Apr 162009
Authors: Bryan Shiele

Sonny Lubick has been in his new office at CSU for nearly a month, but Thursday was the first time he took note of the fact that his name had been put on the door –/and that only happened when a man poked his head in the room to let him know.

“Oh is it now?” said Lubick, the College of Business’ new director of community outreach, when the man notified him, getting up to go look at his new nameplate.

“I hadn’t noticed.”

The office is simple and straightforward. Some would even call it boring./Lubick’s desk is neatly organized with only a monitor, a desk calendar, a phone and a few other small desk supplies./There are no pictures on any of the beige-colored office walls./

Only a Colorado Hall of Fame induction ceremony program that sits on a small bookshelf, a signed football and a CSU football team plaque, all tucked away in unobvious areas of the office, indicate that Lubick was the head coach of CSU’s football team for the most successful era in the Rams’ history.

“You can take a look at (the ceremony program) if you want,” Lubick tells the Collegian reporter sitting in his office. “But I’m going to need it back to write some thank you letters.”/

The former coach, who was hired part-time last month by the College of Business to bring more visibility to the program in the community, is back after a nearly year-and-a-half-long hiatus from CSU after he was let go from his coaching position in late 2007.

“Life is good,” he says.

Lubick says his induction this week into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame is an honor, but really, he says, it’s a testament to the people who worked with him over the years./”It means I had a lot of great coaches here and even better players,” he says.

Lubick has lived in Fort Collins for nearly 20 years, first coming to CSU as an assistant coach in 1982. After a three-year stint at CSU, he went on to coach at Stanford and the University of Miami until returning to lead the Rams in 1993./

In 2003, his track record at CSU boasted six conference titles and nine bowl games in his then-decade at the school at the school./

But in 2004, things began to slip for the team, and after four losing seasons, new Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk fired Lubick to bring in former offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, Steve Fairchild.

The 72-year-old Lubick spent the last year and a half away from the university, still living in Fort Collins with his wife Carol Jo and opening a successful self-named steakhouse./

In the last 16 months, Lubick has stayed actively involved in the community, doing public relations work for the Public Service Credit Union two days a week and raising money for local patients who need help fighting cancer./

“It’s been a little bit different,” says Lubick, who has been a teacher and a coach since 1960. “I was used to working 14-hour-days as a coach, so there were definitely some gaps to fill.”/

To help fill some of that free time, Lubick has returned to the university, but this time in a completely different capacity than football coach, doing community outreach for the business school./

Lubick began his new job at the beginning of April and says he is usually in the office about a day and a half a week./

“It’s about representing Colorado State University in a good and positive light,” he says./

Lubick says his new role is to engage and stay involved with the alumni of CSU’s College of Business, help raise funds for the college and to support the students currently in the program./

“I’m really just a teacher,” Lubick says. “It’s about getting people to be the best that they can be.”/

Lubick says that over 40 years of experience as a teacher and coach helps him with his new position./

“I spent years developing football teams around leadership,” Lubick says. “Running a football team is not so different than running an organization.”/

Themes of family, helping and teamwork continue to reign supreme for Lubick./

“When I was young, I thought the best thing to do was to take care of myself,” he says. “But as one gets a little older, you find out there is more than oneself.”/

Lubick says he hopes he can use his new position to continue giving back and helping others./

As the interview comes to a close, two former football players who played under Lubick walk into the office to speak with their mentor./

“It feels great to be back on campus,” Lubick says with a smile./

Staff writer Bryan Schiele can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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