E. William Vickroy and Margaret A. Vickroy

E. William Vickroy and Margaret A. Vickroy

This scholarship was established in the 1980s to honor E. William Vickroy. Bill Vickroy was born June 24, 1921, in Toledo, Ohio, to Esten W. and Lila (Brumback) Vickroy. He married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Walton on Dec. 11, 1942

In several respects, he was the Tom Landry of small-college football, except the fact that E. William Vickroy preceded the former Dallas Cowboys coaching legend. Vickroy wore a white shirt, tie and suit to the UW-La Crosse football games he coached during his 17-year tenure as head coach. It fit his image perfectly, said several of those who played for him, including a guy named Larry Lebiecki, who would return to the university and spend 34 years of his career as an assistant chancellor. “I was always impressed with him. What you saw is what you got. One of his trademarks was wearing a fedora hat. He would wear a suit, a white shirt, and a tie and a hat. He was Tom Landry, but before Tom Landry did it,” Lebiecki said. “The way he conducted himself was extremely professional.”

He retired from the university in 1987 after a 39-year career that included teaching, coaching football, swimming and baseball, and 18 years as athletic director of one of the most successful athletic programs in the NAIA, then NCAA Division III. Vickroy, known as “Vick” to those who worked with and knew him well, compiled an 86-61-6 record as UW-L’s head football coach, including his 1954 team which tied Missouri Valley 12-12 in the Cigar Bowl. But Vickroy will be remembered for much more than his time as a coach said Roger Harring, the man who succeeded him as UW-L’s football coach. And much of it goes back to that image of Vickroy in a suit and tie, patrolling the sideline. Pure, clean, and of well-respected.“He was probably the fairest guy you ever want to be around. And he was the nicest man I ever met,” Harring said. “I don’t think you could ever get him to say anything bad about anyone else. His teams were very well disciplined and in great physical shape.”
Vickroy was a highly successful athlete during his time at Ohio State, earning All-Big Ten honors as a center. He was the starting center on the Buckeyes’ 1942 national championship team, but rarely talked about his accomplishments said another of his former students and players, Barry Schockmel. Schockmel, a longtime UW-L assistant football coach, remembers some of the things Vickroy taught him. “I had him for class. He told things as it was,” Schockmel said. “There was never any animosity in his voice. If you screwed up, he told you. It was never negative. He was some kind of player, too. My mouth just dropped when I saw what he could do with a football.” Vickroy came to UW-L in 1948 from Oberlin College in Ohio where he started his teaching and coaching career in 1946. He would coach baseball for 20 years, football for 17, and swimming for 16. He moved into an administrative role in 1969 and would teach and oversee the men’s athletic department for 10 years before becoming UW-L’s first full-time athletic director in 1979. He helped the programs in a lot of different ways. He always tried to be fair about things," Schockmel said. “He wanted his coaches to be ethical. He was the most Christian man I ever met. I mean that in a way that he was very proper, very ethical.”

In 2019, the scholarship name was changed to honor Margaret A. Vickroy. Marge passed away in November 2018 at the age of 96. UWL’s athletic program was very important to Marge this scholarship will carry-on the legacy of the Vickroy family at UWL.