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Inside Jayhawk Nation


September 1, 2009 2:56 AM

"Kansas Comet" galloping back to Lawrence


Former KU Jayhawk and Chicago Bear Gale Sayers is returning to Jayhawk Nation. The two-time All-American and Wichita, Kan. native has taken a job as Director of Fundraising for Special Projects with the University of Kansas.
Also known as the "Kansas Comet" and "Galloping Gale," Sayers rushed for 2,675 yards as a Jayhawk including a Division I record 99-yard score in 1963 against Nebraska. He also recorded 3,917 all-purpose yards in his storied college career.
His injury-shortened, six-year career in the NFL as a member of the Chicago Bears was so great, he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame despite playing less than 100 career games.
Anyone would be hard pressed to find something negative about Sayers, as he was regarded as not only one of the best open-field runners in the history of football, but also a great teammate and caring human being.
He was even played by Billy Dee Williams in a 1971 made for TV movie, "Brian's Song." Sayers stood by his friend Brian Piccolo, during his battle with cancer. Their multi-racial friendship stood tall during a time civil rights were still at a peak in a nation divided.
At 66, Sayers returns to his Alma mater when the school is at an athletic peak. The basketball team is a top-3 school, and the football squad is predicted to play in a bowl for the third straight season, a school record. As far as I am concerned, any position Sayers could return to would benefit the Jayhawk athletic program. If athletic director Lew Perkins wanted to create a position called "guy who waves at people" so be it. Sayers will only be a positive for this program.
He comes back to the program with a resume that includes being named the first African-American Division I athletic director, launching a successful computer business, setting up philanthropic children's' programs, and a strong public speaking background.
Sayers is good people and the Jayhawk athletic department is thrilled to have him back Perkins said. Now, if he could only suit up and compliment Jake Sharp in the backfield, the 'Hawks could wrap-up the Big XII North before the season begins.

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