Spend any amount of time talking with Columbine football coach Andy Lowry and you’ll quickly get a sense for how passionate he is about the program.
While he routinely deflects praise off himself and onto his players - despite having won four state championships since 1999 - Lowry is always pleased to discuss players and coaches from Columbine’s past.
Recently, Lowry had been looking for a specific way to honor those past greats. After several brainstorming sessions, Lowry came up with the idea of creating a Hall of Fame that would pay tribute to the program’s top players and coaches since the school began playing football in 1973.
“I thought it would be something that would be really great for the community,” Lowry said. “The reaction we’ve gotten from the community so far has been awesome and it really speaks to how close the Columbine community is.”
The inaugural Hall of Fame class will be inducted May 9, at 6 p.m., at Pinehurst Country Club. Twelve former players and coaches make up the class, with most having been a part of the program in the 1970’s, 80s and 90s.
“There have been so many outstanding players and coaches to come through the Columbine program,” Lowry said. “We have a five-year window for players to be eligible for induction, so that’s why none of the more recent guys that people might expect to be in aren’t there.
“This class is big because we wanted to catch up and get the guys in that paved the way for the program. Eventually we’ll get it to where we induct five-to-six guys a year.”
Lowry and the four other football coaches at Columbine, along with principal Frank DeAngelis made up the selection committee. While they were busy with making the decisions on just who would be inducted, parents such as Anne Reese and Don Spond were instrumental in other areas such as fund-raising.
“I had no idea how big this was going to be,” Lowry said. “No way I could’ve done this without the help and support from some of the parents.”
While the night is reserved for honoring those going into the Hall of Fame, Lowry sees it as being a night to celebrate Columbine football in general.
“We want it to have a family atmosphere,” Lowry said. “We want the alumni to come, have a good time and catch up with people they haven’t seen in a while.
“We want the former players and parents to know that they are still very much a part of our success and want them involved in what we’re doing in the future.”
For those in attendance (seats are still available and Lowry is hopeful anyone associated with Columbine football that hasn’t already reserved a table will choose to attend) not only will they hear from all the inductees, but former Colorado State University coach, Sonny Lubick, will deliver the keynote address.
“Sonny is such a classy guy,” Lowry said. “He was always very good to our program.”
For those interested in attending the 2008 Columbine Football Hall of Fame ceremony, contact Anne Reese at 303-985-3267.
2008 Columbine Football Hall
of Fame Inductees
Richard Mart, 1975; Brett Pruit, 1975; Harry Bull, 1976; Laval Short, 1976; Darrell Akerfelds, 1980; Randy Wells (posthumously), 1981; Dirk Visser, 1982; Paul Rose, 1986; Jack Wilmot, 1991; Ralph Place, 1993; Mike Madsen, 1996; Dusty Hoffschneider, 2001