Wisconsin senior OL Dan Voltz has elected to retire from football, announcing what he called a difficult decision on Tuesday.
A native of Barrington, Illinois, Voltz played in 32 games with 27 starts at center for the Badgers after enrolling in the spring of 2012. However, he saw a knee injury keep him out of six games last season and was sidelined for spring practice as he worked through the rehab process in order to get back on the field this fall.
“It’s been a hard decision to make,” Voltz said following Tuesday’s practice at Camp Randall Stadium. “Something I’ve dealt with pretty much my whole career is injuries. For physical reasons, (that’s) the main reason that it kind of forced me to start thinking about this.”
After three years as a starter at center, Voltz volunteered to shift to guard prior to training camp in order to accommodate sophomore Michael Deiter, who played well as Voltz’s replacement at center last season and during spring practice.
Voltz was named second-team All-Big Ten as a sophomore in 2014, when he started all 14 games at center for a Badgers team that racked up a school-record 320.1 rushing yards per game. He helped pave the way for Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon to rush for 2,587 yards, second-most in FBS history.
A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and 2015 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Voltz graduated with his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in December 2015 and currently is pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology.
Though his role has yet to be officially defined, Voltz plans to remain close to the Badgers program.
“This program has really been a big part of my life for going on five years now, and is something I deeply care about,” Voltz said. “I’m going to remain a big part of the program. My role is just going to shift from playing to helping out in other ways. That made the transition a lot easier for me, especially letting the O-line know that I’m not going to fade away from that group. I’m going to be a big part of what they do.”