.
Wallace played defensive back and fullback for Coach Ray Eliot, averaging nearly 12 yards per carry as a senior. Following his Illinois career, Wallace participated in the East-West Shrine All-Star Game, Senior Bowl and College All-Star Game before being selected in the first round (6th selection overall) of the 1954 NFL draft by the Chicago Bears.
Wallace is survived by his wife, Midge, and children, Cam and Shauna, and their families. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be sent in the name of Stan Wallace to the Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund/Varsity "I" Association or the Champaign Park District. Funeral arrangements with Morgan Memorial Home are pending at this time.