October 10, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ga. – Bill Jordan, the creator of Realtree Camouflage and the host of the Monster Bucks video series and the Realtree Outdoors television show, will receive two prestigious awards from the University of Mississippi October 13 when Ole Miss hosts Auburn as part of Homecoming 2012.
A native of Columbus, Ga., Jordan (BBA ‘73) will be one of seven alumni who will be recognized for having received the Alumni Association’s highest annual honors during pregame ceremonies.
Created in 1974, the Hall of Fame honors those select alumni who have made an outstanding contribution to their country, state or the University of Mississippi through good deeds, services or contributions that have perpetuated the good name of Ole Miss.
Jordan will also be honored by the Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame with its Distinguished American Award as part of the pregame ceremonies.
The Distinguished American Award is presented by the Ole Miss Chapter to individuals who have carried the lessons learned on the football field into a life of service to their community.
After earning All-State honors as a receiver on Columbus High School’s football team, several major colleges recruited Jordan heavily in football and basketball. Jordan decided on football and chose Ole Miss, primarily because of an abundance of good hunting and fishing within a short drive of the Oxford campus. During those years at Ole Miss, Jordan played wide receiver and was a regular target of Rebel quarterbacks Archie Manning and the late Norris Weese. Manning, father of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks Peyton and Eli, and Bill remain good friends to this day.
Click image to see the Bill Jordan photo gallery
Jordan earned two letters while playing for Coach John Vaught and Coach Billy Kinard. He played on two bowl teams at Ole Miss and started several games despite a problematic hamstring injury that sidelined him several times throughout his college career.
After graduation, Jordan returned to Columbus and worked in his family’s boat business, but by 1983 he was ready to start his first company, Spartan Archery Products, which offered products that hunters found necessary in the woods. By 1986, Jordan had developed what would become his greatest business success, Realtree Camouflage.
From the first pattern of bark, which was literally traced from an old oak that still stands in his parents’ yard, to Jordan's latest pattern, Realtree AP, innovation has been and always will be the key to Realtree's success. Today Realtree offers a variety of versatile camo, including patterns for western and waterfowl markets.
After some trying times in the late 1980s, Realtree grew quickly throughout the 1990s, becoming a household name in the hunting industry. Jordan has never stopped innovating. Today's camo designs are created using sophisticated computers, digital cameras, and photo-realistic printing, and Jordan continues to oversee the entire process of creating and launching each new camouflage pattern.
Jordan has never forgotten his humble start with a small company in the back room of his late father's marine dealership. Despite many setbacks along the way, Bill persisted, creating an all-American success story.
His greatest joy is his family. He and his wife, Shannon, have three children, Tyler, Graycen and Colton, and they participate in every aspect of their children's development.
"This is a tremendous honor to be recognized by Ole Miss," Jordan said. "The university has a fine tradition of turning out business leaders and athletes. My time there certainly created some of the greatest memories of my life."