BOULDER — Longtime University of Colorado associate athletic director and sports information director, David Plati, will be taking semi-retirement this January 1, athletic director Rick George announced Friday.
Plati will reach 40 years of full-time service for the university on January 9, 2023; he will then step back a bit, serve as SID-Emeritus and Program Historian, the latter which he has essentially done since 2001, when Fred Casotti, CU’s longtime SID and associate AD passed away.
Curtis Snyder, who worked in the SID office as a student in the mid-1990s, served as an assistant in the office and most recently as an assistant AD, has been named interim SID by George.
“David has been an icon at CU and in this industry for over 40 years,” said CU athletic director Rick George. “He is nationally recognized, was inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame and given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the football writers. He has had a distinguished career and we look forward to reading his future columns and book in Plati-‘Tudes.”
Plati first walked through the door into CU’s sports information office as a freshman on August 30, 1978, “I want to say six days before my first class,” he recalled. Then SID, the late Mike Moran, gave him the team’s football roster to retype – no computer in those days.
He worked as a student assistant, mainly on the football and basketball stat crews and updating stats briefly under Moran, who left in December that year for the U.S. Olympic Committee. He was then under interim SID Mike Bialas for four months until Tim Simmons was named to head the department in April 1979. When Simmons left for Coors in 1981, graduate assistant John Clagett took over the office, and he literally was the assistant SID as a junior. After he graduated from CU in December 1982, he was named assistant SID, and when Clagett departed in May 1984 for the auto racing world, Plati became the very last hire by CU’s late athletic director, Eddie Crowder. He was named SID on July 24, 1984.
His only time away from CU was four months during the summer of his senior year, when he served as the publicity director for the Denver Bears (he’s still proud that he was the PR man for what is still the largest crowd in minor league baseball history – 65,666 at the Bears’ annual Fireworks Night). Along the way, he was a member of the Denver Broncos statistics crew for 40 years, served as an official scorer for the Colorado Rockies for 17 seasons, has worked race week for the BolderBoulder for 35 years, and was a talent statistician for numerous NFL and NBA games among a long list of side jobs that also helped make CU visible to the media with whom he interacted.
Plati will actually work his 500th Colorado football game tonight against TCU. Only the late Frank Potts was a longer full-time athletic department employee, as he coached the cross country and track teams for 41 years (1927-68).
“I’ve had several mentors in my career, but the special shout outs really go to Tim Simmons, Jim Saccomano of the Denver Broncos, the Count (Fred Casotti) and Irv Brown,” Plati said. “And if it wasn’t for corresponding with Mike (Moran) as a senior in high school back in New York – he offered me a student position through the mail – who knows what path I might have taken. I came to college wanting to be an accountant because of my love for numbers; after miserably earning an “F” in beginning computer (which will come as a surprise to no one), I switched from Accounting to Journalism.
“Tim loaded me up with unbelievable responsibility as a student assistant and convinced the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference to hire me to do its PR on the side; Sacco agreed to add me to the Broncos stat crew in 1980 and gave me the freedom to create whatever stat I could think of, not to mention the chance to observe who many consider the best PR director in NFL history; Fred showed me that you could utilize humor in your notes; and Irv told me to do whatever I could in college to build a resume, whether it paid or not.
“And I have to credit my two favorite professors in the Journalism School – Mal Deans and Sam Kuczun – my writing wasn’t the best until I took their classes,” he added. “And my peers in the profession – we all learn a lot from each other, sharing (and stealing) ideas. Some of my best friendships in the business through the years were with SID’s from schools who are our biggest rivals – CSU, Nebraska, USC among them.”
“The time is about right, yet I can remain involved with the program I’ve spent my entire adult life with,” he said. “I need to address some health concerns, would like to travel more, and spend more time with my five nieces and nephews. I’ll still do some SID duties for the foreseeable future, continue to coordinate some special projects and be available to Rick, Curtis and really anyone he could use the ‘department dinosaur’ in any way I can help.”
“I’ve been fortunate to work at the alma mater I’ve loved since I first saw the campus as a 12-year old,” he added. “And the start of every football season, I still get goose pimples watching Ralphie’s first run of the year. That’s always reassured me that I made the right career decision.”
