Which Wyoming Cowboy wore it best? No. 61
CHEYENNE — Do you ever see a number on a Wyoming football jersey and think of all the great players to wear it? Yeah, me too. In this daily series, I’ll give you my take on which Pokes’ football player was the best ever to don each number. The criteria are simple: How did he perform at UW? What kind of impact did he have on the program?
No. 61 – Tom Gorman
Linebacker, 1968-70, Guernsey
Résumé in Laramie
Tom Gorman was the only Cowboy named to the All-Western Athletic Conference first team as a senior. The linebacker, who graduated from Guernsey-Sunrise High School in 1967, also earned Honorable Mention All-American honors at UW. He was a team captain in 1970.
Tom Gorman made his biggest impact on Wyoming after his playing days.
His obituary, dated May 22, 2004, says Gorman was a founding member of the Cheyenne Soccer Association. He was a driving force behind the Holy Trinity Youth Education Scholarship. He also served on the boards of the foundations of Laramie County Community College, United Medical Center and the Cheyenne Country Club.
Instead of receiving money after his death, his hopes were to see donations made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or the St. Joseph's Children's Home in Torrington.
Gorman was a lawyer by day, but his passion ran deep when it came to his community.
Oh, and he was a pretty darn good football player in Laramie, too.
Gorman was the lone Cowboy to be named a first-team All-Conference player in 1970. That season he also earned an honorable mention for All-American status.
Gorman's biggest game during that final season came in a 17-7 home loss to New Mexico. The senior tallied 18 total tackles that afternoon at War Memorial Stadium, which is still tied for the seventh-best performance in school history.
During his freshman season, Wyoming went 7-3 overall, including big wins over 14th-ranked Arizona State and rivals BYU, Utah and Colorado State. The Cowboys were ranked No. 20 in the country at season's end. They were not invited to a bowl game.
The following year, the wheels fell off. Then-head coach Lloyd Eaton dismissed 14 black players from the team before a 40-7 midseason rout of BYU. The Cowboys won the following week, knocking off San Jose State, 16-7.
Wyoming was 6-0 and ranked No. 15 in the nation following that victory over the Spartans.
That was the Pokes final win of the season.
The Cowboys won just one game during Gorman's senior season. That was a 16-6 triumph in Ft. Collins. The defense, led by Gorman, did what it could to keep the team competitive. The Pokes offense failed to score more than 12 points in any of its last five games.
Tony Kapushion (1987-88) is in the Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame along with the rest of his teammates from the 1987 WAC Championship team. The big offensive tackle earned All-Conference honors that season, blocking for Craig Burnett, who threw for 3,131 yards, and running back Gerald Abraham, who amassed 1,305 yards on the ground.
The Cowboys played Iowa in the Holiday Bowl that December in San Diego, falling to the Hawkeyes, 20-19.
Kaden Jackson (2015-17) also gets a nod here since he paved the way for the program's all-time leading rusher, Brian Hill. The Kingfisher, Oklahoma, product played on the offensive line, mainly at guard, for the Cowboys and was part of two bowl teams in Laramie.
Former UW tackle Ray Stawowy (1975-76) was an All-Conference performer on the 1976 WAC Co-Champion football team that played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Arguably more importantly for the program, Stawowy and Co. got Wyoming to its first bowl game in a decade after the "Black 14" incident.
Who else wore No. 61
Jack Langford (G), Mark Chalman (OG), John Patton (OT), Phil Cafferty (OL), Chris Cichosz (OG), Luke Donovan (P), Garrett King (OT), Shayne Kelley (OG), Grayson Sipe (OG)
All available rosters and photos courtesy of the University of Wyoming. If we missed one, please email Cody@7220sports.com.