The latest batch of Colorado Buffaloes Hall of Famers includes a reigning Olympic medalist, a formerly semi-disgraced football coach, and a fellow who has a football stadium named after him yet somehow has been omitted from CU immortality until now.
On Wednesday, CU announced its 2019 Hall of Fame induction class, with 10 Buffs legends representing five sports receiving their Hall call.
The group includes distance runner and four-time NCAA champion Jenny (Barringer) Simpson; former football coaches Gary Barnett and Fred Folsom; former football stars Barry Helton and Brian Cabral, the latter who went on to become a longtime assistant coach with the Buffs; former skiing All-Americans Jana (Rehemaa) Weinberger and Bruce Gamble; Ed Pudlik, a two-sport star for the Buffs in the 1940s; former track standout Dan Reese; and Jane Wahl, who in the late 1970s became the first woman to serve as an athletic director at CU.
The 2019 class, which is the 15th in CU Hall of Fame history, will be inducted in early November. Though details still are pending, the Hall of Fame festivities will take place over the weekend of Nov. 7-9, with the class set to be introduced at halftime of the Nov. 9 home football game against Stanford.
Simpson, the first American woman to win an Olympic medal in the 1,500 meter run when she won bronze in 2016, became the just the third former Buffs standout to reach the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, following Chauncey Billups and Ceal Barry.
Folsom coached the CU football team for 15 years, a record for longevity that still stands, though he covered those years in three different stints. Folsom’s 77 victories stood as the Buffs record until he was surpassed by Bill McCartney (93).
Barnett was forced out at CU following the 2005 season and a 70-3 loss against Texas in the Big 12 Conference title game, and in the wake of sexual assault allegations against teammates by former kicker Katie Hnida and a sex parties-for-recruits controversy. Barnett has since mended fences with CU, replacing legendary broadcaster Larry Zimmer alongside Mark Johnson for the radio calls of Buffs football games while being remembered more for his four Big 12 North Division titles in five seasons than the circumstances surrounding his departure.
Cabral’s 23 years as a CU assistant coach is the most in school history for any sport. Helton, a Colorado Springs native, was a consensus All-American as a punter in 1985 and 1986 before playing 50 games in four NFL seasons with San Francisco and the Los Angeles Rams.
Gable was a three-time skiing All-American and part of four consecutive NCAA team championships in the 1970s, and Weinberger enjoyed similar success on the slopes three decades later, sweeping through the freestyle and classical titles at the West Regional and NCAA championships while captaining the Buffs’ 2006 national championship team.
Wahl was named CU’s coordinator of women’s sports in 1974 and served as CU’s women’s athletic director from 1975 to 1979. Reese perhaps set the stage in the 1980s for the steeplechase glory still to come for the CU track program, earning three All-American honors at CU before going on to compete at three different Olympic trials. Pudlik enrolled at CU after serving in World War II and starred in both football and baseball for the Buffs.