Lubick's legacy is one that will forever be passed on for generations to come –
one that is based on respect, willpower and perseverance. Ushering in the most
successful era in the history of Colorado State University football, Sonny
Lubick created a standard for excellence the CSU community had never before seen
in the 115-year history of the program.
Sonny Lubick led the Rams to victory and national recognition by winning six
conference titles with a winning record of 108-74 between 1993 and 2007, more
than any other Mountain West Conference team during that period. An impressive
leap from the previous 47 wins with just one bowl appearance in 11 seasons the
Rams saw prior to Lubick's 1993 arrival. But Lubick and the Rams didn't stop
there – going on to play in nine bowl games during his tenure at Colorado State,
ranking among the top 20 teams in the nation in total victories, and placing
among the Mountain West leaders in victories. Lubick was named National Coach of
the Year by Sports Illustrated in 1994.
In 2007, Lubick was ranked among the top 20 NCAA Division I Football Bowl
Subdivision (FBS) active coaches in career wins, and in 2005 joined the ranks of
Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden and Frank Beamer as active Division I-A coaches with
100 or more career wins at their current institutions. Lubick's legacy made
history at Colorado State University as well by steering more than 20 former
Rams to play in the NFL and boasting eight of the 10 largest single-game crowds
and nine of the top 10 seasons in total attendance under his reign.
While Lubick and the Rams were gaining national recognition, the local Fort
Collins' community wanted to honor Sonny in its own way. The 2006 season marked
the completion on an 18-month project to renovate and expand Hughes Stadium, a
project made possible through a $15.2 million gift from the Bohemian Foundation
under the stipulation that the new field be named after Lubick – giving the
community Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.
In 2016, Sonny was recognized and honored once again as it was announced the field of the new on-campus stadium will bear his name.
But Lubick's legacy extends far beyond the field that bears his name, to the
players, students, families and community to which he served passionately for a
decade and a half. In 2003, the Rams’ coach was one of four national finalists
for the Eddie Robinson Coach of Distinction Award for his community service
work, and was also recognized by the American Diabetes Association-Colorado
Chapter as "Father of the Year." In 2005, he was named "Citizen of the Year" by
the Fort Collins Board of Realtors. Carol Jo and Sonny Lubick were given the
“Hope and Care” Award in 2006 by Catholic Charities for their outstanding
character, leadership and faithfulness. Then in 2007, the Fort Collins Area
Chamber of Commerce honored Lubick with the Collins Award, given to local
figures that exemplify leadership and service to the community.
Lubick and his family are also actively involved in local and national charitable
organizations such as St. Jude's Children's Hospital and RAMSTRENGTH, a local
charity started by the Lubick family to help fight cancer in Ram Country.
Governor Bill Ritter declared February 8, 2008 “Sonny Lubick Day” in Colorado to
commemorate Lubick's career and celebrate his many achievements – on and off the
Sonny Lubick was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame on April 14,
Lubick's legacy isn't just about his number of wins, rankings or national titles.
A legacy is something handed down to future generations, inspiring its
successor. Lubick's legacy is about his ability to inspire a community –
reminding everyone that nothing is impossible.
For more information on Sonny Lubick, please visit:
Lubick and Smith Highlight Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2009 (PDF)
entry for Sonny Lubick