Freddie Steinmark Scoreboard
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF FREDDIE STEINMARK
• Photo gallery: Freddie Steinmark
In a pregame ceremony prior to UT's game with Miami on Sept. 23, 1972, the scoreboard at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium was dedicated to the memory of Freddie Steinmark.
The small (5-foot-10, 166 pounds) but tough Steinmark was a starting safety for UT as a sophomore and junior in 1968-69. During that time, the Longhorns won 20 of 22 games and two conference titles with Steinmark providing five interceptions as a sophomore and two as a junior. Steinmark, who also earned Academic All-Southwest Conference honors in 1968 and '69, led the team in punt returns (25 for 177 yards) as a sophomore and averaged 6.1 yards on 38 punt returnsduring his career.
Following the final regular season game of his junior year, he became a national symbol of courage and determination as he began a year-and-a-half battle against cancer. In fact, just six days before a diagnosis of bone cancer forced the amputation of his left leg, Steinmark started and played in UT's 15-14 win at Arkansas that clinched the 1969 National Championship.
Determined to live, he astounded the doctors by appearing on crutches less than a month later at the 1970 Cotton Bowl against Notre Dame. After UT won the game, 21-17, Darrell Royal and the Longhorns presented the game ball to Steinmark. Within six weeks, he walked on an artificial leg across the stage to accept his letter jacket at UT's award banquet.
Steinmark continued his college education without interruption and served as a student freshman coach during fall 1970, which would have been his senior season.
However, his battle with cancer was one that could not be won on heart alone. Despite all the doctors could do, Steinmark died on Sunday, June 6, 1971. Born Jan. 27, 1949, in Wheatridge, Colo., he was just 22 years old.