Honors & Awards
- 17-Year NFL Career (Cardinals, Redskins, 1961-77)
- Three-Time NFL Pro Bowl Selection (1964, 1965, 1969)
- Two-Time First-Team All-Pro (1964, 1969)
- Two-Time Second-Team All-Pro (1965, 1972)
- 17th-Round NFL Draft Pick (St. Louis, 1961)
- Inducted into Nebraska Football Hall of Fame (1974)
- Nebraska Team Captain (1960)
- Nebraska Tom Novak Trophy Winner (1960)
A member of one of the most famed families in Nebraska football, Pat Fischer produced one of the longest NFL careers by a former Cornhusker in history. Although the Omaha Westside graduate was not drafted until the 17th round by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1961, Fischer spent 17 years in the NFL, matching Mick Tinglehoff (1962-78) and Irving Fryar (1984-2000) for second among all-time Huskers in that category. Only Ron McDole, who was a co-captain with Fischer on the 1960 Nebraska football team, produced a longer NFL career, spending 18 seasons in the league from 1961 to 1978.
Fischer spent the first seven years of his NFL career with St. Louis, before spending his final 10 seasons with Washington beginning in 1968. He played in 213 games with 98 career starts, primarily as a cornerback, recording 56 career interceptions with 941 return yards and four touchdowns.
He earned trips to the NFL Pro Bowl in 1964, 1965 and 1969, while claiming first-team All-Pro honors in 1964 and 1969, and second-team mention in 1965 and 1972. He also helped the Redskins to Super Bowl VII in 1972.
He had his best two years as a corner in 1963 and 1964 with the Cardinals, when he hauled in eight interceptions with 169 return yards in 1963, before adding a career-best 10 interceptions for 164 yards and two touchdown returns in 1964. His interception and return totals both ranked second in the NFL in 1964, while he tied for the NFL lead with two return touchdowns.
Although those big years came early in his career, he notched his third-highest interception total with five in 1976 with the Redskins.
He added 16 career opponent fumble recoveries with 95 yards in returns and one touchdown. As a rookie with the Cardinals in 1961, he caught his only career pass for 22 yards. He was also a dangerous return man early in his career, finishing with 25 kickoff returns for 613 yards, including 17 returns for 426 yards with a career-long 53 yarder as a rookie. He added all 17 punt returns in his career for 80 yards in 1961, 1962 and 1963.
Fischer was the fourth Fischer brother to play football at Nebraska, following Cletus (1945-48), Ken (1948-49) and Rex (1955-56). Although he was the last to play for the Huskers, Pat was the first Fischer chosen for the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame, earning induction in 1974. He was joined by Cletus in 1979 and Rex in 1987.
Along with starting at quarterback as a senior and halfback during his sophomore and junior seasons, the 5-9, 166-pound Fischer was also a starter in the defensive backfield and one of the top return men in Nebraska history. In fact, Fischer still owns the Husker record for career punt return average at 18.33 yards per return. He returned 33 punts for 550 yards in his three-year career as a letterman at Nebraska.
To put those numbers in perspective, 1972 Husker Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers, one of the best return men in college football history, averaged 15.46 yards per punt return during his NU career. Rodgers owns Nebraska's career records for punt return yardage (1,515) and touchdowns (7).
One of the most talented all-purpose backs in Nebraska history, Fischer led the Huskers in all-purpose yardage in 1958, 1959 and 1960, finishing with 2,227 all-purpose yards during his three years as a letterman. He is one of only four Huskers in the modern era (since 1946) to lead NU in all-purpose yardage three times, joining Dick Hutton (1946-47-48), Rodgers (1970-71-72) and Ahman Green (1995-96-97).
In his career, Fischer rushed 229 times for 801 yards, while adding 11 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. He returned 30 punts for 550 yards (18.33 avg.), while adding 31 kickoff returns for 786 yards (25.35 avg.). He also had two interceptions for three return yards. In addition to his all-purpose numbers, Fischer completed 14-of-51 passes for 252 yards and one touchdown.
Fischer moved to quarterback for his senior season after spending his sophomore and junior years as a starting halfback and defensive back for the Huskers.
He completed 9-of-35 passes for 161 yards with one touchdown on the season. He also threw six interceptions. Along with leading the Huskers through the air, Fischer powered NU on the ground by rushing 97 times for 381 yards to rank second on the team to Bill "Thunder" Thornton. Fischer finished the year as NU's team leader in total offense with 542 yards and 132 attempts.
Fischer led the team in scoring with five touchdowns, while also leading NU in total offense with 542 yards. An electrifying return man, Fischer returned 13 punts for 276 yards for an impressive 21.2 yard-per-return average. His return average included a then-Nebraska record 84-yard return for a touchdown against Oklahoma State on Nov. 12, 1960. Fischer's record stood for 11 seasons until Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers erupted for a 92-yard return against Oklahoma State on Oct. 23, 1971. Fischer's mark still ranks fifth in the NU record book.
He added 13 kickoff returns for 296 yards (22.8 avg.). He also picked off one pass in the defensive backfield. Fischer led NU in all-purpose yardage for the third straight season, finishing with a career-best 953 yards, including 381 by rush, 296 by kickoff return and 276 by punt return.
Despite Fischer's success, NU finished with a 4-6 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the Big Eight Conference under Coach Bill Jennings. Following his senior season, Fischer played in the Shrine North-South game in Miami, Fla.
Fischer finished second among the Huskers in total offense with 348 total yards as a junior halfback in 1959. He rushed 87 times for 300 yards out of the backfield, while completing 2-of-7 passes for 48 yards. He added four catches for 48 yards, including his only touchdown of the year.
As a return man, Fischer returned eight punts for 135 yards for a stellar 16.9 yard-per-return average. He was just as good as a kick returner, taking 11 kicks back for 254 yards (23.1 avg.). He finished the year as NU's leader in all-purpose yardage for the second straight season, closing with 737 all-purpose yards (300 by rush, 254 by kick return, 135 by punt return and 48 by receiving).
As a team, the Huskers finished the 1959 season with a 4-6 record, including a 2-4 mark in Big Seven Conference action.
Fischer burst onto the scene for the Huskers as a sophomore in 1959. He earned a starting spot at halfback and rushed 45 times for 120 yards. He also completed 3-of-9 passes for 43 yards with one interception to finish the year with 163 total offense yards on 54 attempts.
In addition to his total offense numbers, Fischer added seven receptions for 39 yards and one touchdown, while also starring on Nebraska's special teams units. He returned seven kickoffs for 236 yards - a whopping 33.6 yards per return. He added nine punt returns for 139 yards for an impressive 15.4 yard-per-return average.
Defensively, he helped the Huskers by pulling in his first career interception and returning it three yards. Overall, he finished with a team-leading 537 all-purpose yards, and he also uncorked his only career punt with a 65-yarder.
As a team, the Huskers finished with a 3-7 record, including a 1-5 Big Seven mark.
Fischer was born Jan. 2, 1940 in St. Edward, Neb.