He earned the CU Boulder campus’ Robert Stearns Award in 2015 for extraordinary service to the university. Plati was inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 2019, the same year he was honored with the Football Writers Association of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The FWAA has honored CU’s SID operation under his guidance nine times with the “Super 11” Award.
“Those awards are obviously nice, but wouldn’t be possible with the terrific assistants I’ve had through the years, full-time and students alike,” he said. “It’s been a total team effort and I have the faith and trust in Curtis to continue what has been built here dating back to when Fred Casotti was named SID some 70 years ago.”
Initial plans will call for Plati to continue to assist with CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Honor, coordinate football game day operations in the press box, statistics and postgame notes (his two specialties), serve on the district selection committee for the NFF/College Football Hall of Fame, write more for CUBuffs.com and in particular his column, “Plati-‘Tudes,” and keep his role as the SID for CU’s men’s golf team, something he’s done since Simmons gave him the team’s “beat” in 1979.
Plati will also continue to work game weeks for the Rose Bowl and the College Football Playoff, serve on the Colorado Golf and Colorado Music Hall of Fame committees and plans to write a book he cleverly has the working title of “Plati-‘Tudes: The Book.” Already the author of two CU football books, this one will be a “notes party” that will include seldom heard stories or those CU fans have forgotten through the years, mixed in with anecdotes and some fun facts. It will include some leftover tidbit from Casotti, who didn’t get the chance to write his fourth book but left him with a lot of material he plans to use to that history isn’t lost.
During his 40 years as SID, nearly 100 of CU’s student assistants have gone on to work in the business on either the college or professional levels. “That’s probably the one thing I most proud of, seeing the CU SID tree grow and grow.”
As “historian” becomes part of his official title, Plati recalled what Casotti once said of such a position: “Historian is a job that demands great age. But I’m looking forward to it.”
TRIBUTES FOR DAVE (*—former student assistants)
Ceal Barry, CU Women’s Basketball Coach & Administrator (1983-2020): “David Plati‘s passion, loyalty, and longevity for CU Athletics is unmatched. As CU scribe and historian, he utilized his talent and wit to consistently entertain Buff fans across the globe. His Plati-‘Tudes are Buff favorites. Dave is irreplaceable, but after 40 plus years, I’m happy he will be taking a well-deserved rest!”
Eric Bieniemy, CU Football Player (1987-90), Kansas City Chiefs Assistant Coach/O-Coordinator (2013-present): “The impact Dave had on me as a former athlete was huge. Dave always tried to give us an opportunity to show the world who we were as people, not just as athletes. Dave had a way of introducing us to the media and making sure they had the right information on us. He humanized us off the field while amplifying what we did on it. He had a way of making you feel comfortable about who you were and where you stood in this world. I remember going with Dave to the Heisman ceremony as a senior, and having him be a part of that experience, sharing that moment with my family. Dave is family. Dave still asks about my mom’s gumbo. He made you feel comfortable about life and your experiences. Dave was always there through the good, bad, and indifferent. He has never changed. He is still a consistent friend you can count on. As many know, Dave is hilarious. He always had a humorous way of bringing light to any situation. He made you feel comfortable, smile, and laugh. He had the best corny jokes. And maybe most obvious, Dave is a historian. He always asked us trivia questions. He always shared certain facts and kept us on our toes. You got a history lesson every time you talked to him. There are few memories from my time at CU that do not include Dave Plati. Dave is what CU is all about. He represents the university. Dave is CU.”
Mike Bohn, CU Athletic Director (2005-13): “Dave Plati has had a profound impact not only on the University of Colorado athletic program but intercollegiate athletics on the national level. His relationships throughout the industry coupled with an exceptional sporting intellect and writing acumen has delivered major awards, notoriety and respect for the Buffs that is invaluable. I know he is most proud of the number of student assistants he has mentored and helped place in the fields of sports information and media relations. Dave is an extraordinary leader who exemplifies the highest level of professionalism and work ethic that represents all that is good about our beloved enterprise. His poise, thoughtful and strategic contributions were always valuable, he is an elite partner and will always be known as a true visionary.
