Margaret Brown (Presented by Coach Ed Lamb)
Margaret Brown (1919-2022) was a
trailblazer for community engagement and inclusion of people
with disabilities. She was a force of nature whose small stature belied an iron while coupled
with boundless energy that carried her all the way to the age of 102. She grew up during the
Depression Era, came of age during World War II, and learned to overcome the myriad of
challenges she encountered, all with a loving heart and a sly twinkle in her eye that informed
her motto: "Life may not be the party we expected, but while we're here, let's dance."
Her twin boys, Mark and Scott, were born in 1952 with autism, and Margaret discovered there
were limited educational and community opportunities for people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities. Thus began a lifetime of advocacy to ensure that her boys and
others like them were included. Her passion for inclusion led Margaret to become involved with
The Arc of Weld County, an affiliate of The Arc of US, an organization whose mission promotes
and protects the rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
through empowerment, advocacy, and community outreach.
Not only was Margaret an advocate for individuals with disabilities, but she worked to
spearhead transformation in their lives. Her tenacity and refusal to accept that 'okay' was
good enough propelled her as a changemaker throughout Weld County communities for greater
inclusion. Margaret and her family demonstrated that everyone must be valued and celebrate the
strength of diversity.
Though Margaret Brown's name may become less recognized over time, her legacy is timeless.
For generations to come, Margaret's tireless efforts paved the way for improved experiences in
special education and inclusive employment opportunities. Her profound impact on the lives of
individuals with disabilities has positively shaped the world in which they live and forever
changed how they're included.
Troy Garnhart (Presented by Coach Troy Calhoun)
Troy Garnhart was named associate
athletic director for information/communications in 2008-09
where he oversees all aspects of communications for the athletic department including media
relations, internet operations, video production and the department’s Hall of Excellence
and Hall of Fame. In addition, Garnhart is the Academy’s representative to the Mountain
West Conference as digital manager.
Garnhart started at the Academy in 1989. Prior to this current position, he was the assistant
athletic director for media relations since 2001 where he was responsible for publicity of the
Academy’s 27-sport intercollegiate athletic program. In addition, he was responsible for
the Academy’s radio network and radio and television coach’s shows. Prior to that,
Garnhart was the assistant sports information director from 1989-2001.
Garnhart has received national recognition for feature and personality writing, event
coverage and press box operations by the College Sports Information Directors of American
(CoSIDA). The Air Force communications staff was recognized nationally in 2016-17 with the
Super 11 Award by the Football Writers Association of America as the best media relations
staff in the Mountain West and one of the 11 best nationally.
Garnhart is a member of the Division I Football Management Committee as the Mountain West
representative. He also represents the conference on the Football Writers Association of
America conference working group and is an Academic All-America voter with CoSIDA.
A 1989 graduate of the University of Southern Colorado, currently known as Colorado State
University-Pueblo, Garnhart earned his bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an
emphasis is journalism. He is married to the former Kimberley Matthews, a 1991 graduate of
Colorado State-Pueblo. They have three daughters; Abigail, Kennedy and Kori.
John Wristen (Presented by Coach Philip Vigil)
After leading the football program at
CSU Pueblo for 15 seasons, Wristen will now serve
as the Athletics Development and External Relations Officer.
Within seven years, Wristen led the team to its first NCAA Division II Championship title in
2014. Following the Pack’s historic win, Wristen was named the 2014 American Football
Coaches Association Division II Coach of the Year. He was named the Coach of the Year by the
Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference consecutively from 2011 to 2015, and received the honor
again in 2017. During his tenure, the Pack has made seven appearances in NCAA Division II
playoffs and won seven RMAC Championships.
Wristen finished his coaching career with the second best winning percentage – a
distinction among all active NCAA Division II Coaches – finishing with an overall record
of 123-32 and 100-22 in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC).
Now retired, Wristen will be responsible for leading fundraising initiatives to help support
athletics programs at CSU Pueblo, including providing stewardship for existing donors as well
as cultivating new donors. In addition to the Pueblo community, which has a long history of
supporting CSU Pueblo athletics, he has an extensive network of alums and professional
colleagues throughout the country who are poised to support Wristen’s 15 years of work
at CSU Pueblo as head football coach.
Coach Wristen has been an active supporter of the United Way of Pueblo County and has served
on boards throughout the community and in the NCAA Division II leadership.
CSU Beef Club (Presented by Coach Jay Norvell)
It all started in December of 1997 at
the Holiday Bowl football game in San Diego,
California. Colorado State University, under legendary head coach Sonny Lubick, was facing off
against the University of Missouri. In attendance were seven graduates from the College of
Agricultural Sciences who began talking about how they could support their dual passions for
the Department of Animal Sciences and Athletics.
Following CSU’s 35-24 win, the alumni returned to Colorado and began talking with
friends and colleagues to see if there was wider interest in the endeavor. They were excited
to discover there was, and in 1999, the Beef Club was officially recognized by the CSU
Foundation. The founders asked for a 10-year commitment and got it from most members, even
though three-quarters of them had not previously been strongly connected or donating to the
In the past two and half decades, the club has consistently made a significant and targeted
impact. For the college, they have provided scholarships for nearly 125 students studying
animal sciences, named spaces within the Animal Sciences and Nutrien buildings, and funded a
scholarship in honor of Bill Wailes, whose tenure at CSU and work in the ag industry touched
and influenced many people. For Athletics, the club has purchased weight equipment, computers
and iPads, video equipment, a golf cart, and sideline headsets to name just a few.
Peggy Coppom (Presented by Coach Sean Lewis)
Peggy Fitzgerald Coppom was in her
youth when, in the small town of Haxtun on
Colorado’s eastern plains, she first heard the sounds of Colorado Buffaloes football
through the family radio. Growing up in a sports-loving family, Peggy and her twin sister,
Betty Fitzgerald Hoover, began a life-long love of the Buffaloes, which led to them becoming
beloved, local celebrities, known as the “CU Twins.”
After the family moved to Longmont in 1939 and Boulder in 1940, they often attended CU games
and the twins have been regular attendees for decades, befriending players and their families.
Together, the “CU Twins” attended over 3,000 Buffalo football games together and
became acquainted with and loyal to the University of Colorado and its team. They always wore
matching outfits and waved their trademark gold pom-poms.
Betty unfortunately passed away in 2020, but her memory and love for Colorado will continue
on through Peggy.