May 27, 2014

Long-time contributor Vic Nottingham passes away at 84


Northern Colorado lost a beloved member of its community this week, learning of the passing of former student-athlete and long-time contributor Vic Nottingham early Monday.

Nottingham's death at age 84 has cast a solemn shadow across campus, one that he was highly-involved with for the majority of his life. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Edye, and an extensive family.

"To hear of the passing of Vic Nottingham is truly a sad day for the Bears family," Director of Athletics Darren Dunn said. "Vic was such a great, loyal fan and friend to our program. He meant so much to the Athletics Department, UNC and the Greeley community. Our thoughts and prayers will be with Eyde and the Nottingham family."

Nottingham attended the university from 1948-52 and was a talented tennis player for the Bears, winning an RMAC doubles championship as a senior. Nottingham and his wife, a 1951 class member, have been active supporters of Northern Colorado since their graduations, working tirelessly with the Blue and Gold Club and the annual Women's Walk.

In 1992, the Nottinghams, along with fellow boosters, helped raise $3.5 million for the building of Northern Colorado's current football stadium, named in their honor. They also established an endowment to provide financial aid to student-athletes, and since then, university alumni have created three other endowments in their name that continue to provide support for student-athletes and athletic facilities.

"As I told Vic recently, he has always been our number one Bear fan, and we will always hold him close to our hearts," said Kay Norton, president of the University of Northern Colorado. "He and Edye have meant so much to the UNC community and truly represent what it means to be UNC Bears."

Former football player and current head football coach Earnest Collins Jr. said Nottingham was a man with a great heart who genuinely cared about Northern Colorado's student-athletes and athletic program.

"When I was a player, I don't think he ever missed a (football) game," Collins said. "One of my regrets is that I never got to play in his stadium. My senior year, we had the honor of closing out Jackson Field, but I never got to play in his stadium."

Collins said Nottingham's dedication to the department never faded, even in the final months and moments of his life.

"He's been supporting our team and our program for as long as I can remember. Up until the spring game, he was at all our practices supporting our guys and our team," Collins said. "I saw him on Wednesday or Thursday of last week in the hospital, and he recognized it was me when I came in, and the first thing out of his mouth was, 'Coach, how are we going to be this year?' He passed away thinking about UNC football, and we'll miss him greatly as a university as a whole. Vic and Edye were a blessing to UNC."

A member of Northern Colorado's Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2000, Nottingham's effect in the community reached far beyond the university's campus, though, as he held a role in several local endeavors and businesses.

As one of the five founders of Union Colony Bank, he was also an active campaigner for the Union Colony Civic Center in Greeley. Nottingham was also a member of the first UNC Alumni Association Board of Directors in 1966, and later in life he served on the governing board of Aims Community College and on the UNC Foundation Board.

He previously served as the chair of the United Way of Weld County and was also awarded the Businessman of the Year award in 1992 by Greeley Style magazine and the Sony Mapelli Weld County Distinguished Citizen award in 1995.

A memorial service is planned for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Cornerstone Community Church at 1321 9th Ave in Greeley. A reception in the University Center ballrooms will be held afterward.