cromwell nolan
Nolan Cromwell
  • One of KU’s greatest all-around athletes
  • Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year 1975; Big Eight Athlete of the Year 1977; 1975 NCAA Track All-American
  • Played 11 NFL seasons and was named the 1980 NFC Defensive Player of the Year
Cromwell, Nolan

Inducted 1996

Born: January 30, 1955 – Smith Center, KS

Graduated: Ransom (KS) H.S., 1973; University of Kansas, 1977


One of the greatest all-around athletes in Kansas history, Nolan Cromwell's impressive career included All-State honors at Ransom High School, All-America honors at the University of Kansas and All-Pro distinction for the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL.

High School Highlights

As a freshman at Logan High School, he was the sixth-man on the 1970 Class 1A state championship basketball team. The next year, his family moved to Ransom where Cromwell became known as the "Ransom Rambler" for his exploits in football, basketball and track. He was a national AAU junior champion in the decathlon, a three-time state champion in track and earned consensus all-state honors in both football and basketball. The Wichita Eagle named him the state's top high school football player of the 1970's.

College Career

Cromwell played football and competed in track and field at Kansas University. He started four years in football, the first two as a defensive back and the final two at quarterback. He rushed for an NCAA quarterback-record 294 yards against Oregon State on Sept. 27, 1975. Six games later, Cromwell engineered a 23-3 upset of Oklahoma to snap the Sooners' 28-game win streak. He was named the Big-8 Offensive Player of the Year in 1975, Big-Eight Athlete of the Year in 1977 and a track All-American in 1975, setting KU records in the 400-meter hurdles, 600-yard dash and decathlon.

Professional Career

Cromwell played 11 seasons in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams and was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1980 while leading the Rams to Super Bowl XIV.

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Colbert has been a long-time benefactor for K-State's golf and Olympic sports teams and founded a celebrity golf tournament that has benefited the Wildcat programs. While a senior at Kansas State in 1964, Colbert finished second in the NCAA golf championships.