|Dedicated to the Preservation of Athletic History at Colorado State University
|In Memoriam: Walter F. "Bus" Bergman 1920-2010
GRAND JUNCTION, CO-March 28, 2010: One of the last surviving
members of Harry Hughes' final team died today at the age of 89.
Walter F. "Bus" Bergman, a 1993 CSU Sports Hall of Famer and 1995
member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame will long be remembered as a
pioneer for Colorado baseball in Grand Junction thanks to his efforts to
bring the National Junior College Athletic Association baseball tournament
to Grand Junction in 1959, where it is still played each year.
Bergman, a 1938 graduate of Denver's North High School was an
all-around athlete at Colorado State College of Agriculture and Mechanic
Arts (Colorado State University) when he arrived there in the fall of 1938.
He played varsity baseball, basketball and is best known as the co-captain
of the 1941 Aggies football team; the last full-season that Harry Hughes
coached football at CSU.
Bergman played football with such CSU legends as Chester Maeda, Lewis
"Dude" Dent and John Mosley. (Mosley and Maeda join Bergman in the
CSU sports hall of fame) When Bergman played his first varsity season in
1939, as a sophomore he was one of the team leaders and helped Hughes
regain some much-needed wins after the dismal 1937 and 1938 seasons. In
his senior year of 1941, Bergman shared the team captain responsibilities
with James Stinnet and although he was not named to the all-conference
team, his ability at halfback was outstanding.
Known as "Bus" his entire life, Bergman was a very popular student on the
CSC campus and in his senior year he was nominated the student body
president. Also a member of the SAE fraternity, Bergman passed up a
chance to play for the Philadelphia Eagles to enlist in the US Marines during
the early days of WWII. Like many of his teammates, Bus Bergman helped
the United States win the war as a hero on the battlefield.
|CSU and Colorado Sports Hall of Famer Dies at 89
|War Hero, Father and Colorado Sports Pioneer
Denver writer Terry Frei interviewed Bergman for a story in the
Denver Post about his service in WWII. Bergman, like many war vets
did not discuss his military days during the war with his children, only
saying, "The heroes are the guys who never came back." Major Walter
Bergman fought in the South Pacific with the 229th Sixth Marine
Division and earned a Bronze Star for heroism at Okinawa and Sugar
Loaf Hill. He also played football on the rough coral fields of the
Japanese islands with many men that went on to play in the NFL.
After the war, Bergman moved to Durango, Colorado where he
coached at Fort Lewis College from 1947 to 1950 before he settled in
Grand Junction, Colorado to use his degree in physical education and
coach at Mesa State College from 1950 to 1980. At Mesa State, his
coaching record in football was 102-63-9, with three conference
championships. His baseball teams were 378-201, with 20 conference
championships. It was in 1959 when Bergman helped bring the
National Junior College Athletic Association baseball tournament to
Grand Junction, a tradition that remains today.
Thanks to his efforts on the field as coach, the athletic fields at Mesa
State College are named in his honor.
Bergman is survived by a son, Walter Bergman Jr. of Grand Junction
and two daughters, Judy Black of Alexandria, VA and Jane Norton of
Denver. His daughter Jane served as lieutenant governor of Colorado
from 2003 to 2007.
|Besides football, Bus Bergman played basketball and
baseball all four years he attended Colorado State. His
efforts as baseball coach at Mesa Sate University make him
on of the finest college baseball coaches in state history.
This photo shows Bus in his 1942 basketball uniform.
Bus Bergman's daughter,
served as Lieutenant
Governor of Colorado from
2003 to 2007
|Walter F. "Bus" Bergman - ca1939
|In 1939, Bus Bergman led the Colorado State Aggies on the field
as a sophomore and earned the co-captain spot for the 1941 season.
|Walter F. "Bus" Bergman was the Colorado State Student Body president
in 1941-1942 along with being co-captain of the football team.
|Bus Bergman - Halfback 1940
|Bus Bergman played Varsity football 1939-1941