The selection of Tampa Bay legendary running back James Wilder to the Bucs Ring of Honor has been long overdue. Despite not donning a Bucs uniform since 1989, Wilder still holds a dozen franchise records from over 30 years ago. For example, Wilder remains Tampa Bay’s all-time leading rusher with 5,957 yards – yet he’s not in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Bucs owner/co-chairman Joel Glazer addressed Wilder’s candidacy for the Bucs Ring of Honor on Tuesday while speaking to the Tampa Bay media, but was non-committal.

“Yes, all of our great former players are considered,” Glazer. “And as you’ve seen we do one or two every year and there are a lot of worthy candidates. We’re not going to rule anyone out in the near or not to distant future.”

Aside from being the Bucs’ career rushing leader, Wilder has plenty of other Tampa Bay records.

Wilder’s Bucs Records

Most career rushing attempts by a running back: 1,575 – 1981-89
Most rushing yards by a running back in a single season: 1,544 – 1984
Most carries by a running back in a single season: 407 – 1984
Most rushing touchdowns in a season: 13 – 1984
Most TDs by a non-quarterback in a season: 13 – 1984 (tied by WR Mike Evans in 2020)
Most touchdowns in a two-year period: 23 – 1984-85
Most receptions by a running back in a single season: 85 – 1984
Most receiving yards by a running back in a single season: 675 – 1984
Most total offensive yards by a Buccaneer in a single season: 2,229 – 1984
Most career total offensive yards by a Buccaneer: 9,449 yards – 1981-89

Former Bucs RB James Wilder - Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

Former Bucs RB James Wilder – Photo courtesy of the Buccaneers

Wilder also set a record for most receptions in a game with 13 against Minnesota on September 15, 1985. That receptions record was later tied by Earnest Graham in 2007.

Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans broke Wilder’s previous career receptions record (430) and now has 532 career catches. With 8,266 career receiving yards it may be another year or two before Evans breaks Wilder’s career total yards record of 9,449.

Pewter Report has heralded Wilder’s achievements over the years, and discussed on several occasions how Wilder’s induction into the Bucs Ring of Honor is long overdue. In fact, Pewter Report has led the campaign for Wilder’s induction. Here’s hoping that Glazer and the organization does the right thing and adds his name to the walls of Raymond James Stadium in the Bucs Ring of Honor.

Share On Socials

About the Author: Scott Reynolds

Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at:
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 months ago

Unfortunately almost all of those records were from 1 year. We were 2-14 back to back 83-84. The throwin Samoan Jack Thompson was our quarterback. Those were some of the worst years in Buc history. Wilder was a great loyal Buc but now you are winning super bowls again. What amounts to great has now changed. Things have to play out and the dust needs to settle. There will be new Bucs from this group of players going in. It might be a while if ever that wilder gets in.

4 months ago

6 and 10 in 84

Reply to  Buc76
4 months ago

Thank you Buc76 but it could have easily been 10-6 that season because virtually four losses came on one play. but that’s football. Then we had to put up with two years of Lemon Bennett, the used RV salesman. God, that was awful football.

Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

I remember meeting Bennett when he was introduced as the new coach. He seemed timid!

4 months ago

Wilder definitely belongs in the ring

4 months ago

James Wilder was the bucs offense way back when . Yes, he should have already been in .

4 months ago

Sorry but no. The fact he is even talked about as a ring of honor candidate shows just how incredibly bad we were for such a long time. He had two good years with us which neither was the best in the league. Of the other 7 years he played for us, his best year was 704 yds rushing and 2 TDs. If James Wilder is added, then any Bucs running back that breaks 1000 yds should be in the ring of honor. That is such a low bar.

4 months ago

He was my favorite player in the 80’s. Dude was a stud back on a bad team. Definitely belongs in the ring. Get r’ done!

4 months ago

This should have happened a long time ago. He was the only dependable Star we had during our darkest of times. Go Glazer’s; do the right thing.

Reply to  Horse
4 months ago

I was on the sidelines at one Bucs/Bear game and you could hear Doug Plank and the other safety yelling “key Wilder, key Wilder,” on almost every play because they knew the offense ran through him. So did the rest of the NFL, Wilder ran behind some average and subpar lines with suspect QB play and still persevered and never quit. The guy had the heart of a Lion. He was the Buccaneers when he was on the team.

Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

He was a rock and when he got rolling he was a Rolling Rock!
I’ll drink a green on that.

4 months ago

Anyone who doesn’t think “J-Dub” deserves to be recognized in the Ring of Honor must not have been in the stands watching him play. From one who has witnessed them all; without question, the best RB in Bucs history.