B.G. Brooks (Rocky Mountain News Sportswriter, 1978-2009; CUBuffs.com Contributing Editor, 2009-15): “I don’t believe anyone who’s been involved with CU athletics for the last, oh, 100 or so years would label my description of Dave P. as iconic an overreach. His imprint on the Buffs goes far beyond number of years served, Saturday afternoon stats, or Monday morning minutiae — all of which put Dave miles ahead of the national SID pack. He wasn’t above the occasional press box rant, calling out and threatening the expulsion of any offending occupant for even a whisper of “cheerleading.” Yeah, he ran the tightest of ships, was demanding of his staff, but also caring and well-connected enough nationally to help plant student assistants in what would be dream jobs. And then there was this bold, pioneering idea in 2009 to bring on a newly out-of-work sports scribe to report/write for CU’s athletic department website. It certainly worked for me, and I believe it worked for CU. Many thanks for everything, Dave, before and after that hire. Blessings and happy trails — you’ve earned both.”
*Morgan (Tholen) Dannewitz, Kansas City Chiefs Client Services Manager (2018-Present): “It is a true honor to be among the many Dave Plati SID alums. There is no one more equipped to prepare you for a career in sports than him. When I think of CU and all that it represents, it is Dave. Thank you will never be enough, but thank you Dave for creating a path and ensuring all Buffs both on and off the field are set up for success.”
Roy Edwards, CU Golf Coach (2006-present): “It’s nearly impossible to put into words the love and appreciation I have for Dave Plati. Dave is a trailblazer and icon in Sports Information. A lot of people talk about his statistics and numbers and all that. But what has really set Dave apart is his tremendous love for the University of Colorado and our athletes and teams. Specifically to golf, he is the greatest sports information director in college golf history and there isn’t really a close second. Dave was best friends with our legendary golf coach, Mark Simpson, and when I arrived in Boulder 16 years ago, Dave showed me unconditional warmth, friendship, and dedication, letting me be my own person and supporting me every step of the way. He is an all-time great Colorado Buffalo.”
*Patrick Gleason, Baltimore Ravens Vice President of Public Relations (2009-present): “Working for Dave created an experience that empowered and tested me. Just as he’s done for countless students, he provided opportunities, encouraged new challenges and trusted unreservedly – all while setting a standard that demanded only the best. Thanks to Dave, I received a ‘real world’ education that paved the way for my professional career. His remarkable work ethic, top-notch professionalism and dedication to the industry will always serve as inspiration. I am forever indebted to Dave Plati – a true legend and all-time great Buff – for his guidance and friendship. Thank you for everything, DP!”
Darian Hagan, CU Football Player/Coach (1988-present): “Dave taught me many lesson’s in life, how to make good decisions and how to handle myself with fans, media and all because he loved each and every one he has accepted into his life. Dave means the world to me. He is a confidant, true friend and the Big Brother I never really had. He has looked out for me since I arrived in Boulder. I have always leaned on him for advice that has always great!! When I was invited to the Heisman ceremony he was tasked with the responsibility of taking care of a guy that had never been outside of Los Angeles. We had a blast enjoying New York and he was proud to show off his city (haha!). He is Mister CU! He has so much knowledge and personality! Everyone loves him and how can you not love him. I have never heard him say a mean word about anyone.”
New York City was a blast — we hung out and went to many places, and I remember this one spot they took us to and I thought Dave would be really uncomfortable, so I gave him a hard time because we were in an all-black establishment – he said, ‘How many black women got off work hoping to meet a short, fat and bald white guy?!’ Ha!! Just know that Hag’s loves you, Big Fella!”
Dan Hawkins, CU Head Football Coach (2006-10): “David Plati ranks among the most amazing, unique, special, and talented individuals I’ve come across in my years of traveling the globe. Since he arrived on campus in 1978, over the four-plus decades of CU athletics there is one dominant bond of the Buff nation … Dave Plati. All are blessed with his wit, sense of humor, and details. However, David’s most dominant characteristic is his love and support of CU programs, coaches, and most importantly, the athletes. David will always be an icon of CU history and lore. ‘Stats’ (his nickname) will be ranked among the best SID’s ever in the country. But what I will always appreciate most about David is his friendship. GO BUFFS!
Bill Hancock, Former Big 8 Service Bureau Director/College Football Playoff: “To say Dave is ‘unique’ would be an understatement. He is not only on the Mount Rushmore of practitioners in his business — a true legend — but he is also one of the great human beings.”
