DENVER — The Selection Committee of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame voted six individuals—including Peyton Manning and the late Rashaan Salaam—to be inducted at the 54th annual banquet set for Wednesday, April 18, at the Denver Hilton City Center (1701 California St., Denver, 80202).
Broncos quarterback Manning and University of Colorado Heisman Trophy winner Salaam will be joined as April inductees to the Class of 2018 by Joe Glenn, Sam Pagano, Tracy Hill and the late Alex Burl. The Selection committee will pick the 2017 Athletes of the Year at a January 2018 meeting as the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame recognizes collegiate, high school and Olympic/Pro athletes at the annual banquet.
Peyton Manning, who joined the Broncos as a free agent on March 20, 2012, after spending the first 14 years of his professional career with the Indianapolis Colts, is the only five-time Most Valuable Player in NFL history. No player in league history has earned more Pro Bowl appearances (14) than Manning, a 14-time team captain who finished his career as the NFL’s all-time record holder in career touchdown passes (539) and passing yards (71,940).
The NFL’s career leader in combined regular-season and playoff wins (200) by a starting quarterback at the time of his retirement following the 2015 season, Manning is the only quarterback in league history to lead two teams to a Super Bowl victory. He quarterbacked the Broncos to a win in Super Bowl 50 to end the 2015 season after earning his first World Championship with the Colts in Super Bowl XLI following the 2006 season.
During his four years in Denver, Manning helped the Broncos to the most wins (55) and highest winning percentage (.764) of any team in the NFL while becoming the first quarterback in team history to be part of four consecutive AFC West titles. No player threw more touchdowns (151) in the regular season/playoffs combined from 2012-2015 than Manning, who ranked third in the league in overall passer rating (99.6) as well as fourth in both overall passing yards (19,062) and completions (1,639) during that period.
In 2013, Manning posted the most prolific season of any quarterback in NFL history en route to earning his fifth MVP award and receiving Sports Illustrated’s prestigious Sportsman of the Year award. Manning, who helped the Broncos to their first Super Bowl appearance in 15 years, set NFL single-season records for touchdown passes (55) and passing yards (5,477) while leading the highest-scoring offense (606 pts., 37.9 PPG) in NFL history.
The recipient of numerous local and national recognitions for his community involvement, Manning is one of only eight players in NFL history to win all three of the league’s most prestigious community awards: the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award (2004), the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award (2005) and the Bart Starr Award (2015).
Manning earned the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Athlete of the Year awards for both 2012 and '13.
Rashaan Salaam is the only Heisman Trophy winner from a Colorado-based school, claiming the honor in 1994. That year, in what would be Bill McCartney's final season as head coach at CU, Salaam rushed for 2,005 yards and 24 touchdowns in 11 games, averaing a stellar 6.9 yards per carry as the Buffs finished with an 11-1 record. That junior season, he recorded 10 100-yard-plus rushing games, joining the likes of Barry Sanders, Tony Dorsett, Marcus Allen and Mike Rozier as college players who have rushed for at least 2,000 yards in a single season. Salaam also caught 24 passes for 294 yards that year.
Salaam, the son of former Cincinnati Bengals running back Teddy Washington, skipped his senior season at CU and was a first-round draft pick (21st overall) of the Chicago Bears. He ran for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns as an NFL rookie. But after a 496-yard season in his second pro year in 1996, Salaam would play just five more games over the next two seasons before his NFL career was over.
Salaam grew up in the San Diego area and played 8-man football at La Jolla Country Day, where he ran for 100 yards in every game but one and went on to be named a high-school All-American in 1991.
Salaam passed away in Boulder, Colo., on Dec. 5, 2016, at the age of 42.
Joe Glenn was the head football coach at the University of Northern Colorado for 11 seasons beginning in 1989, with the Bears winning two NCAA Division II national titles during that span -- in 1996 and '97. Over his career at UNC, Glenn compiled a 98-35 record and won four Northern Central Conference titles. And prior to taking over as head coach, he served as an assistant at UNC for two seasons.
