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Dedicated to the Preservation of Athletic History at Colorado State University
Head Football Coaches 1899-2012
W.J. Forbes
0-2-1 (.167)
George E. Toomey
(Denver '98)
1-3 (.250)
Clarence J. Griffith
(Iowa '99)
1901 - 1902
2-5-2 (.333)
Matt Rothwell
(Colorado '99)
5-1 (.833)
In 1893 and 1894 the football team did not have a coach. Football was suspended from 1895-1898, 1943 and 1944.
John H. McIntosh
(Georgia '00)
1904 - 1905
3-8-1 (.292)
Claude J. Rothgeb
(Illinois '04)
1906 - 1909
3-11-1 (.233)
George Cassidy
(Vermont '10)
0-5 (.000)
The Durkee Era: The first seven coaches in school history may have laid the groundwork for athletics at Colorado Agricultural
College, but they are all highly forgettable in history. In fact, three of the coaches (Forbes, Rothwell and Cassidy) were so bad that
history had forgotten them until research for
Aggies to Rams discovered CSU had three more coaches than records previously showed.
All of these me coached at the old Durkee Field and none of them stayed around long enough to build successful teams. Forbes was the
first paid coach and McIntosh introduced the first black player in school history. Their combined 14-35-5 (.306) record remains one of
the worst periods in CSU football history.
Harry W. Hughes
(Oklahoma '08)
1911 - 1941, 1946(Interim)
126-97-18 (.560)
Julius "Hans" Wagner
(Colorado State '27)
1942, 1945 - 1946
8 -11 -1 (.425)
The Hughes Era 1911-1946: For over 35 years football for the Colorado
Aggies centered around legendary head coach Harry W. Hughes. Hughes
came from Oklahoma in 1911 and cleaned up athletics and set a mark as
one of the finest coaches in the Western United States. Known as a highly
fair and honest coach, Hughes won eight conference championships, became
a member of the elite NCAA rules committee when only seven coaches
were invited to join, he was a board member of the American Football
Coaches Association and in 1952 the Helms Armature Hall of Fame
inducted him as a member. In 1935 he earned the nickname "Dean of
American Football Coaches" when in his 25th season as the Aggies' head
coach, Hughes became the longest tenured coach at any school nationwide.
After a decline in the late 1930s, Hughes was pressured to promote is
longtime assistant coach Julius "Hans" Wagner as head coach in April, 1942.
Wagner was forced to resign mid-way through the 1946 season and Hughes
finished the last four games as interim head coach.
Bob Davis
(Utah '30)
1947 - 1955
54–33–2 (.618)
Don "Tuffy" Mullison
(Colorado State '49)
1956 - 1961
19-40-1 (.325)
Milo "Mike" Lude
(Hillsdale '47)
1962 - 1969
29 -51 -1 (.364)
Jerry Wampfler
(Miami-Ohio '54)
1970 - 1972
8–25 (.242)
Sark Arslanian
(Dixie College '50)
1973 - 1981
45–47–4 (.490)
Chester Caddas
(Murray State '57)
1981 (Interim)
0-6 (.000)
Aggies to Rams: Following 35 years dominated by Harry Hughes as football coach and the main influence over football, Bob Davis
stepped in as the new head coach of football and he immediately took advantage of WWII veterans to take his team to the school's
first bowl game on January 1, 1949. Davis' teams came in second place in the Skyline Conference in 1948, 1949 and 1950, but a
de-emphasis on athletics and the Korean War hurt Davis in the early 1950s. In 1955, Bob Davis and his Colorado A&M team won
the only conference championship of this era and the first since 1934. In 1956, Davis resigned as coach to concentrate on his duties as
athletic director and his former player and assistant, Don "Tuffy" Mullison took over the reigns. During the Mullison and Lude eras
football fell to its worst low and in 1962 CSU lost its conference and competed as an independent. Lude's 1966 team marked the best
since 1955, but football fell on tough times again under Jerry Wampfler. When Sark Arslanian stepped in as head coach he revitalized
football at CSU, which culminated in the great 1977 season. Financial problems hurt football again and although the Rams nearly won
the WAC in 1980, a difficult schedule produced an 0-6 start to the 1981 season. That is when Arslainian was fired and defensive
coordinator Chester Caddas took over as interim head coach to finish the 1981 season 0-12.

