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Chris Brown, Chris Naeole headline Colorado Buffaloes Hall of Fame class

Colorado will elect nine athletes to their Hall of Fame

The University of Colorado announced on Monday that they will elect nine athletes to the CU Athletic Hall of Fame:

Donnie Boyce, Basketball (1991-95)
Chris Brown, Football (2001-02)
Nikki Marshall, Soccer (2006-09)
Chris Naeole, Football (1992-96)
Mickey Pruitt, Football (1984-87)
Dathan Ritzenheim, Cross Country & Track (2001-04)
Richard Rokos, Ski Coach (1987-2021)
Jack Ryan, Gymnastics (1966-68)
Lee Willard, Football, Basketball, Baseball and Track & Field (1918-22)

Donnie Boyce was a prolific guard who compiled 1,995 points in his four-year career, the most in CU basketball history until Ricard Roby broke the record in 2008. He made it to the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks as part of his 11-year professional career.

Chris Brown famously ran for six touchdowns in Colorado’s 62-36 win over the #1-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2001, arguable the greatest single game in Buffaloes football history. He carried over his breakout into 2002, totaling 2,787 yards and 35 TDs in just two seasons before leaving for the NFL.

Chris Naeole was an absolute unit and perhaps the best lineman in the country during his CU career. Blocking for Rashaan Salaam, Kordell Stewart and Herchell Troutman, the big Hawaiian was a two-time consensus All-American his junior and senior years. He was a first round pick and played in the NFL for 11 years.

Mickey Pruitt was the Buffs’ defensive leader during their rise to prominence in the late 1980s. His play at strong safety was invaluable to their team, as he racked up 332 tackles, 9 forced fumbles and 30 pass deflections. He was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe and was named to Colorado’s All-Century team.

Ricard Rokos has an argument as the most successful coach in CU sports history. Since taking over the ski team in 1990, Rokos won eight national championships (tied for Mark Wetmore with most ever in CU history), surpassing former coach Bill Marolt’s seven. He coached 46 individual champions and 247 All-Americans.

The last athlete to spotlight is multi-sport star Lee Willard, who played football, basketball, baseball and track & field. There are jokes to be made about the quality of sports in the 1910s and 1920s, but he was all-conference in every sport he played and has more letter than any other athlete in school history.