Glenn also has been a head coach at Doane College in Nebraska, where he took over at age 27 (1976-79); Montana (2000-02); Wyoming (2003-08); and at his alma mater, the University of South Dakota (2012-15). In addition to his two DII national titles at UNC, Glenn claimed a Division I-A national championship at Montana in 2001.
At Wyoming, Glenn took a struggling program and turned it into a success. In 2004, the Cowboys beat UCLA in the Las Vegas Bowl, which marked the school's first bowl victory in 38 years.
Sam Pagano was successful as a football coach at both the high school and professional levels, and also ran a very highly regarded football camp in Colorado. The Pueblo product, who was inducted into that city's Sports Hall of Fame in 1978, coached Fairview High School in Boulder for 26 years, starting in 1969. There, he led the Knights to three state high school titles in a decade as they prevailed in 1978, '79 and '87. Overall, Fairview went 164-58-4 with Pagano at the helm. In 1978, Pagano won the Ed Lesar Award, given by the Colorado High School Coaches Association to the Outstanding Teacher/Coach in the state.
After leaving the high school ranks, Pagano coached in Europe -- specifically in Bergamo, Italy; Berlin and Paris. His Bergamo squad won the Euro Bowl in 2002, finishing the season 16-0.
Pagano oversaw the highly regarded Mile High Football Camp in Colorado from 1975 to 2012. Among those who helped instruct at the camp were Peyton Manning and Vinny Testaverde. Pagano's son Chuck currently serves as the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, while son John is the assistant head coach-defense with the Oakland Raiders.
Tracy Hill remains the most prolific scorer in the history of Colorado girls high school basketball as she racked up 2,934 points while at Ridway High School in southwest Colorado from 1980 to '83. In fact, she remains 264 points ahead of the No. 2 player on that list, Abby Waner of ThunderRidge.
Hill averaged 44.6 points per game as a senior, 38.7 as a junior, 33.4 as a sophomore and 15.4 as a freshman. Following her senior season, she was named the state's player of the year and the Colorado Sportswoman of the Year. In 1983, she also earned the Fred Steinmark Award, given to one senior boy and girl each year for outstanding achievement in sports, school and the community.
When Hill finished her career at Ridgway, she held 21 state high school records. She also lettered four years in volleyball and was a three-time state qualifier in track. In college, Hill played at Missouri, Central Wyoming and Montana State, receiving All-American honors at Central Wyoming. She competed professionally in Australia and was named Tasmanian Player of the Year in 1993. Hill has been inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame (2012) and the CHSAA Hall of Fame (1993).
Alex Burl, nicknamed "Bullet", was a standout as both a sprinter and a football player, and served as a trailblazer in several respects. Burl won the state 100-yard dash title in 10.0 seconds in 1949 while at Denver's Manual High School. He went on to compete in football and track at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) from 1951-54.
At CSU, Burl won Skyline Conference titles in the 100- and-220 yard dashes and qualified for the 1952 Olympic trials in the 100. That year, he placed fifth in the NCAA 100, becoming the first African-American to earn All-America honors. Burl was also the first African-American to compete in any NCAA championship event for Colorado A&M. In 1954, he placed third in the NCAA 100. Burl won the Nye Award, given to the oustanding student-athlete at Colorado A&M, in 1954. He also claimed the Rocky Mountain AAU 100 title three times. In 1956 while in the Army, Burl would run a career-best 9.3 100-yard dash.
In football, Burl played running back and defensive back at Colorado A&M, starting for three years. He was picked for the College All-Star Game, which pitted the nation's top seniors against the NFL champions. Burl spent one season in the NFL, with the Chicago Cardinals, becoming the first black player from a Colorado college or university to compete in the NFL.
After his competitive days were over, Burl coached football and track at Manual and Denver West. Sons Gary, Farley and Gerald won multiple individual track titles as Manual claimed the state team championship. Burl has been inducted into the CHSAA Hall of Fame (1999) and hte CSU Athletic Hall of Fame (2000). Grandsons Cameron and Davis played football at CSU. Burl died in 2009 at age 78.