- Forbes was paid $25
as the first coach in
school history.

- Toomey resigned
amid scandal when he
played an ineligible
man in 1901 against
CU and later became
the under sheriff of
Larimer County.

- Rothwell was a
doctor from Denver
who traveled to Fort
Collins to coach only
on game day.

- Rothgeb was a
professional baseball
player from Illinois.
He played only a few
games for the
Washington Senators.

- Harry Hughes did
not give the media
much to write and
never predicted the
outcome of a game.

- Hughes was known
to be a shrewd poker

- Julius "Hans"
Wagner was the first
graduate of Colorado
Agricultural College
(CSU) to become the
head coach at his alma

- Bob Davis played
quarterback on the
1929 Utah Utes
championship team.

- Bob Davis produced
several NFL players
out of Colorado A&M
including Fum
McGraw, Jack
Christiansen and Gary

- Mullison earned his
nickname "Tuffy" in
the first grade.

- Mike Lude was a
veteran of the U.S.

- Jerry Wampfler
resigned in February
1973 because of his
inability to work with
athletic director Perry

- Arslanian revived the
Wyoming rivalry and
made it into the
Border War we know

- Leon Fuller was a
pupil of Paul "Bear"
Bryant at Alabama.

- Sonny Lubick's first
name is Louis, but his
nickname Sonny was
given to him at a
young age and it has
stayed with him his
entire life.

- Lubick was an avid
baseball player in
Butte, Montana in his
youth, but an injury
on the field not only
ended his career in the
outfield, but nearly
ended his life.

- Steve Fairchild is the
third CSU head coach
to have also played for
CSU and been an
assistant coach for his
alma mater as well.

- Since 1910, no
former CSU head
coach has left the
school and gone on to
coach at another
college. Rothgeb
coached at Colorado
College from 1910 to
1918 and one year at
Rice in 1928.

- Both Bob Davis and
Sark Arslanian were
the head coaches at
Weber State at one
time. Davis coached
when it was a junior
(Robert) Leon Fuller
(Alabama '61)
1982 - 1988
25 – 55 (.313)
Earle Bruce
(Ohio State '53)
1989 - 1992
22–24–1 (.479)
Sonny Lubick
(Western Montana '60)
1993 - 2007
108–74 (.593)
Steve Fairchild
(Colorado State '81)
2008 - 2011
16-33 (.326)
Renaissance - Leon Fuller produced several excellent players, but no great teams during the 1980s. It was not until CSU
decided to bring on legendary Ohio State coach Earle Bruce that football received its greatest resurgence since Bob Davis.
Bruce took his 1990 team to the Freedom Bowl and won in an exciting game over Oregon. His smash-mouth football and rigid
conditioning transformed the Roms from a 1-10 team in 1988 to a 9-4 team with a bowl championship. However, Bruce's initial
success gave way to two disappointing seasons in 1991 and 1992 which culminated in a controversial firing after the 1992
season. After the fallout of the Bruce firing,
Sonny Lubick, a former assistant coach for Leon Fuller, stepped in as the 18th head
coach in school history. He took CSU football to places it had never imagined with six conference championships, nine bowl
games and much greater attendance than CSU had ever seen before. After 15 seasons and a legendary career which brought
about the renaming of the field at Hughes Stadium in Lubick's honor, Sonny's success was not the same and he was released
from his contract two years before it expired. After Lubick left CSU, fans remained split on their feelings. Then CSU hired
former great quarterback
Steve Fairchild who assisted Lubick during the greatest period in football history. Fairchild took his
first-year team to the New Mexico Bowl and won to become the first CSU head coach to win a bowl game in their first season.
Earle Bruce - 1990 Freedom Bowl
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)
Harry Hughes circa 1919
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)
Mike Lude - 1966
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)
Sonny Lubick leads the charge at the Rocky Mountain Showdown
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)
Sark Arslanian - 1980
Photo courtesy of CSU Athletics)
Jim McElwain
(Eastern Washington '84)
2012 - Present
1-5 (.167)