gross paul
Paul Gross
  • Known as “Mr. Athletics” for his service at Fort Hays State University
  • Outstanding player and coach at FHSU
  • Namesake of FHSU’s Gross Memorial Coliseum
Gross, Paul "Busch"
Inducted 2005

Born: February 12, 1895 – Hays, Kansas

Died: December 5, 1964 – Topeka, Kansas

Graduated: Hays (KS) High School, 1917; Fort Hays State University, 1922; MS – University of Missouri, 1939


One of the state’s best-known sports personalities, Paul “Busch” Gross of Hays was a standout athlete, coach, and administrator for nearly a half-century at Fort Hays State University.  Known as “Mr. Athletics” at Fort Hays State, Gross was a standout football player at the school from 1917-21.

Playing Career

In 1917, Gross was the starting quarterback for the Tigers and led the team to its only perfect season in school history.  He took a year off from college to serve in the field artillery unit in World War I.  Upon his return from the war, he led Fort Hays State to another conference championship in 1921 before he started coaching high school sports for the next six years at Augusta and one each at LaCrosse and Howard.

“Mr. Athletics”

Gross returned to his hometown in 1930 as the head basketball coach and co-director of athletics at Fort Hays.  He was named the school’s athletic director in 1935, a position he held for the next 29 years. Gross coached basketball for 14 seasons and posted a record of 150-88 with winning two conference titles.  In 1957, Gross was inducted in the Helms Foundation Hall of Fame for noteworthy achievement in NAIA basketball coaching.


Gross died suddenly in 1964 during a trip to Topeka. But in 1973, a 5,000-seat arena west of the Fort Hays State campus was completed and named Paul B. Gross Memorial Coliseum in Gross’ honor.