Chuck Clausen, '63 BSHPE, was a super wrestler and football player. He was also a super coach and a Super Bowl coach. He got his start on the mat and on the field at Albuquerque's Highland High School before competing in both sports at UNM. A heavyweight grappler, Clausen won more than 90 percent of his wrestling matches as a Lobo between 1960-62.
A gridiron great, Clausen played center and linebacker in the 1961 Aviation Bowl. He played the same positions the following year when the Lobos were WAC champions.
A five-time letterman, Clausen wasn't coming to school just to play. He was equally astute in the classroom, making the Dean's List almost every semester. He served on Student Council and was vice president of the Student Lettermen's Club. Clausen earned a physical education degree, but also took the required courses for a major in psychology.
Following graduation, he coached wrestling and football at Gallup High School for one year before moving to Fremont, Calif., where he not only coached, but also earned a master's in psychology at San Jose State. New Mexico lured him back briefly and he became the defensive coordinator for the New Mexico Military Institute.
In 1971, Woody Hayes called from Ohio State. Five years and four straight Rose Bowls later, Dick Vermeil, then at UCLA, was asking him to give a clinic on defense.
Vermeil eventually got the job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Clausen was with the Eagles for 10 years, including a 1981 Super Bowl appearance against Oakland. Clausen coached a few more years in the pros - with the Atlanta Falcons and one year with the San Diego Chargers - but he discovered that commercial real estate requires the same kind of relationship-building that sports demands.
Of his induction Clausen said, "I am honored. It was something I didn't expect. UNM was an important part of my life, contributing to my success on the field and by providing me with a good education."