Mel Renfro grew up in Northeast Portland. He attended Boise Elementary and M Jefferson High where he excelled in football and track. Mel still attributes his determination to his 5th grade teacher, Lee Honeywell.
As a running back on the football team, Mel set a PIL (Portland Interscholastic League) record when he scored 36 points in one game!
He played in the State Championship three times and helped his team win the Championship twice, in 1957 & 1958. In 1960, Mel was named the Most Valuable Player in the Shrine All-Star Game.
Mel Renfro College Days
Mel attended the University of Oregon where he led the
Ducks in Scoring in 1961, 1962, and 1963. His efforts led Oregon to the
Sun Bowl in 1963 and
a victory over Southern Methodist University. Mel is still in the Ducks'
record books among the leaders in the most all- purpose yards, longest
scoring, punt returns and kick-off returns. All of this compiled in the
days when freshmen couldn't play varsity ball! Mel won many awards as
a college player, including the 1963 Maxwell for Outstanding Running Back in
the Hoffman Award for U of O's Outstanding Player in 1963, first team
American honors in 1962 and 1963, and All Coast Honors in 1961 and 1963.
He was also named to the National Football Foundation and College Hall
of Fame - an honor given to only four other Ducks.
In 1963, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Mel as their first player selected that year. He was runner-up for the NFL Rookie of the Year in 1964 and named to the All Rookie team. Lead the league in 1969 with 10 interceptions MVP in the first NFL/AFL Pro Bowl in 1971 Selected to play in 10 consecutive Pro Bowls Named All-Pro 5 times during his 14 year career Super Bowls V, VI, X and XII Dallas Cowboy Ring of Honor Pro Football Hall of Fame 1996 Inductee
An American Icon
Mel Renfro has shown that it is possible to have a big dream - to work hard and strive for excellence to make that dream come true!
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