This past weekend, the Athletic Hall of Fame at UW-Whitewater inducted ten new members who have all played an integral role in developing Warhawk Athletics into its current force. Among those new inductees was Derek Stanley, a two-sport star for the football team from 2003 to 2007 and the track and field teams from 2004 until 2008.
Stanley, a Verona, Wisconsin native, played running back in high school but started his Warhawk career as a defensive back and kick returner, for which he achieved All-American honors as a freshman. In addition to Stanley’s early success on the football field, he would also achieve two first-team All-American awards in track and field in the long jump and triple jump. Stanley proved himself a superior track athlete and considered leaving UW-Whitewater to play track at Division I, UW-Madison. Stanley ultimately chose to stay at Whitewater, and his commitment to the Warhawks paid off.
Stanley built his legacy as a wide receiver for the Warhawks. During his career at UW, Stanley is currently third all-time in receiving yards with 2,621 yards, second all-time in receiving touchdowns with 35, and fifth in yards per catch with an average of 20.16 yards per catch. He was known for his speed, athleticism, and versatility. After Stanley’s stellar performance in the NCAA Division III National Championship, where he received seven passes for 99 yards, he received much attention from the National Football League (NFL) scouts. Stanley eventually met with a representative from every NFL team. The St. Louis Rams drafted Stanley with the 249th pick in the 2007 National Football League Draft. This achievement would make him the first Warhawk drafted into the NFL.