The South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame is dedicated to the preservation, documentation and display of South Dakota's sports history.

Les Josephson - Inducted 2001

Born July 29, 1942, in Minneota, Minn. 1960 Minneota HS grad. 1964 Augustana College grad. Josephson made the jump from 8-man high school football to the NFL Pro Bowl in just seven years. His NFL career spanned 10 years with the Los Angeles Rams, where he was a running back as well as team captain for five years. While at Augustana, Josephson rushed for 1,422 yards (the second highest total in school history at that time) and set a school record with 5.2 yards per carry for a three-year career. Another of Josephson's talents was track, where he specialized in the high jump. As a junior, he set a then-South Dakota collegiate record of 6 feet, 5 inches at the USD Relays. The same year, he set a North Central Conference record of 6-4 3/4 as well as triumphs at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays and other events. Though he was never voted to the all-NCC football team and wasn't drafted by any NFL team, the 6-foot-1, 207-pound Josephson had an inpressive career with the Rams. Originally signed by the Dallas Cowboys, he was traded to the Rams and proceeded to start as a rookie. His best season was in 1967, when he rushed for 800 yards and caught passes for another 400. This helped the Rams to an 11-1-2 record in the regular season before losing to the Green Bay Packers in the Western Conference championship. This season also earned him selection to the Pro Bowl. The following year Josephson underwent Achilles' tendon surgery that nearly ended his career. Although he missed the 1968 season, he was able to come back and have another six productive seasons. In his NFL career, Josephson gained 3,407 yards rushing (4.3 yards a carry) and had 194 receptions for 1,970 yards. He stays close to football as the color analyst for the Arizona Wildcats radio network.

Josephson passed away in Tucson, AZ on January 1, 2020.

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