Paul Krause (February 19, 1942 to present)
Arguably the greatest athlete in the history of Flint and Genesee County, particularly when considered against his body of work. A Bendle High School graduate, Krause completed a legendary career in baseball, football, basketball and track, where he acquired an eye popping 14 letters. His accomplishments in high school include:
In his rookie season, he led the NFL in interceptions, and made NFL All Pro. After being traded to the Minnesota Vikings, he started an unprecedented Super Bowl run as part of the vaunted Puple People Eaters Viking defense. The Vikes never pulled off a victory but Krause was the starting free safety in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX and XI distinguishing himself in each game against some of the best teams in NFL history.
Along the way Krause managed to set the all time record for interceptions in the NFL, a supreme achievement to be sure, made even more incredible when one considers that the NFL was a run based system during his tenure. Krause received the ultimate tribute when he was elected the NFL Hall of Fame in 1988, the only Flint athlete to be so acknowledged by a major sport.
When Paul was asked in an interview to name his biggest thrill he immediately reflected back on the neighborhood buddies that he grew up with in Flint. "l never lost touch with those guys. Growing up, we were poor and didn't know it. We were all sports junkies with the dreams of being the next star. As a pro, I realized I had made it, playing with the best in the world, and I was just an extension of my old friends back in Flint."