Year Inducted: 2020 (p)
Nominated By: Keith Watkins (Friend)
Sports Competed In: Basketball, Football, Track
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete, Coach
Attended Pueblo Central from 1963-66…A three-sport star, earning seven letterwinners: Football (3), basketball (2) and track (2)… Member of the Student Council, named Junior Class Vice President, and also was a member of Key Club.
● Named to the Colorado All-State Football team as a fullback (1965).
● Leader on Pueblo Central's 1965 State Football Championship team.
● Played Forward/Center on two Central basketball teams, including State Championship finalist (1965) and conference runners-up (1966).
● Qualified for the state Track championships (1966).
● Named Central's Outstanding Athlete (1966).
Attended the University of Colorado (CU) for one season (1966-67) playing on the Buffaloes defensive line...Upon returning from the service, he finished up his college and athletic education at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley and played two years on the Bears defensive line.
● Left CU to join the United States Marine Corps and served with distinction during the Vietnam War.
● US Marine: Vietnam Veteran and Combat Squad Leader (1967-70).
● Named to "Big S's Freshman to Watch Team" as Defensive End following CU freshman year (1967).
● Member Univ. of Northern Colorado football teams (1971-'72), winning its conference both years.
● During just two years of playing defensive line at UNC, Darrel amassed dominating statistics: 190 tackles, 23 sacks, 76 forced passes and 3 fumble recoveries.
● Named All-Conference following the 1972 season.
● Named an Outstanding College Athlete of America (1973).
● Named to UNC's 50-year Football Dream Team (2002).
● Drafted by the Houston Oilers in the NFL's 10th round (#235) in 1973.
● Drafted by the WFL's Jacksonville Sharks (1974) where he suffered a high ankle injury that permanently derailed his pro-football career.
● Tom Walker, a Denver Bronco and UNC teammate remembers Darrel "as an athlete who was as strong and good as I any I ever played with!"
● Assisted in coaching football and track at Pueblo Central (1980).
● Successful head coach of the Centennial Track team (1983-87).
● Major contributor for 13 years as Centennial's Defensive Coordinator (1981-2001) and coaching defensive line for a state football championship (1987) and three other state play-off berths (1983, 1985, 1991).
● Taught, led, coached, and mentored at-risk and disadvantaged youth. Darrel was a motivational player, coach, teacher and administrator.
● El Pueblo Boys and Girls Ranch (Teacher/Principal).
● Pikes Peak BOCES (Principal/Administrator).
● Youth and Family Academy (Principal).
● Hanover School District (Principal).
● George Washington HS, Denver, volunteer basketball coach (1977).
● Bachelor of Arts, University of Southern Colorado.
● Master of Arts, University of Southern Colorado.
● Colorado Association of School Executives.
● Hanover School District "Principal-of-the-Year" (2009).
"He had a knack for communicating with and influencing kids to be their best in life, academics, and athletics. As a coach, teacher, and principal his simple message to young, often disadvantaged and at-risk youth resonated: "athletics are tremendously rewarding but completing your education is more important in life."
Lived in Pueblo for 61 years…Passed away on July 3, 2016.