Alex Hawkins

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Alex Hawkins
Born: (1937-07-02)July 2, 1937
Welch, West Virginia
Died: September 12, 2017(2017-09-12) (aged 80)
Columbia, South Carolina
Career information
Position(s) Running back
College South Carolina
NFL draft 1959 / Round: 2 / Pick: 13
(Green Bay Packers)
Career history
As player
1959–1965 Baltimore Colts
1966–1967 Atlanta Falcons
1967–1968 Baltimore Colts
Career highlights and awards

Clifton Alexander "Alex" Hawkins (July 2, 1937 – September 12, 2017) was a retired American football player who played professionally as a running back in the National Football League (NFL) for the Baltimore Colts and Atlanta Falcons. He excelled as a special teams player. He was a co-captain with the Colts.

Early years[edit]

Born in Welch, West Virginia, Hawkins graduated from South Charleston High School in 1955.

College career[edit]

From 195658, Hawkins played college football at South Carolina; he rushing for 1,491 yards and was voted the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) player of the year as a senior and was a third-team All-American.

NFL career[edit]

Hawkins was the thirteenth player selected in the 1959 NFL Draft, but was released in mid-September by first-year head coach Vince Lombardi of the Green Bay Packers.[1] The first four rounds of the draft were held in early December 1958, nearly two months before Lombardi was hired. Hawkins was picked up by Baltimore Colts, and they repeated as NFL champions his rookie season, defeating the New York Giants 31–16 in the title game in Baltimore.

In his final season in 1968, Hawkins was special-teams captain for the Colts in Super Bowl III, in which the heavily-favored Colts were upset 16–7 by Joe Namath and the New York Jets on January 12, 1969. During the 1968 season, the Colts had a record of 13–1 under head coach Don Shula, although Hawkins' playing time was limited.

During a nine-year NFL career, Hawkins rushed for 10 touchdowns and his 129 pass receptions included 12 touchdown passes. He also returned punts and kickoffs.

Hawkins acquired the nickname "Captain Who" prior to a Baltimore Colts game with the Chicago Bears, when the team captains were being introduced to each other before the game. Bears' Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus responded to the official's reference to "Captain Hawkins" by blurting out "Captain Who?"

In the 1970s, Hawkins worked as a color commentator for Falcons radio, and for TVS' Thursday night World Football League (WFL) telecasts and CBS' NFL telecasts. In 1977, the NFC Championship Game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys was televised by CBS and covered by play-by-play announcer Vin Scully with Hawkins as color commentator. Hawkins said that he hoped that the Cowboys would win, because "I've always been a Cowboy fan." [2] At one point, 35-year-old Dallas quarterback Roger Staubach was shown jogging onto the field, and Hawkins commented to Scully, "Roger runs like a sissy, doesn't he?"[3] To which Scully responded, "Did you wear a helmet when you played?"[4]. Hawkins was arrested during a traffic stop a few days after the championship game,[2] and later was fired by CBS.[5]


Hawkins died at HarborChase Assisted Living and Memory Care in Columbia, South Carolina on September 12, 2017, at the age of 80.[6]


  1. ^ Johnson, Chuck (September 15, 1959). "Babe Parilli is dropped by Packers". Milwaukee Journal. p. 14, part 2. 
  2. ^ a b Rosen, Ron (1978-01-07). "Weaving 'Hawk' flagged down". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-09. 
  3. ^ "1977 NFC Champ Minn vs Dal part 2 (13:15)". YouTube. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  4. ^ "1977 NFC Champ Minn vs Dal part 2 (13:29)". YouTube. Retrieved 17 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Guest, Larry (1992-01-09). "Hawkins took many detours after football". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 2017-07-09. 
  6. ^ Lou Bezjak (September 13, 2017). "South Carolina football great Alex Hawkins dies". The State. Retrieved September 13, 2017. 

External links[edit]