Steve Hatchell, CU/Big 8/Orange Bowl/Big 12/NFF/College Football Hall of Fame (1972-present): “There is so much to say and consider about Dave Plati, but at the heart of it he’s a great friend, he cares about his job, and he cares about the Colorado Buffaloes. He has poured his heart into making everything he does as classy and significant as he can. Every athletic department needs connective elements that tie the past to the present. Dave has been the best at letting everyone know that someone remembers and cares about them. He is very special, and you cannot quantify his impact in any way.”
Chris Hudson, CU Football Player (1991-94; ’94 Thorpe Award Winner): “Wow, I guess I’m guilty of being the ones that have taken for granted that Dave would be at CU forever. But I guess it is close to forever. Dave you have been a dear and great friend to me and to others. A brother that have completed our team most definitely. On remembering my time at CU, I could always remember him fighting for every player on the team for an interview, a story in any way you could. I never understood the importance of charity until you. I figured out with you, I always had to be two steps ahead with you because you saw the importance of strategy. I remember in Orlando for the college award ceremony when I won the Thorpe trophy, you being just as happy as I was (and how you knew in advance and didn’t give me the slightest notion I was going to win but you kept urging me to write an acceptance speech in case I won!). Now I understand, I remember being on stage and looking at you like, ‘Man we did it.’ Because with you it was always a ‘We or Us’ in which was the center stage of our success. We may have been successful on the field, but you always made sure the world knew who we were and the character in which we carried ourselves. Good luck in your endeavors.”
Mark Johnson, Current Voice of the Buffaloes (2004-present): “When I came on board as the Voice of the Buffs in 2004 from Syracuse, I knew Dave by reputation as one of the top SID’s in the country. Very quickly I got to see first-hand how thorough, professional, and dedicated he was to the University of Colorado, serving the media and promoting college football. He has made in indelible mark on CU, the football program, and the sport of college football. A true professional!”
Steve Jones, CU Golf Alum ’81, 1996 U.S. Open Champion: “When it comes to sports reporting, I have never seen a more thorough person than Dave. He’s probably written a couple of thousand CU golf releases and his care for the program shows in each. Everyone who comes into contact with Dave always leave with a smile. Even after a bad tournament he will leave me with finishing very positive and looking to improve my next round of golf. What I remember most is that leading up to when I won the U.S. Open, how he and coach (Mark) Simpson always had supported me through the ups and downs of my career. Thank you, Dave for all the years of dedication and hard work representing The Colorado Buffaloes!”
Gina Lehe, Rose Bowl/College Football Playoff Communications (2007-2018): “As a young woman starting my profession in college football, I was fortunate to have respected members of this industry take me under their wing. The first to do so was Dave Plati. He believed in me from the start, even when I had doubts. He taught me the foundation of communication principles and instilled the art of building relationships. In an industry that has witnessed a rapid evolution, those relationships still and always will remain of greatest value. A trusted mentor for nearly two decades – salute my friend!”
Bill Marolt, CU Athletic Director (1984-96): “David Plati is an amazing Sports Information Director. The University of Colorado Athletic Department owes him a great debt of gratitude for all that he has done in the past 37 years as our SID. His amazing memory and ability to remember and tell stories keep all alums excited about the athletic programs. Current athletes and the department are the beneficiaries of his talent to inform the media, the public, and CU fans everywhere. The detail, the understanding, and passion put his work at the head of the class. For me however, were those times when I needed an open loyal ear to discuss a particular issue or problem. I valued his council and perspective and out of those meetings came decisions that made me a better athletic director.”
Bill McCartney, CU Football Coach (1982-94): “We’re going to miss this guy. Dave was thorough and comprehensive. He showed up every day with energy and expertise for our players and staff. Very few men have the impact that ‘Plato’ has had on Colorado Football. We can’t replace him, but we can honor him and send him out with joy and excitement.”
*Brendan McNicholas, Colorado Avalanche VP/Media (2006-present): “I find it difficult if not impossible to truly express what another person means to you. To say I wouldn’t be where I am without Dave just doesn’t cut it. He gave me the opportunity of a lifetime as a teenager and placed an enormous amount of trust in me. I was a very young man in the business with the great responsibility of handling the day-to-day operations of an SID office. I still draw from those fundamentals over 25 years later.
