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‘Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story’ to debut on CBS Sports Network

“The true story of the first Samoan Quarterback who took his team to a National Championship....only not in the way that you think.”

Damian Strohmeyer/ Getty Images

The story of former Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Sal Aunese is retold through the people who knew him best. “Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story,” makes its television debut in prime time on CBS Sports Network on Friday, August 18 (5 p.m. MST, encore 11 p.m. MST).

The documentary follows Aunese’s journey as a Samoan born athlete recruited by CU coaches Les Miles and Bill McCartney to his time in Boulder. In 1987, he helped the Buffs to a 7–4 record without a bowl appearance. The Buffs improved to 8-4 the following season, but lost in the Freedom Bowl to BYU.

Aunese passed away from stomach cancer on Sept. 23, 1989 at the age of 21.

Among the CU notables in the movie along with McCartney are former teammates turned co-producers J.J. Flannigan and Darian Hagan.

The 90-minute film was honored as the best documentary at FICTS International Sports Film Festival in Milan, Italy in November, 2016. Director Lara Slife also won ‘Best First Time Director’ for her years of work on the project.