By John Hirn
Colorado State University
Former Pittsburgh Steelers No. 1 draft pick Gary Glick passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 11, in his hometown of Fort Collins at the age of 84. Glick was first overall pick in the 1956 NFL draft.
Glick was born in Grant, Neb., on May 14, 1930 and moved to Colorado as a child. He was an outstanding three-sport letterman at Cache La Poudre High School. Following his 1948 graduation from Cache La Poudre, Glick entered the Navy where he played football, basketball and softball. He was a member of the 1950 All-Navy team and named the Navy Athlete of the year in 1951.
Upon his return from the Navy, Glick attended Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University) where his brothers Ivan, Leon and Fred also attended. All four boys lettered in football at CSU with Gary and Fred going on to play in the NFL.
Glick played varsity football for the Aggies from 1953 to 1955, and racked up several honors as a halfback, kicker, linebacker, end and quarterback. In 1954 he was named the Associated Press Back of the Week following a monumental performance against Utah on Nov. 6. At the end of the 1955 season he earned Associated Press second-team All-America honors and academic All-America.
In 1954, he led the nation in interceptions with eight, which remains a school record, and in 1955 led the nation in kicking percentage. He was named to the 1955 Blue-Gray team, Hula Bowl and Chicago All-Stars following the 1955 conference championship season for Colorado A&M.
Glick was chosen by the Steelers as the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1956, and remains the only player in Colorado State University history as the overall first pick in the NFL draft. He played for the Steelers (1956 to 1959), Washington Redskins (1959 to 1960) and Baltimore Colts (1961). In 1962, he coached the defensive backfield for the Denver Broncos, and in 1963 returned to play for the San Diego Chargers AFL Championship team.
He retired as a player in 1964, and returned to coaching football in 1965 as the head coach of the Norfolk Neptunes of the Continental Football League from 1965 -67 and '69. During this time, Glick earned coach of the year honors in 1967 and `69. Glick led the Neptunes to a 38-18 record in five seasons.
In 1968, he went to the Canadian Football League as the offensive coordinator of the Montreal Allouettes, and ended his coaching career with the University of Arizona as offensive coordinator in 1972. Glick then became a scout for Baltimore, New England and in the Canadian Football League, retiring in 1985.
In 1988, Glick was named to the inaugural class of the Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame, and in 1992 was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the CSU All-Century team, and played on the World Champion 1995 and 2006,
08, and09 Senior Softball Teams.
Glick was heavily involved with Easter Seals of Colorado and was a member of the NFL Alumni Chapter of Denver and past vice-president of the charity golf tournament.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Colleen; daughter Carol (Barry) Wells of Greeley; sons Ron (Lela) of Fort Collins and Denny (Tammi), of LaPorte; his eight grandkids: Angie (Jed) Stugart, Jared (Dana) Glick, Jami (Matt) Bailey, Brian (Amanda) Wells, Josh (Megan) Glick, Zachary (Jennifer) Glick, Garett and Brandt Glick, and 13 great-grandkids: Gunner, Gracie, Dawson, Addilyn, Kaedence, Alexis, Huston, Shyan, Kodi, Presley, Reyah, Johnny, Zander.
Gary's all-time favorite quote that he truly lived by; "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."