During the many late nights we spent working at the old Fieldhouse Annex #50, I learned so much about what it took to make it in this business. We had some great times along the way (leaving right after the Insight.com Bowl to attend Buffett on NYE!!) but what I remember most is Dave always looking out for me, always making sure the athletic department staff treated me with respect and I always had his support to handle the job the best way I saw fit. That’s a true leader and a true mentor. Thanks Dave.
To be able to learn from one of the legends of our business was a privilege that I do not take for granted. His impact in nearly every facet of sports media relations goes without saying. But more than that is the impact he’s had on so many young student assistants like myself. I am certainly proud to be a Buff, but more importantly proud to be a disciple of the University of Colorado Sports Information Office under the great David Plati.
Funny I think back to my high school career day in January of 1995 when I “shadowed” Dave. It was just a week removed from the Fiesta Bowl win – coach McCartney’s final game – and a month after Rashaan Salaam won the Heisman Trophy. I was 16. When I left Boulder that cold winter night, he told me I had a job at CU if I decided to go to school there. Little did I truly understand sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Boulder Turnpike that evening what a monumental day that was in my life. Seventeen months later I started my career at CU, my first game against Ryan Leaf and Washington State. From there to the Broncos, Avalanche, Rockies and even the old International PGA Tour event, Dave was always my biggest supporter, biggest promoter and dearest friend. I can’t thank him enough.
Congrats Dave on a brilliant career and thank you for all you’ve done for me.”
Rick Neuheisel, CU Head Football Coach (1995-98): “David Plati is a true Colorado Buffalo hero! For four decades he has always put the university first, promoting the tremendous accomplishments of both teams and individuals while also attending to the more difficult stories providing the appropriate sensitivity. I can’t imagine Colorado without David Plati.
For me as a head coach he was an invaluable resource. Not only did he get the story correct, he provided wisdom beyond the norm. Dave and I had a great professional relationship, but it was second only to the lifelong friend I made in my pal from New York who loved pizza and the Colorado Buffaloes. Congrats DP on an unbelievable run!”
Steve Richardson, Football Writers Association of America Executive Director: “Dave Plati has been one of the most outstanding Sports Information Directors in FBS for nearly four decades and has claimed the FWAA’s Super 11 Award more than any single person as head of a department (nine times since the Super 11 began in 2009). He also collected the FWAA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. What else can I say about Dave’s stellar career? We know he will be sticking around in the background at CU, but I want to congratulate Dave on his well-deserved semi-retirement.”
*Cydney Ricker Glaze (Director of Communications & Administration, Kansas City Chiefs, 2012-present): “Like so many, I owe my career to Dave Plati. As a freshman, he gave me my first job in the CU Sports Information Department, and 16 years later, I am proud to still work in sports PR with the Kansas City Chiefs. At CU, I had the privilege of watching Dave lead by example. No one worked harder. No one had more attention to detail. And no one did the job with more passion. He truly embodies what it takes to succeed working in sports. Since leaving Colorado, I’ve had many chances to connect with others that have crossed paths with Dave, and I am always honored to share that I am one of the lucky few to have had the opportunity to work for Dave Plati and be a member of the infamous “Plati Pipeline.” Being a member of this esteemed group means learning from the best, being held to a high standard, and achieving at that level. Dave and his legacy are synonymous with the University of Colorado Sports Information Department.”
Matt Russell, CU Football Player (1993-96, ’96 Butkus Award Winner): “Dave is a special person I crossed paths with at 18 years old. He taught us all so much when it came to how we carried ourselves in the media and community. How did we want to be thought of — he prepared us for what was coming. He always marketed us and made sure not only locally but nationally who the Buffs were and who the players were. But more than anything, he was and is a great friend. He always had a light-hearted comment or smile when things were down. He’s always positive and always there to pick guys up after losses or bad days. A genuinely wonderful nice guy who just happens to be really good at what he does. I’ll never forget the trip to Orlando when I won the Butkus – we sat with the great Deacon Jones, who was complaining about not having the NFL sack record, and Dave decides to change the conversation and ask him what it was like to be on the Odd Couple and the Brady Bunch. Deacon looked at him like how could you remember that?! It’s been an honor and will continue to be one both working with Dave and having a long-lasting friendship.”
