By Dan Meyers
Eric McCarty was the kind of player his football coach looked for to fill the role of linebacker.
“Low-slung,” Coach Bill McCartney recalls of McCarty with a chuckle. “It was hard to knock him off his feet.”
But that was just the football side of it. McCartney also saw great things in McCarty as a person.
“He had that combination of being genuinely humble and yet he had
The coach remembers recruiting McCarty and other Colorado prospects in the 1980s: “That class ended up being significant in terms of turning around CU football.”
Take it from the coach who ended up with a 93-55-5 record in 13 years, and took the team to its first national football championship and nine bowl games.
McCarty started out with the offense as a fullback but the coach saw something else he could do even better.
“As a fullback he was good. When he moved to linebacker, he became really special. He was a ferocious competitor at linebacker. He has what you look for—he was strong, had speed and he was smart.”
McCartney says he became more than a coach with many of his players, including McCarty.
“It goes beyond football,” the coach says. “It’s a commitment you make for the rest of your lives. When I sit in someone’s living room [while recruiting] I tell them if you send your son to Colorado we will be a part of his life for the rest of his life. It’s a lifetime bond.”