Lonnie Wright came to Colorado State University from Newark, New Jersey in 1962 and began an athletic career that became a marvel in professional sport. Wright was recruited by Coach Jim Williams and since he could not play varsity basketball in his freshman season, joined the track team and immediately broke the school record in the shot-put. Following Bill Green's All-American season of 1963, Wright became the star of the Rams in 1964 as a viable All-American candidate. Over his three seasons at CSU, Wright scored 1,246 points and helped lead the Rams to the NCAA Tournament in 1966. The Associated Press named him as an honorable mention to the All-America team in 1965 and he was honored as an all-district player in 1966.
Lonnie Wright's legend continued into professional sports when he became the third professional athlete in history to compete in both basketball and football simultaneously. Wright, who never played football at Colorado State, was chosen by the Denver Broncos of the American Football League and played safety in 1966 and 1967. At the end of the 1967 football season, the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association came calling and Wright played in 38 games with the team in the 1967-68 season. Wright left the Broncos and went on to play for the Rockets from 1967 to 1971, concluding his ABA career in 1971-72 with the Miami Floridians. He lived in Newark, New Jersey where he worked for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey since 1974. Wright passed away March 23, 2012 at the age of 67.
Nye Award (1966)
Drafted by St. Louis (Atlanta) Hawks of NBA (1966)
Honorable Mention AP All-American (1965)
First two-sport professional athlete in school history