LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Former Eastern Kentucky University football player Chad Bratzke was one of five people inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame Friday night at Louisville’s historic downtown Palace Theater.
Bratzke, who suited up for the Colonels from 1990-93, started his collegiate career as a walk-on for EKU head coach Roy Kidd and through his dedication evolved into a two-time All-American in 1992 and 1993. The native of Waukegan, Ill., also earned 1993 OVC Defensive Player of the Year honors after posting 11 sacks.
“What makes Eastern great is the people,” Bratzke said. “I went to EKU to play football and because I knew I was going to get a great education. What I didn’t realize is that I was going to a football family and a community that was like family. That’s what I remember most about Eastern.”
Following his collegiate career, Bratzke was selected by the New York Giants in the fifth round of the 1994 NFL draft. The first five years of his career were spent in the Big Apple before he moved on to the Indianapolis Colts where he spent his final five years.
Bratzke, who led the Colts in sacks for three consecutive years, including a then-franchise record 12 in 1999, played 129 games in the NFL. He recorded 413 tackles and 56.5 sacks in 10 seasons.
Off the field, Bratzke graciously helped EKU establish its Student-Athlete Academic Success Center that bears his name in 2000.
Bratzke was selected to the Eastern Kentucky University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006 and EKU all-century football team in 2009.
The other members of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2013 were Coy Bacon, Irv Goode, Roman Oben and Otis Wilson.
Bratzke is the fifth Colonel inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining Wally Chambers (2006), Jason Dunn (2006), John Jackson (2009) and Yeremiah Bell (2010).
The purpose of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame is to appropriately honor persons that have brought significant recognition to the state of Kentucky, or have by their unusual successful service achieved significant accomplishment on behalf of their school, or have by a significant act or contribution distinguished themselves as an unusual former National Football League player, coach, referee, owner, management, etc. or have been a significant or unusual supporter of Pro Football. Kentucky is the only state to have its own Pro Football Hall of Fame.