Colorado State University - Programs & People

Fum McGraw

Updated Fall 2007

Thurman F. "Fum" McGraw, is perhaps the most renowned athlete in the university's history. Competing as a Ram in football, wrestling, and track and field, he enrolled at Colorado State in the late 1940s and was inducted to the Colorado State University Hall of Fame in 1988 with the inaugural class.

Photo of Fum McGraw.

Fum McGraw, an all-conference tackle in the 1940s.

In 1948, McGraw placed third in the National Collegiate Athletic Associations' wrestling championships as a heavyweight.

Also a football standout, McGraw led the Rams to the school's first post-season bowl appearance in 1948. He was a three-year, all-conference tackle and received the Nye Award, given to recognize the university’s outstanding senior athlete. He was a two-time All-America selection at tackle and in 1949 played in the East-West All-Star Game.

After graduating in 1950, McGraw began a distinguished career in professional football when he was selected as rookie lineman of the year and played in the first National Football League Pro Bowl.

McGraw was an all-league tackle with the Detroit Lions when they were world champions in 1952 and 1953. In 1971, he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and in 1981, was honored with induction into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame.

He served on the board of directors for the College Football Association and was among the founders of the Western Athletic Conference’s annual basketball tournament.

Photo of Fum McGraw.

Fum McGraw served as the director of CSU athletics for 10 years.

Returning to Colorado State

McGraw joined Colorado State's athletic department in 1955 as an assistant football coach, wrestling coach and physical education instructor. He left the university to serve four years as line coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers but returned in 1963 as assistant director of conference services.

From 1965-1970, he was assistant director of athletics. After six years as a professional football scout, he returned to the university in 1976 as director of athletics, until stepping down in 1986.

Among his major accomplishments as director where the resumption of the football and basketball series with the University of Colorado, an improved budget situation, the growth of the women’s athletics program, increased booster support and successful fundraising.

In 1999, the McGraw Athletic Center, an addition to Moby Arena, was dedicated and named after the legendary Ram. The McGraw Center houses the athletic department's staff, coaches, and the academic support area.

McGraw died in Fort Collins in 2000.

Sources: Comment Faculty and Staff Newsletter (Feb. 26, 1981; June 19, 1986; Sept. 9, 1999)

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