Cromwell to be Added to KU's Ring of Honor
Sept. 27, 2005
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Nolan Cromwell, a standout safety/quarterback at Kansas from 1973-76, will be added to the Ring of Honor at Memorial Stadium during halftime ceremonies of KU’s game against Missouri on Oct. 29.
Cromwell, a native of Ransom, Kan., was named honorable-mention All-America by the Associated Press and was the Big Eight Offensive Player of the Year in 1975 after rushing for 1,124 yards — the third-highest total by a quarterback in NCAA history at that time.
“Nolan Cromwell was a terrific football player,” said Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins. “More than that, he is a tremendous representative of this university, the athletics program in general and the football program in particular.”
A graduate of Ransom High School, Cromwell started at safety when KU played in the 1973 Liberty Bowl during his first season as a Jayhawk. After starting two years at that position, Cromwell switched to the offensive side of the ball as a junior, guiding the team to the 1975 Sun Bowl his first season at quarterback. As KU’s signal-caller, Cromwell broke several KU, Big Eight and NCAA records for rushing yards by a quarterback en route to first-team All-Big Eight Conference honors. His 294 yards rushing against Oregon State on Sept. 27, 1975, marked an NCAA record by a quarterback and also doubled as the KU rushing record until 1991. Despite participating in just 18 games on offense during his career at Kansas, he still stands 13th on the school’s all-time rushing charts (1,664 yards) and is the lone quarterback on the list.
Cromwell, the Wichita Eagle’s high school football player of the decade for the 1970s, also earned All-America honors on the track while setting KU records in the 600 and 400 yard runs, the intermediate hurdles and the decathlon.
For the last 26 years, Cromwell has made his mark in the National Football League – the first 11 as a Pro Bowl-caliber safety, and the last 15 as an assistant coach. A second-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in 1977, Cromwell played his entire 11-year career for L.A., earning four Pro Bowl berths, an NFC Defensive Player of the Year award in 1980, and an NFL Defensive Back of the Year award (Football Digest) in 1984.
He ended his Rams career as the team’s all-time leader in interception return yardage with 671 yards on 37 picks. He was also a member of the Rams’ Super Bowl XIV team following the 1979 season.
Currently, Cromwell serves as the wide receivers coach for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, a position he’s held since 1999. In 1998, Cromwell coached the Green Bay Packers’ wide receivers after serving as special teams coach from 1992-97. Prior to taking on duties with the Packers, Cromwell was a member of the Los Angeles Rams staff as a defensive and special teams assistant in 1991.
Cromwell and his wife, Mary, have two children, Lance and Jennifer.