A sense of relief brushed across the face of Kordell Stewart this week as he completed something he started 25 years ago.
One of the greatest quarterbacks in Colorado football history, Stewart recently finished his bachelor’s degree in communications, taking the last class he needed to graduate.
“Completed. Accomplished,” he said when asked how it felt to be done. “The task at hand is finally done. It’s something my son will be proud of, something my father if he was living would be proud of.”
Stewart completed 117 credit hours during his playing career at CU from 1991-94, leaving him three credits – or one class – shy of his degree. Life and a long pro career got in the way, though.
Stewart was a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1995 and played 11 seasons in the NFL. He threw for 14,746 yards during his career and was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2001. He also ran for 2,874 yards and 38 touchdowns (among the all-time leaders for quarterbacks).
Since his playing career ended in 2005, Stewart has done some broadcasting, and he has been busy with life and fatherhood (he has a 13-year-old son, Syre). Stewart said it was important to him to complete his degree to set an example for his son.
“When you have a life that’s already up and running, you have to find that time because now you have sit in a class room and all that fun stuff,” Stewart said of why it took him 21 years to return to CU. “It’s kind of hard to find that time to sit in the classroom for five straight weeks.
“To find this slot at this point in time was a time I needed to take advantage of, and I did.”
Stewart said he will receive in degree in the fall and he plans to walk during CU’s annual graduation ceremony next May.
Stewart was a three-year starter for the Buffs, taking them to three bowl games and helping them go 28-6-2 from 1992-94. In 1994, Stewart threw the Hail Mary to Michael Westbrook on the last play of the game to beat No. 4 Michigan, 27-26, in Ann Arbor. That season, CU went 11-1 and finished third in the Associated Press rankings.
He is still fourth on CU’s career passing list (6,481 yards) and second for career total offense (7,770).
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.