Both organizations that owe their existence to early support of the Green Bay community, UW-Green Bay has long shared ties with the Green Bay Packers. Below are such historical items of note. 

Packers Coach Vince Lombardi recommended soccer

UW-Green Bay plays soccer as its primary fall sport primarily on the advice of the late Vince Lombardi. The legendary Packers coach was an athletics adviser to Chancellor Edward Weidner in 1967-68 when the new University was charting its athletics future. Lombardi advised against college football because of its relatively high cost and the likelihood that the University team would be overshadowed by the Packers. He also believed in soccer’s long-term growth potential and the prospects for UW-Green Bay success at the highest level of NCAA competition (which proved true).

Packers cartoons in the archives

UW-Green Bay has a unique bit of Packers history in the form of dozens of team-related editorial cartoons created by Lyle Lahey, who chronicled the team and franchise ups-and-downs, on and off, as a local newspaper journalist or online artist from 1968 through his death in 2013. The cartoons are stored in the Area Research Center of the Cofrin Library on campus.

Lambeau Cottage

Lambeau CottageCurly Lambeau's cottage sits on a stretch of Green Bay shoreline that is now part of the UW-Green Bay campus arboretum. Lambeau founded the Packers in 1919 and coached the team for three decades. He had the cottage designed and built in 1941. He often entertained there, especially when the Packers held training camp at Rockwood Lodge (now Bayshore County Park) near Dyckesville, about 10 miles away. Lambeau sold the property after he left the Packers in 1950 to coach the Chicago Cardinals. It was acquired by the state in 1978 to complete campus holdings along the bay. The University used it as an arboretum center, headquarters for the sailing team and as a retreat site for the Philosophy program before the building fell into disrepair. Philanthropist, Packers fan and UW-Green Bay alumnus Craig Mueller stepped forward to fund renovation in 2005, and the University reopened the cottage as a campus-community gathering space for staff retreats, donor entertaining, informal receptions and meetings.

University and Lambeau Field share a birthday, so to speak

In fall 1965, the city of Green Bay honored Packers founder Curly Lambeau, who had passed away earlier that summer at age 67, by formally renaming eight-year-old City Stadium for the NFL Hall of Fame coach. Ceremonies took place Sept. 11. Only a few days previous, on Sept. 2, 1965, Wisconsin Gov. Warren Knowles had signed the legislation authorizing creation of the new University of Wisconsin-Green Bay — the date officially recognized as the institution’s founding.