#120CowboyTough, 44 Days to Kickoff: Jim Crawford Into the Record Books

July 19, 2013


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Jim Crawford Into the Record Books

After an unremarkable beginning to his career due to injuries, Jim Crawford emerged as one of Wyoming's all-time greats at running back. The Greybull, Wyo., native broke out in his junior and season years of 1955-56. In 1955, he tallied 431 rushing yards on 99 carries, finishing third on the team as he played a reserve role to starting tailback Jerry Jester and quarterback Joe Mastrogiovanni. However, he was named the team MVP after being second on the team with 31 points and helping the Cowboys to the nation's 12th-best rushing attack. His performance in the 1956 Sun Bowl was one of the most memorable in Cowboy history as he ran for 103 of UW's 172 yards to lead Wyoming to a 21-14 victory over Texas Tech.

In his senior season in 1956, he seized the starting role. A powerful runner, he and quarterback Larry Zowada complemented each other's abilities. Crawford led the nation in rushing with 1,104 yards on 200 carries and was selected an All-American by Look Magazine, the Football Writers of America and the Newspaper Enterprise Association. One of the players he beat for the rushing title in 1956 as NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown of Syracuse. He was also named the 1956 Skyline Conference back of the year. Crawford helped the Cowboys to their second undefeated season in school history, finishing with another 10-0 mark. At the All-American banquet in New York City, Crawford was presented his award by world heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano. Greybull High School honored him by christening their playing surface and stadium as "Jim Crawford Field."

About the #120CowboyTough Countdown

The 2013 season will mark the 120th anniversary of Wyoming Cowboy Football. To commemorate that anniversary, we will be counting down some of the great memories and moments from Wyoming football history over the next eight weeks leading up to the Cowboys' season opener at Nebraska on Aug. 31.

The 2013 "Countdown to Kickoff" will take Wyoming fans through Cowboy Football history chronologically. The first week will highlight some of the memorable moments from the period from the first season in 1893 through the 1940s. Then each successive week, the countdown will recall great moments from the 1950s, `60s, 70s, 80, 90s, 2000s and the current decade.

Our countdown will only touch on some of the greatest moments, but we encourage you, the Wyoming fans, to share your favorite memories through the official University of Wyoming Athletics Twitter (@wyoathletics) and Facebook pages (Wyoming Cowboys). Fans are encouraged to use #120CowboyTough when sharing their memories.

Enjoy the countdown, and we look forward to seeing you in War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 7 for the home opener versus the Idaho Vandals.