Year Inducted: 2007 (p)
Nominated By: Denton Stilson
Sports Competed In: Football, Wrestling
Athlete, Coach or Contributor: Athlete
Attended Pueblo South H.S., beginning in 1959 and graduating in 1962.
● Lettered three years playing football (linebacker).
● Set a Colts football school record with 103 tackles, over double the number of any of his other teammates.
● Led the team in tackles his junior and senior years.
● In one game was credited with 15 tackles in a losing effort.
● Also a three-year letterman in wrestling.
● Undefeated his senior season on the Colts wrestling team.
● Broke his hand near the end of the season and was unable to wrestle in the state tournament.
Recruited Pueblo Junior College (PJC) in the Fall of 1962, which became Southern Colorado State College (SCSC) in 1963.
A member of the National Honor Society who enjoyed great academic success not only at SCSC but in his studies thereafter.
● Played for Head Coach Joe Prater.
● Inserted into the starting football lineup as a freshman.
● Second on the team in tackles his freshman year with 96, only behind Bob Busia (who had over a 100).
● Had over 100 tackles all three of those seasons while also playing most of the time on offense.
● Led the team in tackles during the first three years of the football team's existence.
● Started both ways on the football team: as the monster or roving linebacker on defense and as guard on offense.
● Also an integral part of special teams, beoming the all-time punt blocker with seven in his three years at SCSC (a record that may still stand).
● Selected to the First Team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Football Team.
● Many coaches felt that he was one of the best linebackers to ever play at Southern Colorado University.
● School President as well as defensive captain all four years on the football team.
● Graduated with athletic and academic honors.
Football Side Note:
● A powerful supporter of the team off the field as well. Coach Prater required each player take a coat and tie on trips and all players evidently did not possess those items. Sam would get them a loan or a charge account at a clothing store and make sure they had the required coat and tie.
● During high school and college, he was always in the top ten students of his class (both H.S. and college).
● Served as President of the Student Government at South High and SCSC proving that his leadership extended beyond the football field.
● Offered an athletic scholarship to the United States Air Academy.
● Received his appointment to the Academy from the Colorado State Congressional Representative.
● Could not pass the physical because he was color blind. This was one of his greatest disappointments.
● Four-time National Coaches Association (NCA) Idaho “Coach-of-the-Year” (1996, 1997, 2000, 2008)
● Two-time Northwest "Coach-of-the-Year" (1997, 2008).
● Inducted into The National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Idaho Chapter (2003).
● Idaho Distinguished "Coach-of-the-Year" (2000).
● Appointed to Idaho Falls City Parks and Recreation Board (2001).
● National High School "Coach-of-the-Year"; First Runner-Up. USA Wrestling Magazine (1997).
● Served as President & Treasurer of National Wrestling Hall Of Fame, Idaho Chapter (2018-2020).
● Established the varsity alumni game which was a great fundraiser for the college (alumni vs. varsity football game).
● Coached and played in the Alumni game about 15-16 years before he quit playing
● Became an outstanding faculty member at Colorado State University.
● Also an outstanding racquetball player -- one of the top ten players in the City of Pueblo.
● Played racquetball three weeks before he died.
● Served as the Dean of Men at Hiram Scott College in Scottsbluff, NE.
● Came back to SCSC and joined the Psychology Department.
Lived in Pueblo for 60 years... Passed away on April 13, 2007.