Class of 2021
Charles Woodson
Gale Sayers Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles Woodson is an 18-year NFL veteran, former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, and Heisman Trophy winner. He is a Super Bowl champion, nine-time Pro Bowl defensive back, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021. Woodson first came to national prominence at The University of Michigan where he won numerous awards and honors including the 1997 Heisman Trophy and led the Wolverines to a share of the 1997 National Championship. He remains to this day the only primary defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy. Drafted 4th overall by the Raiders, Charles enjoyed an illustrious 18-year NFL career with Oakland (1998-2005, 2013-15) and the Green Bay Packers (2006-12). During his pro career, he was named First-Team All-Pro and Second-Team All-Pro four times each. Named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, Charles was the 2009 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time NFL interceptions leader in 2009 and 2011. While with the Packers, Woodson won the 2011 Super Bowl in a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He remains tied for the most touchdowns by a defensive player in NFL history with 13. A champion both on and off the field, Charles has also formed the Charles Woodson Foundation, providing scholarships to incoming students at the University of Michigan in need of financial aid. Additionally, he has pledged over $2 Million to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and established the Charles Woodson Clinical Research Initiative to support critical research projects that show promise of significant improvements in kids’ quality of life and longevity. Woodson is also an oenophile who developed an interest in wine while playing football for the first time in Oakland, near the Napa Valley. He partnered with O’Neill Vintners to develop a signature wine label, “Charles Woodson’s Intercept” and recently launched Woodson Whiskey. Charles is currently an NFL Analyst for Fox Sports.

Join Us in Celebrating Chicagoland's Sporting Excellence.

Join us in celebrating Chicagoland's sporting excellence by supporting the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. Together, we can preserve the legacies of exceptional athletes, coaches, and sports contributors, inspire future generations, and foster a strong sense of community pride.