Russ Rebholz
Biographical details
Born(1908-09-11)September 11, 1908
Portage, Wisconsin
DiedAugust 1, 2002(2002-08-01) (aged 93)
Portage, Wisconsin
Playing career
1932Winnipeg St. John's Rugby Club
1933–1938Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1932Winnipeg St. John's Rugby Club
1933–1938Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Accomplishments and honors
Grey Cup (1935)

WIAC (1960)

Russell "Doss" Rebholz (September 11, 1908 – August 1, 2002) was a professional football player for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and later a high school and college football and basketball coach.


A native of Portage, Wisconsin, Rebholz was a letter winner in football from 1929 to 1931 and in basketball from 1930 to 1931 at the University of Wisconsin. In 1930, he led the Midwest, Big Ten, and UW in scoring, with 48 points. Rebholz played in the 1932 East-West Shrine Game.[1]

Professional football

In 1932, Rebholz played for and coached the Salamander Water Polo Club In Japan. From 1933 to 1938, he was a player/coach for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers football team, which won the 1935 Grey Cup. Nicknamed "The Wisconsin Wraith" while with the Blue Bombers, he wore jersey number 66.[2][3]

Rebholz was one of the first two football imports to arrive in Canada from the United States. A versatile halfback, he was known for his passing, running, blocking, and kicking abilities. In a 1934 exhibition game, he threw one of the longest passes ever, 68 yards in the air, to Lynn Patrick for a touchdown. In the 1935 Grey Cup game, he threw two touchdown passes and led the Blue Bombers to a Dominion Championship over the favored Hamilton Tigers from the East.[3]

He was elected a charter member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on November 27, 1963, and the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Hall of Fame in 1984.

Coaching career

During his coaching career, Rebholz served at Stevens Point, Racine Horlick High School and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in a variety of positions, earning six Coach of the Year honors.

While at Horlick High School, he led the team to a winning season in men's basketball. The community started calling the team Rebholz's Rebels for their style of play, and the nickname stuck. Rebels is now one of the two official nicknames for the school's athletic teams.[4][5]

Between 1952 and 1963, Rebholz compiled a .539 winning percentage (123-105) while coaching the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee men's basketball team. He was 58-42 in his first 100 games as the coach at UW–Milwaukee, which is second best in the school's history, behind former Tennessee Volunteers coach Bruce Pearl, who was 66-34 in his first 100 games at the university.[6] In the 1959-1960 season, the team went 18-4 overall and 10-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) and were the NCAA College Division Regional Third Place team. It was the first time the school had made it to the post-season. They lost to Lincoln[clarification needed] and beat Augustana College. The Panthers were nicknamed the Cardinals at the time.[7]

In 2000, Rebholz was inducted into the University of Wisconsin/National W Club Hall of Fame.[1]

Russ Rebholz
Born:(1908-09-11)September 11, 1908
Portage, Wisconsin
Died:August 1, 2002(2002-08-01) (aged 93)
Portage, Wisconsin
Career information
CFL statusAmerican
Position(s)RB/G/Flying wing
CollegeUniversity of Wisconsin
Career history
As player
1933–1938Winnipeg 'Pegs/Blue Bombers
Career highlights and awards
Career stats

Head coaching record


Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Milwaukee State Green Gulls / Milwaukee Cardinals (Wisconsin State College Conference) (1952–1963)
1952–53 Milwaukee State 9–12 6–6
1953–54 Milwaukee State 14–7 9–3
1954–55 Milwaukee State 11–10 7–5
1955–56 Milwaukee State 13–8 7–5
1956–57 Milwaukee 12–7 7–5
1957–58 Milwaukee 13–7 7–5
1958–59 Milwaukee 17–4 11–2
1959–60 Milwaukee 18–4 10–2 1st NCAA College Division Regional Third Place
1960–61 Milwaukee 8–12 5–7
1961–62 Milwaukee 4–17 3–9
1962–63 Milwaukee 4–17 3–9
Milwaukee State / Milwaukee: 123–105 75–58
Total: 123–105

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2008-03-25.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Bombers Alumni Archived 2012-03-03 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Canadian Football Hall of Fame - Russ (Doss) Rebholz
  4. ^ The Journal Times Online As team name, Rebels still rule at Horlick High
  5. ^ The Journal Times Online correction
  6. ^ Panthers Head To Butler – UWM looks to bounce back from loss Monday
  7. ^ JS Online: Panthers have been in post-season