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Bill McCartney, Football Coach

  • Winningest Coach In CU Football History
  • 1990 National Champions
  • National Coach of the Year (1989)
  • Three Big Eight Conference Titles

Bill McCartney first set foot on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder in June 1982; little did he know at the time that almost 13 years later he would retire as the winningest coach in CU football history.  “Mac” was 93-55-5 in 13 seasons at the reins of the Buffaloes, guiding the program to its first national championship in football in 1990 and to more bowl games, nine, than any before him. He coached Colorado to three Big Eight titles, 10 consecutive winning seasons in league competition and a 58-29-4 mark in conference play, all of which remain school bests.  Fans often debate which was his best team, the 1989 squad that opened 11-0, the ’90 national championship team (11-1-1), or the ’94 team that went 11-1 and boasted the school’s first and only Heisman Trophy winner in Rashaan Salaam.  He coached the most games ever (153) at Colorado, with his 13 seasons are second to only the legendary Fred Folsom (15) in the number of seasons working on the “hilltop.”  As the unanimous National Coach-of-the-Year selection for 1989, McCartney’s eighth CU team roared to an 11-0 regular season record and the first ever No. 1 national ranking in CU’s 100-year football history.


Bill McCartney is hoisted by the crowd after CU's 27-21 win over Nebraska in 1989.


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