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Cockroft to be an inductee of Colorado Hall of Fame

Posted: Wednesday, Oct 10th, 2012

Don Cockroft in action

Courier Sports Editor

DENVER — Former Adams State University and Cleveland Browns punter and place kicker Don Cockroft has been selected as one of six inductees that the Selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame voted to honor at the 49th annual induction banquet April 18, 2013, at the Denver Marriott City Center.

The other inductees include former Denver Bronco Steve Atwater, former Colorado Rockies hitting coach and manager Don Baylor, former Colorado Avalanche Adam Foote, PGA Tour Qualifier Steve Jones and former major league baseball all-star pitcher Stan Williams. The 2013 class was announced on Tuesday.

Since its inception in 1965, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has inducted 222 individuals prior to Tuesday’s selection meeting for the Class of 2013. The first class of inductees featured Earl “Dutch” Clark, Jack Dempsey and former Supreme Court justice Byron “Whizzer” White. Marcelo Balboa, Frank Carbajal, Peter Forsberg, Glenn Gondrezick, Greg Myers and Will Nicholson were inducted this past April as the Class of 2012.

Cockroft will be the third inductee with strong Adams State ties to join the illustrious Hall of Fame joining 1978 inductee Lawrence “Spud” Orr, Adams State’s first-ever all-American turned multiple-sport coach, and 1991 inductee Dr. Joe I. Vigil, ASU’s long-time and legendary cross country and track & field coach. Both of those gentlemen were also a part of the same inaugural Adams State University Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2000.

Cockroft, a 1967 graduate of Adams State, set the national record for punting average in 1966 (48.1 yards per punt), the year he was an all-American. His number “0” was retired at Adams State in 1995.

In 2008, Cockroft was inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and in 2009, he was named to the RMAC’s All-Time Team as part of the conference’s Centennial Celebration. That team included the best 24 players from the RMAC’s first century.

A high school standout at Fountain (now Fountain-Fort Carson) in the early 1960s, Cockroft was drafted in the third-round of the 1967 National Football League draft by the Cleveland Browns. During his 13-year career (1968-80) with the Browns, the longest NFL tenure of any Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference player, Cockroft scored more than 1,000 points (1,080) in his career and was known as one of the greatest clutch kickers in NFL history. He connected on all 17 game-winning kicks during his hit time as a Brown and was a solid 65.9 percent on his overall field goal attempts (216 of 328). He has the third most career points for a Brown behind only fellow kickers Phil Dawson (second) and Lou “The Toe” Groza, the Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle and kicker, who Cockroft replaced.

Cockroft was named as an All-Pro in 1972 and then in 2007, was added to Cleveland Browns Legends program that honors former players who have made a major impact and contributed to the success of the organization.

Tickets for next April’s Colorado Sports Hall of Fame induction are $175 each and Sponsor tables start at $2,500. For additional for ticket and table information, please telephone the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame (www.coloradosports.org, 720/258-3535). The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame & Museum is located at Gate 1 on the west side of Sports Authority Field at Mile High at 1701 Bryant Street in Denver.

ASU Sports Information Director Chris Day contributed to this report.

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