September 25, 2010
By Jayleen Heft
Plenty of emotion was in the stadium Saturday as the university honored the legacy of Keli McGregor, a former CSU walk-on turned All-American who went on to become president of the Colorado Rockies before tragedy took his life in April. His wife Lori and their four children, one of whom is a CSU student, wore orange No. 88 jerseys at the game as honorary captains.
Long before he unexpectedly passed away April 20, McGregor had left a living legacy with everyone who knew him, from his playing days with the Rams to his time as president of the Colorado Rockies. Above reproach and a champion of genuine leadership, he exuded legacy in a unique way.
The University held Keli McGregor Day at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. McGregor's wife, Lori, in the couple's four children, as well as McGregor's parents and Rockies staff, joined CSU President Tony Frank and Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk to join them in the home athletic director's suite.
The family served as honorary game captains during the coin toss, and took part in a brief ceremony honoring them after the first quarter.
McGregor first joined the Rams during his second year on campus, as a walk-on in 1981, then earned a scholarship in 1982, and garnered All-America honors as a senior in 1984.
Selected in the fourth round of the 1985 draft by the Denver Broncos, McGregor entered athletic administration following his NFL career.
In response to the numerous requests from teammates and friends inquiring about how they can contribute, the University has established a website to make gifts to the Keli S. McGregor Memorial Scholarship Endowment.
Head Coach Steve Fairchild awarded the first Keli S. McGregor Memorial Football Scholarship to walk-on player Broderick Sargent this season. An endowment, this scholarship fund perennially will inspire CSU football players to follow McGregor's example of work ethic, dedication, and diligence, both on the gridiron and in the classroom.
"Lori, the kinds, and the rest of Keli's family continue to be close to our hearts and never far from our minds," Kowalczyk said. "We want to create a meaningful, immediate, and long-lasting connection between Keli McGregor, Ram Athletics, and our student-athletes, campus community, alumni, and fans. We believe our program shares Keli's core values and after consulting with his family and the Rockies organization, cannot think of a more heartfelt gesture than to honor him in perpetuity this way."