Former CU great Chilson to be inducted into RMAC Hall of Fame
Former CU great Chilson to be inducted into RMAC Hall of Fame

Former University of Colorado star Hatfield “Chilly” Chilson will be inducted into the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.

On the early greats in CU history, Chilson earned 11 combined letters in three sports from 1923-26: football, basketball and baseball. Chilson, who passed away in 1991 at the age of 87, was a captain in all three sports and earned All-RMAC honors in all three sports.

CU was a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference from 1909-1938.

Just 5-foot-8, 142 pounds, Chilson played quarterback and tailback for CU coach Myron Witham. According to, Chilson “could run, pass and play defense and was the man the offense revolved around his sophomore through senior years. also said Chilson “was one of if not the nation’s first ‘jump passers’ and earned national recognition with that unique style (he developed the art in high school at Pueblo Centennial). In 1923 in his first game as a sophomore, replacing an Art Quinlan in the middle of the season and on the road against defending league champion Utah, he completed 11-of-21 passes for 170 yards and ran for one touchdown in CU’s 17-7 win.”

Chilson helpd CU go 9-0 in 1923 and then 7-0-1 in the 1924 regular season. CU won RMAC titles in both seasons, and went 23-4-1 during his career. As a senior, he earned honorable mention All-America honors and was a second-team All-Western team member.

Chilson graduated from CU’s School of Law in 1927 and practiced law in Greeley and Loveland. He became a district attorney and went on to serve as undersecretary of the Department of the Interior in the 1950s. On Feb. 19, 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated him as the U.S. District Judge for the state of Colorado and he served in that position for 26 years.

In 1985, Chilson was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was named to CU’s All-Century Football Team.

The 2018 RMAC Hall of Fame Banquet and Awards Ceremony will take place at the Colorado Springs Marriott Hotel on Friday, July 13.