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Sports / Recreation

McGregor legacy preserved with unique scholarship, other plans

May 13, 2010

Keli McGregor first became an All-American at Colorado State, then became an All-American at life.

Passed away unexpectedly April 20

The memory of Keli McGregor will be preserved at Colorado State through an endowed scholarship and an annual award.

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. That’s why the CSU athletic department wants to preserve his memory in unique fashion.

Scholarship for a walk-on player

Beginning this season, Head Coach Steve Fairchild will award the Keli S. McGregor Memorial Football Scholarship to a walk-on player. McGregor first joined the CSU program 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, he entered athletic administration following his NFL career.

An endowment, this scholarship fund perennially will inspire CSU football players in to follow his example, work ethic, dedication and diligence, both on the gridiron and in the classroom.

Immediate, long-lasting connection

“Lori, the kids, and the rest of Keli’s family continue to be close to our hearts and never far from our minds,” Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk said.

Keli McGregor, 88, in action with the Rams in the early 1980s.

“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.”

First recipient announced May 22

The recipient of the first McGregor scholarship will be announced at the Green & Gold Gala, in Denver on May 22. One player will always have the scholarship until he graduates; it will not be awarded annually, similar to CSU’s legacy scholarship. It is the expectation of the athletic department that the player will realize the tremendous honor he has received, and demonstrate McGregor-like attributes as a leader, a selfless teammate and a man of authentic character and integrity.

In response to the numerous requests from teammates and friends inquiring about how they can contribute, the university has established a Web page to make gifts to the Keli S. McGregor Memorial Scholarship Endowment.

Other plans to honor McGregor

Keli McGregor Day will be Sept 25, 2010.

In addition, Colorado State will:

  • Create the Keli McGregor Award, given annually beginning in Fall 2010 to a student-athlete in one of CSU’s 16 varsity sports that best exemplifies traits demonstrated by the honor’s namesake, including integrity, honesty, leadership, class and competing the right way. Presented during CSU’s Scholar-Athlete Awards Brunch, during Homecoming/Family Weekend, the award will recognize the characteristics that best defined McGregor’s legacy as an All-America tight end and honors student at CSU, an NFL player, and later President of the Rockies. The new award will be among the most prestigious honors given by CSU, on par with the award named after Fum McGraw, the athletic director whom McGregor credited with guaranteeing his scholarship on the heels of a 1982 coaching change.
  • Honor McGregor by affixing to every football helmet in 2010 a decal with his CSU uniform number, 88.
  • Hold Keli McGregor Day at CSU’s Sept. 25 home football game against Idaho, at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. Colorado State’s President, Dr. Tony Frank, and Kowalczyk will invite McGregor’s wife, Lori, and the couple’s four children, as well as McGregor’s parents and Rockies staff, to join them in the home athletic director’s suite. The family will serve as honorary game captains during the coin toss, and would take part in a brief pregame ceremony honoring McGregor and his family.  What’s more, CSU would implement a program to generate revenue, either through ticket sales from that game or donations at the game, to be donated on behalf of CSU athletics to the Rockies’ charitable foundation, Reaching Out to Youth (ROY), in McGregor’s name. McGregor served as President and co-founder of the foundation.

Integrity, honesty, leadership, and class

“Keli will forever represent the finest qualities of a Ram student-athlete and be an example of what we expect from them,” Kowalczyk added. 

Contact: Zak Gilbert
Phone: (970) 491-5067