The name of the football coach who won the most games in Colorado State University history is returning to campus.
With the off-campus stadium named in his honor closing Saturday, the name of Harry Hughes will now live on with the renaming of South Drive to Hughes Way, a street on the southwest side of campus. A ceremony making the change official, featuring remarks from director of athletics Joe Parker, was held Friday on campus.
“In many ways, Harry Hughes created the foundation of Colorado State Athletics that we enjoy today; serving for 42 years as both a head coach and athletics director,” said Joe Parker, CSU’s director of athletics. “As Hughes Stadium is decommissioned at the conclusion of this season, it is important to transition coach Hughes’ legacy back to campus with the naming of Hughes Way.”
Hughes, whose combined coaching career in football, basketball, baseball and track at Colorado Agricultural College spanned four decades, won more games (126) and more conference championships (8) than any other CSU coach, finishing with a career record of 126-92-18. He was known nationally as the “Dean of American Football Coaches” for his long, successful tenure at CSU.
Among his many innovations and accomplishments, Hughes is credited with inventing the “million-dollar play” – a triple-pass play run from the single wing formation. That play helped the Aggies win several close games over the years.
In addition to his prowess on the football field, Hughes is credited with training Glenn Morris for the decathlon at the 1936 Summer Olympics. Morris won the gold medal with a world-record total and remains CSU’s only Olympic gold medalist in track and field.
In addition to coaching four sports, Hughes served as director of athletics from 1911 to 1953. Hughes, who played at Oklahoma from 1904-07, was inducted into the Helms Football Hall of Fame in 1952 and the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1972, and was a member of the inaugural class of the CSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.
Hughes died in 1953, just 26 days after retiring as athletics director.
Hughes Way will be visible to fans as they approach CSU’s new on-campus stadium, which opens in 2017. It becomes just the second named street on campus; Amy Van Dyken Way was named in 2014 in honor of six-time Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer Amy Van Dyken.
The final game at Hughes Stadium will be played at 8:15 p.m. Saturday when the Rams face New Mexico with a potential bowl berth on the line. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.