Buck Coors Puts Sixth Surgery in Rearview, Keeps Fighting
LARAMIE -- Another day, another visible scar.
Buck Coors smiled, shook his head and reached out his right hand last Monday afternoon inside the High Altitude Performance Center in Laramie..
That's his good hand.
The last time Wyoming's sophomore safety spoke publicly, he reminisced about five prior surgeries that had helped derail his college football career up to that point. Just two weeks before the 2022 season, Coors suffered a broken left ankle. Three ligaments were also snapped after his cleat got stuck in the turf on a would-be tackle.
Before that it was a forearm, a wrist and his thumb -- twice. Oddly, all on the left side of his body.
"I think I have an idea of what you want to talk about," Coors joked.
There has now been a sixth procedure. The Loveland, Colo., product's hand -- his left one -- is clearly swollen. There's a three-inch pink scar. That's not all.
"Right in here, these two broke," he said, referring to the metacarpal bones between his pointer and middle finger. "I have two plates in there."
And screws, bolts.
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Coors pulled his cellphone out of his right pocket and swiped to a glowing x-ray. The damage was evident. It all happened during a mid-August practice when he attempted to break up a pass. The receiver's hands, the ball and Coors' left hand, he said, became entangled as they fell to the turf.
His knuckles hit the ground first. The violent roll onto his wrist caused enough pressure to cause multiple fractures.
Coors said in early August the thought of quitting never entered his thoughts. He views these setbacks as just that.
Have things changed?
"It hasn't crossed my mind yet. Maybe it should," he laughed. "But, no, it hasn't. I just love playing. I still love being on the field and getting to hit people and all that kind of stuff. You can't really do that anywhere else. So, if broken bones come, that's just part of it, I guess."
Craig Bohl said Coors pestered him throughout the '22 season, imploring with his head coach that he would make it back into the lineup during the regular season. The initial recovery time on that broken ankle was six months. That meant the entire campaign.
That's what the doctors were telling Bohl.
The then-redshirt freshman was singing a different tune. He was shooting for eight weeks, 12 screws, metal plate, TightRopes and stitches, be damned.
"He was on a mission," Bohl said last fall. "He was in my ear (saying), 'I can be doing this, I can be doing this, the doctor said I can be doing this and that.'"
Coors promised he'd be ready to go by the Utah State game. That was Oct. 22. That didn't happen.
He was a week off.
Coors was in the lineup the following Saturday as the Cowboys took on the Rainbow Warriors in Honolulu. He appeared in the final five games, including Wyoming's trip to Tucson to face Ohio in the Arizona Bowl.
His timeline this time around was 8-to-12 weeks.
You're kidding, right?
"I think he was completely upset that he was not playing against Texas," Bohl said on Monday, referring to the Cowboys' Week 3 opponent. "He didn't hardly even practice. So, that's Buck."
"I was ready to go," Coors added. "But I respect his decision."
Coors was back in pads last Saturday night in Laramie. He is sporting a heavily-wrapped club on that surgically repaired hand, but he's playing.
Early in the fourth quarter of an improbable 22-19 victory over Appalachian State, Milan Tucker was weaving his way through the Cowboys' kick-coverage team. That jaunt came to a crashing halt 16 yards later, courtesy of Coors.
He is officially back.
"I mean, that was huge," Coors said. "It's just a blessing to get to be out here. I'm fortunate. I think, you know, this is where God's put me. He's put some obstacles in my way, as well.
"... You know, that's what I love to do. That's why I'm here."
University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players
- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players