May 13, 2009
By Matt Pucak
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Lewis "Dude" Dent may be remembered for his success on the gridiron, as a legendary performer at Colorado A&M, but he was much more than just a football star. He was a heroic soldier.
That part of his story is much more important, and on Friday night, an episode of the History Chanel series Patton 360 will profile Lt. Dent and his tragic death at Troyes, France, on Aug. 25, 1944, as the American Army approached Paris to liberate it from the Nazi Army.
Patton 360 recreates the legendary Gen. George S. Patton's career throughout World War II by way of historic photos, film, interviews and computerized re-enactments of battle. The episode that mentions Dent will the sixth in the series, as Dent was one of the men that served with the famous general in combat. Those interested should check their local listings for the starting time, but the show should air at 7 p.m. MDT on most Colorado cable outlets and satellite providers.
A native of Craig, Colo., Dent arrived on the Colorado State campus in the fall of 1939 and became an all-conference halfback for coaches Harry Hughes and Julius "Hans" Wagner from 1940-42.
At the same time, another newcomer to the team, then known as the Aggies, was John Mosley, believed to be the program's first African-American player. Mosley, who was inducted into the state's sports hall of fame earlier this spring, identified Dent as the one player who stood up for him when he began playing. Dent frequently pushed back at teammates and opposing players that attempted to start fights with Mosley.
Besides his role at fullback, Dent was named team captain in 1942 and also kicked and punted for the Aggies.
Following his career at CSU, Dent was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers (of the NFL) to play in 1943, but instead he entered into the military shortly before graduation, just a few credits away from a degree in mechanical engineering.
Aggies to Rams
Supplying much of the information about Dent's time at Colorado A&M is John Hirn, author of Aggies to Rams; The History of Football at Colorado State University. Hirn recently completed his book, the most comprehensive collection of CSU football history ever assembled, which also features a foreword by current Head Coach Steve Fairchild.
Fans can pre-order their copy of the book, which will be released in time for football season, by visiting http://books.sc.colostate.edu/MerchList.aspx?ID=11204. Hirn is donating 80 percent of his net profits to the CSU General Athletic Scholarship Fund, to help aspiring athletes like Dent pay for their college education.
In addition to Aggies to Rams, Hirn also runs ColoradoAggies.com, a site focused on CSU's athletics history, which recently was updated with incredibly rare photos of the Fort Collins campus and sports programs at the turn of the century. The highlight of the photos, according to Hirn and Rich Delanoy, the 1968 CSU graduate who owns the photos, are some shots of women playing basketball at CSU before a men's program was initiated.
Lubick enters Holiday Bowl Hall of Fame
Former CSU head coach Sonny Lubick, who led the Rams to the Holiday Bowl in 1994, 1995 and 1997, was inducted into the game's Hall of Fame on Tuesday.
Lubick's 1997 squad might have been CSU's best ever, scoring 21 unanswered points to beat Missouri in the Holiday Bowl and finish that year 11-2 and No. 16 in the final polls.
Also inducted Tuesday was current Utah head coach and former BYU player Kyle Whittingham. The 26-member Hall of Fame also includes legendary coaches Hayden Fry and LaVell Edwards, as well as Barry Sanders, Steve Young and former CSU player Darran Hall.
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