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Harry Carlson
Coach/Athletic Director

  • First athletic director in Colorado history
  • Led CU into “big-time“ collegiate athletics
  • CU baseball coach, dean of men and regent
  • Inaugural “Honorary C“ recipient

There had been athletic managers, but Harry Carlson was the first athletic director in CU history in the modern sense of the position.  He took over those duties in 1927, and held the position for some 38 years until naming one of his best hires, Eddie Crowder, as his successor in 1965.  His 38 years of service to the department is the most by a non-coach, and second-most overall, with perhaps the pinnacle of his career coming in 1948 when he led CU into the Big Seven Conference, setting the stage for big-time athletics in Boulder.  His passion for the university was second-to-none for his day, as in addition to being athletic director, he was also the baseball coach for 18 seasons, coaching the Buffaloes to 11 league titles between 1928 and 1945.  (In fact, in 1934, he approved “Buffaloes” as the official nickname for the school’s athletic teams.)  He also served the university in two other capacities during his tenure, as dean of men as well as regent.  Carlson was a member of the inaugural group in 1955 to receive the “Honorary C” for outstanding contribution to CU Athletics.  He was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.  He died July 27, 1986 at the age of 89.


Harry Carlson presents Joe Romig with his 1960 UPI All-America Award

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