You are hereThe Wall of Big Wins preserves CU history
The Wall of Big Wins preserves CU history
The athletic program looked to the past to find what it meant to be a buff with the hiring of Jon Embree. One tradition he brought back was the brick wall of big wins.
Although not visible to the public, the knowledge of the wall spread through word of mouth like a myth. Without seeing it, it’s hard to say what it represents.
For those who don’t know about the wall, CU football fan Jeff Alexander tries to explain what it means from a fans perspective:
“It's hard to describe to someone who's just a casual fan what a lot of the bricks mean. But I think that they can respect the fact that it's…you know, monumental victories in CU history and it's something a lot of fans take pride in and it goes without saying the players do to.”
The wall started with head coach Bill McCartney in the early 80’s and continued on through coaches Rich Neuheisel and Gary Barnett…until 2006 when Coach Dan Hawkins came in and painted over the bricks to establish his mark on the program. Some members of the CU football family haven’t forgotten about the bricks being removed.
“It's a part of history that was missing and obviously when you've been a part of that history and you've seen that history develop over the years, it was kind of disturbing knowing it wasn't there,” says former CU Running Back and current Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
“Coach Hawk probably wanted to build his own tradition. But at the same time, you know those bricks were the foundation of CU,” says CU Defensive Back Jonathan Hawkins.
This wall represents more than just dates and scores. It represents monumental wins…last memories…and the building blocks to remind a program what it is they are playing for.
“It definitely means something. But for me, it doesn’t matter what you do in the past, it’s what you do in the future. So I would like to get more bricks up,” says CU Running Back Brian Lockridge.
With every big win, a new brick goes up to recognize their team accomplishment on the field. The first “new” brick put up is the CSU victory from this current season.
Hawkins described what it meant to get the brick up on the wall: “That was an amazing win, an amazing stepping stone for Embree being his first win as the head coach. I think this is a great stepping stone and the right direction for this program. I think that brick is going to be a very important stone, that’s why he painted it black. To separate it from all the other stones…you know this is the return of CU.”
There are select games up on the wall that helps commemorate the history of the program. But the players and coaches all have a game in mind that is close to them.
Coach Embree described that the game against Nebraska in 2001 as the game he remembered most. Embree was a coach on the team at the time when CU won 62-36.
Brian Lockridge’s most memorable experience as a player came in 2007 when CU upset Oklahoma at Folsom field. Oklahoma had just beat a top five school in the nation at the time.
Jonathan Hawkins remembers the game in 2004 against CSU at Folsom Field when former CU Buff Kicker Mason Crosby hit a 55 yard field goal to put CU up top. Former CU Fullback Lawrence Vickers scored a goaline touchdown to preserve the win.
All these bricks may be a remembrance of the past. But as Brian Lockridge puts it best, it’s not a matter of what you do in the past but what you do in the future.
The Buffs look to continue the tradition by adding more to the wall to help build the story of the program. They've just got to ask…WHO’S NEXT.