Hugh McElhenny

Hugh McElhenny

Hugh McElhenny
McElhenny in January 2014
No. 39
Position: Halfback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1928-12-31) December 31, 1928
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Career information
High school: Los Angeles (CA) Washington Prep
College: Washington
NFL draft: 1952 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 5,281
Average: 4.7
Touchdowns: 38
Stats at
Pro Football Hall of Fame
College Football Hall of Fame

Hugh Edward McElhenny (born December 31, 1928) is a former American football halfback. He played in the National Football League (NFL) from 1952 to 1964 for the San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, and Detroit Lions. McElhenny was noted for his explosive, elusive running style and was frequently called "The King" and "Hurryin' Hugh". He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970. McElhenny had Guillain-Barre syndrome, which almost killed him. He was temporarily paralyzed from the neck down and had to use a walker for a year.[1]

McElhenny is related to the McElhenny family of Louisiana, the makers of Tabasco sauce.[2]


  • College career 1
  • Professional career 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

College career

After graduating from

External links

  1. ^ a b September 1, 2004Seattle Post-Intelligencer,Dan Raley, "The Untold Story of Hugh McElhenny, the King of Montlake,"
  2. ^ Tabasco's Ties to Football Burn Deep, NY Times 5 Feb 2013, by Ken Belson


After retiring as a player, McElhenny served as a color commentator on 49ers radio broadcasts from 1966 to 1972.

McElhenny gained 11,375 all-purpose yards in his 13-year career. He was nicknamed "The King" while with the 49ers.

McElhenny was a first round pick of the 49ers in the 1952 NFL Draft, and made an immediate impression as a rookie. He recorded the season's longest run from scrimmage (89 yards), the longest punt return (94 yards), and the top rushing average (7.0 yards per carry). He won the Rookie of the Year award that season. He continued with the 49ers through 1960, earning five Pro Bowl appearances, before joining the Vikings in 1961. He also played with the Vikings in 1962 before going to the Giants in 1963. He then finished his career with one season for the Lions.

Professional career

He was a member of Alpha Theta Delta of Chi Psi fraternity at the university.

in 1981. College Football Hall of Fame selection. He was inducted into the All-America where he was an University of Washington. McElhenny then starred at the Sim Iness on Compton's undefeated football team in 1948. One of McElhenny's Compton teammates was future 1952 Olympic gold medalist starter where he was a Compton Junior College McElhenny attended [1]