Editor's Note: Today is the third edition of a 10-day celebration of this year's Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame induction here at CUBuffs.com, profiling each of this year's inductees, leading up to the Nov. 13 football game against Iowa State. Today, we look at the career of football standout Bob Stransky. This year's Hall of Fame festivities begin Thursday, Nov. 11, with the induction ceremonies at the Omni Interlocken Hotel & Resort (6 p.m. reception, with induction ceremony at 7 p.m.). The celebration continues with a women's/men's basketball doubleheader on Friday, Nov. 12, beginning at 5:30 p.m. The honorees will be introduced publicly at halftime of Saturday's game, which kicks off against the Cyclones at 11:30 a.m.
Bob Stransky has remembered one defining moment from his senior year at the University of Colorado in 1957; going out a winner.
"One of the biggest thrills was going to, and winning, the Orange Bowl," Stransky said. "It was such a great honor and great privilege to be invited to a bowl game."
During a season in which the All-American finished second in the nation in rushing yards with 1,097, he saved his finest performance for last, in the 1957 Orange Bowl, a game CU was invited to because of a technicality.
"We managed to qualify for the Orange Bowl because no team could go two years in a row and Oklahoma went the year before," Stransky said. "We ended up second in the conference and got elected to go. We beat Clemson and if I remember correctly, it was CU's first bowl win, too."
It was during this game that Stransky put on a show and finished the game with 59 yards on seven carries to go with a pair of interceptions on defense. The first interception he returned 43 yards to set up a CU touchdown, with the second interception putting a halt to Clemson's final drive with two minutes remaining to clinch the game for the Buffs.
|Bob Stransky was a 1957 All-American and All-Big Seven Conference pick
Stransky, or as his teammates often called him, "Stop-and-Go" because of his ability to quickly stop and start again, was one of the most notable two-way players during his time and thoroughly enjoyed playing both sides of the ball.
"Due to the limited number of scholarships we only had something like 55 players, so some guys were required to go both ways," he said. "I enjoyed playing both ways because I got to play the whole game that way. During my time, that's just the way the system was going."
Stransky said he felt "honored and surprised" to be elected into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame because he felt he "didn't have the qualifications." However, his numbers speak for themselves. He left CU with 1,868 career yards and 138 total points (21 touchdowns and 12-22 on PAT's); both left him fifth in the record books at the time. Stransky credits his numbers to the type of offense that was run here by head coach Dal Ward.
"We were the only team running the single-wing during my four years at CU," Stransky said. "I enjoyed playing for Dal Ward, he was an old school type of coach and it was a good offense."
Stransky was drafted in the second round of the 1958 NFL draft (by Baltimore) but played two years in the Canadian Football League before finishing his career with the AFL Denver Broncos in 1960. After football, he went on to become a teacher and coach within the Denver Public School system.
"I consider (being elected to the Hall of Fame) a great honor and also a great privilege to be a part of it with these athletes and coaches," said Stransky. "It feels great and it was great playing with all of those guys."