Born: May 15, 1976 – Galveston, TX
Graduated:Willis (TX) High School, 1995; Kansas State University, 2011; Blinn (TX) Junior College, 1996; Independence Community College, 1997
One of the greatest athletes to ever step foot on the campus in Manhattan, Bishop broke the mold of the conventional pocket passer and developed his own unique style of play which helped to start the trend of the dual-threat quarterback in college football.
Early Playing Career
A standout football and baseball star at Willis (TX) High School, Bishop was drafted by the Cleveland Indians out of high school but chose instead to play football at Blinn (TX) Junior College.
His decision to play college football began one of the greatest careers as ever as Bishop piled up victories and honors over his next four seasons. Bishop never lost a game at Blinn in his two seasons and guided the Buccaneers to the first ever back-to-back NJCAA national titles in 1995 and 1996.
Bishop in the Big XII
Following his stellar junior college career, Bishop signed on with head coach and Kansas Sports Hall of Fame inductee Bill Snyder of the Kansas State Wildcats and continued his winning ways where he posted an astounding career record of 22-3 at the helm in Manhattan.
In his first season under Snyder, Bishop captivated national attention as he led the Wildcats to an 11-1 record and a win in the 1997 Fiesta Bowl. Bishop’s magical first season was capped by being named the Big XII Conference’s “Offensive Newcomer of the Year” after putting up 2,123 total yards and leading the Wildcats to a Fiesta Bowl win over Syracuse and a top-ten finish in the polls.
By the opening of the 1998 season, Michael Bishop had become a household name across the country. Beginning the season as a Heisman Trophy dark horse candidate, it did not take him long to shoot to the top of many voters’ lists.
If the nation was not convinced of Bishop’s Heisman candidacy by early November, they would be after the number two ranked Wildcats defeated the eleventh ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers for the first time in thirty eight years in Manhattan. The victory propelled the Wildcats to their first Big XII North title.
The success of the 1998 team was largely due to the skill and talent of the Wildcat quarterback and the post-season awards reflected just exactly Michael Bishop meant to his team. He was selected as a first-team All-American, was a finalist for the Maxwell and Johnny Unitas Awards, finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, and won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s most outstanding player.
Bishop was drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots. He played eleven professional seasons in the NFL, NFL Europe, Canadian Football League, and the Arena Football League.
Bishop was inducted to the K-State football Ring of Honor in 2015 and the K-State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.