Longtime FWAA member Steve Hatchell, the President and CEO of the National Football Foundation, will be inducted into the 2017 CU Athletic Hall of Fame in November.
The following is the media release from CU.
BOULDER — The 13th class that will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this November 10 will feature 10 Golden Buffalo legends who are representative of eight sports in the school’s history, all of whom left indeliblemarks in their CU athletic careers.
The ten, two of whom will be honored posthumously, represent those eight different sports over a period that spans from the early 1940s to early last decade, covering seven different decades in all. Included in the group are a pair of football teammates from the ‘70s; two of CU’s standout female performers basketball and volleyball in the early 1990s; the school’s first
star skier; one of CU’s first high‐profile national recruits in men’s basketball; a national cross country individual champion; a longtime coach and state golfing legend; a member of three conference champion football teams who had an outstanding and lengthy career in the pros; and a man who rose from manager of the football team to several full‐time positions in the athletic department before really making his mark nationally as one of the top administrators in college sports.
The 2017 class will be the 13th inducted into the Hall since it was conceived in 1998, and the 10 will join 91 individuals (and the 1959 ski team as a unit) who have been enshrined to date (12 have been honored previously after their deaths). Athletic director Rick George personally notified all eight living members of the upcoming class of their impending induction, as well as the next of kin for two deceased inductees, CU’s first three‐time All‐American in any sport, skier Frank Brown, and longtime golf coach after lettering in the sport himself in Les Fowler.
The group will officially be inducted in the Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 10, in a luncheon ceremony at the CU Champions Center; will be featured in the Pearl Street Stampede parade that night; and then will be introduced at halftime of the CU‐ Southern California football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, to complete the weekend.
Those to be inducted:
All three football players were high selections in the National Football League Draft, as Haynes and Brock were first round picks in 1980 (eighth and 12th overall, respectively), while Brown was a second‐rounder and 44th overall in the ’93 draft.
Humphries, along with Inglewood (Calif.) High School teammate Vince Kelley, were perhaps the first two high profile national recruits in men’s basketball, while Lang herself was a big‐time signee out of Washington High in Kansas City, Kan.
Downey was one of the early stars on CU’s fledgling volleyball team, joining the squad in its sixth year of existence and played a major role in the program taking a major step forward. Torres, on the other hand, was a key in helping the Buffs go from perennial conference champion to winning CU’s first men’s national cross country championship in 2001.
Hatchell started as a football team manager doing what they do – laundry, sizing equipment, fixing helmets – to being an assistant to the athletic director, the late Eddie Crowder, and being the right‐hand man to ski coach Bill Marolt at the front end of CU’s eight straight NCAA ski titles. After a short stint as co‐sports information director, he moved on to several high profile collegiate positions with the Big 8, Metro and Southwest conferences, with a run as the Orange Bowl’s executive director sprinkled in‐between, to where he is now, the top man with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Frank Brown was an All‐American in both alpine and Nordic events three straight years, while Fowler starred as a golfer in the late 1940s and took over coaching the team in 1948 through his retirement midway during the 1976‐77 athletic year.
All inductees were nominated by their peers in the Alumni C‐Club or by members of the selection committee; 27 semifinalists emerged from over 60 names originally submitted over the last three years. There are now 101 members (plus the ’59 ski team, CU’s first national champions) in the CU Athletic HOF since its inception in 1998. An athlete must be at least 10 years removed from his or her CU career and retired from professional sports (teams) to be considered for induction.
With an induction every year instead of on a biennial basis as was the case for the first 16 years of the Hall, CU has been able to get more of those who are deserving of the recognition honored in a shorter time span with larger induction classes over the last four years.
DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America announced Tuesday that National Football Foundation President and CEO Steve Hatchell has been named the 2015 recipient of the FWAA Bert McGrane Award.
“Steve Hatchell has been a great friend of the FWAA for a number of years,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “The National Football Foundation has sponsored a Past Presidents Dinner for the Association for several years and now is a co-sponsor of the Grantland Rice Super 16 Poll, which had a successful first-year run. The two organizations have partnered to stage a Football Forum in the past. That’s not to mention the association the FWAA has with several awards in the College Football Hall Fame, for a long time in South Bend and now in Atlanta, and the NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.”
The official announcement was made during the annual FWAA Annual Awards Breakfast at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel in front of the FWAA members and the national media that had assembled to cover the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, which had taken place the previous day.
“We have a small but powerful team at the National Football Foundation that has been together for more than eight years and cares deeply about the sport, including Matthew Sign, Ron Dilatush, Hillary Jeffries, Philip Marwill, Will Rudd and Sue Tuggle,” said Hatchell. “The success of the Foundation has only been possible because of the support and vision of a great board of directors, and they have has allowed us to keep the staff together and make it happen.
“I am deeply touched by this honor. I have watched the presentation of this award since the early 1970s working at the Big 8 Conference, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be recognized alongside some of the greatest writers and advocates in college football. My appreciation of this honor is beyond words. All I can say is thank you, and I feel blessed to be able to count many of the football writers among my dear friends.”