BOULDER — The sixth class that will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this October 12 will include the entire team and coaching staff from CU’s first national championship team, the school’s fourth College Football Hall of Fame inductee, one of the top distance runners in Buffalo history, and three men forever linked with success and longevity in football, skiing and the department overall.
The 2006 class includes the Buffaloes first national champions team in any sport, legendary Coach Bob Beattie’s 1959 ski team, which defeated rival Denver for the title in winning the first of two straight NCAA championships. That group will be joined by two of the premier athletes to ever grace the CU campus, Bobby Anderson, who will be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame this December and next summer, and Adam Goucher, the 1998 NCAA cross country champion who was an 11-time All-American in cross country and track.
Goucher and another 2006 inductee, Bill Marolt, are two of the three athletes in school history to have won as many as four individual NCAA titles. Marolt did it in skiing, and then went on to coach the team to seven consecutive NCAA crowns between 1972-78. After six years with the U.S. Ski Team, he returned to lead the program as just the third athletic director in school history.
The class includes two in the coach/administrator category, and it’s no coincidence that they were also great friends. Bill McCartney, the school’s winningest coach who took CU to the top of college football in 1990, and Fred Casotti, who saw his career in CU athletics span over 50 years from student in the1940s, sports information director in the ‘50s and ‘60s, assistant then associate athletic director in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and then historian until his death in 2001.
McCartney rallied the program from the depths of NCAA probation when he took over in 1982, with his first team having just 77 players on the roster, about 18 fewer than most had just on scholarship. Seven years later, through hard work in all facets of the program, he created a juggernaut that reeled off three straight Big Eight titles and played for two national championships against Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, coming up short in ’89 but winning it all a year later.
Casotti passed away in 2001 at the age of 77; he will be inducted into CU’s Hall six years to the day of his death. Marolt is currently the president and CEO of U.S. Skiing; McCartney is retired and living in Westminster and has taken an active role in supporting the football program; Beattie is retired and resides in his native Aspen; Anderson and his wife Marti are living in southern California and are engaged in a private business venture; and Goucher is still competing with designs of making the 2008 U.S. Olympic team.
Click on the individual icons below for a capsule look at those being inducted as the sixth class of CU's Athletic Hall of Fame:
CU's Hall of Fame was initiated in 1998 with sole inductee, the late Byron "Whizzer" White (football, basketball, baseball, track, 1935-38), CU’s first All-American in any sport. The second class was inducted in 1999, as the Hall took in the late Gil Cruter (track, 1934-37); Burdette "Burdie" Haldorson (basketball, 1952-55), the late William "Kayo" Lam (football, 1933-35), Joe Romig (football, 1959-61) and Lisa Van Goor (basketball, 1981-85).
The third class in 2000 class was comprised of Ambassador David Bolen (track, 1946-48); Jimmie Heuga (skiing, 1961-63), Dean Lahr (wrestling, 1962-64) and Pat Patten (wrestling/cross country & track, 1940-47). The fourth class was inducted in 2002 and featured Dick Anderson (football, 1965-67), Harry Carlson (baseball coach and athletic director, 1927-65), Darian Hagan (football, 1988-91), Carroll Hardy (baseball, football and track, 1951-54), Hale Irwin (golf and football, 1964-67) and Sox Walseth (men’s and women’s basketball, 1956-76 and 1980-83).
The fifth and most recent class, inducted in 2004, was the largest class to date with seven inductees: Don Branby (football/basketball/baseball, 1949-52), Eddie Crowder (football coach/athletic director 1963-84), Cliff Meely (basketball, 1968-71), the late Frank Potts (track coach, 1927-68), Shelley Sheetz (basketball, 1991-95), Bill Toomey (track, 1959-61) and John Wooten (football, 1956-58).
This year’s Hall of Fame event will take place the weekend of the CU-Texas Tech football game, with functions starting Thursday, October 12, at the Omni Interlocken Hotel & Resort (6:00 p.m. reception, with induction ceremony at 7 p.m.; the event is open to the public and is free of charge — seating is limited so those who wish to attend must RSVP with the Buff Club at 303/492-5497). The honorees will be introduced publicly at halftime of the game on that Saturday (game time to be announced on October 2).