Joe Kapp is the only man in the modern era to quarterback in a Rose Bowl game, Grey Cup championship, and a Super Bowl.
As a college player at the University of California, Berkeley, he captained the team to its last Rose Bowl appearance in 1959. He came to the BC Lions in 1961 in a trade for four starting players—the biggest trade ever made in the CFL at the time. Two years later, the Lions were in the Grey Cup and again in 1964. The team’s Grey Cup victory in 1964 was a memorable first for the team and the loyal BC fans. Kapp played with the Lions for a total of five years before being traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 1967.
Starting at quarterback after only four games, he led the Vikings to the club’s first ever division title in 1968. The following season, he paced the Vikings to the NFL championship and a trip to Superbowl IV against the Kansas City Chiefs. He set another record as the last NFL quarterback to throw seven touchdowns in a single game, concluding in a 52-14 victory over the Baltimore Colts in 1969. In 1982, Kapp returned to the University of California to become the Golden Bears’ head football coach, guiding the Bears to a 7-4 record and was named the PAC-10 Coach of the Year.
Kapp was dedicated to numerous charitable causes. In 1993, the City of Hope National Medical Center and Beckman Research Institute appointed Kapp as its Sportsman of the Year and presented him with their prestigious “Spirit of Life” award. He also enthusiastically assisted the National Hispanic Scholarship Fund program to raise over $30 million for Latino youth.