Jim Saccomano, Denver Broncos VP/Public Relations (1978-2016): “”The problem with trying to figure out what Dave means to you is where to start. I first met Dave when he was a student at CU, and Tim Simmons told me ‘There’s the new guy we got, he’s unbelievable.’ I initially said, ‘yeah, whatever.’ But then I met Dave, and the ‘Yeah, whatever’ turned into ‘Oh my goodness!’ I employed him to work stats for the Denver Broncos, and because Dave was Dave, he also did stats for KOA. Dave is probably the single best statistician I’ve ever run into. I know the 76ers had a legendary guy (Harvey Pollack). When you count those legendary guys on one hand, Dave is the thumb. He hasn’t lost a step and he loves the Buffs and the Buffs are everything to him.
I doubt that CU knows or appreciates how fantastic and deep his impact is. When you have a football team that wins a championship or a basketball team that goes to the tournament year over year, it’s hard to quantify how much that means. How many California kids have said CU is cool, the black and gold is cool.
Dave has continued to work for the Broncos. When Josh McDaniels took over as head coach, he saw our press release and the miscellaneous stats that Dave did, and he said we couldn’t use them anymore. It would take the other team 12 hours to figure out some of the things on his miscellaneous stat sheet that Dave did. We kept them in our season ending packet and then brought them back after Josh left.
Dave is also a dear friend, a wonderful, wonderful friend, there’s nobody that doesn’t like Dave. Any honor that comes his way is rightly deserved and I’m very happy from what I’ve heard about the changes happening at CU.”
*Erich Schubert, Denver Broncos/Senior Director of Communications (2008-present): “”I am one of so many individuals who owe their careers to Dave Plati. When I was a student and later a graduate assistant at CU, Dave pushed me with responsibilities I thought I had no business handling. It’s because of those skills and lessons learned that I’ve been able to enjoy a 15-year career in sports. Dave sets the standard for hard work and shows how fun and rewarding the grind can be if you’re passionate about all the details. Congratulations, Dave, on your “semi-retirement.” Thank you for all you continue to do for me and Buffs fans everywhere!”
Shelley Sheetz, CU Women’s Basketball Coach & Administrator (1991-95, 2021-present): “Where do I begin when talking about the legend, Dave Plati. He epitomizes what being a Buff is all about, he bleeds black and gold. He is ‘The GOAT.’
When I first arrived on the CU campus back in the summer of 1991, Dave was the go to guy. The stories he told, he is an encyclopedia of Buff knowledge. You feel his passion for all Buff sports and you quickly learn the history of your sport and how important the pride and tradition are here at CU. In knowing the GOAT, you also know that he is a Connector. The connection that Dave has with all of us former athletes is a testament of how genuine of a man Dave is and has the biggest heart of anyone I know. He only wants the best for all of us and has gone above and beyond to get us the recognition that us athletes deserve on the national level.
A quick story, my senior year our women’s basketball team was one of the best teams in the country. We were in the midst of a 25-game win streak and had all the pieces to make a run at the Final 4. Dave put together an All-America campaign to help the nation take notice of a little PG from the Midwest making an impact on a very talented team. He came up with a stat of how many minutes the ball was in my hands per game and broke it down with the ratio of points scored by our team, known as the Sheetz Factor (and to this day am the only athlete he wore a tuxedo to for his or her final home game!).
Dave, you deserve to ride off in the sunset knowing that you make an enormous impact on not only on my life but so many other Buff athletes. The pride and tradition of You leaves a legacy and you are THE GOAT! Once a Buff, always a Buff — Love you Dave!”
Tim Simmons, CU Sports Information Director (1979-81): “First of all, David loves being a Buff. His work at CU covers six decades and there has not been a day since he first arrived on the Boulder campus in the fall of 1978 that Buffs have not been a part of his life. Like all the students that have worked for me, David is a son!”
“What makes David so special are his skills in managing the details of the sports information profession. He is amazing with statistics and so creative in presenting facts to the media and the sporting public. And, David’s involvement with all sports has made him one of the most recognizable sporting individuals in the “Centennial State.” If you think of David, you think of the following: his creativity; his humor; his involvement (music, golf, the Denver Broncos, the Denver Bears, the Colorado Rockies and other Colorado colleges and universities in creating media opportunities in the Denver-area; his mentoring/teaching; and his “encyclopedic” recall.
“David is a character, a mentor and a professor who has passion, creativity, humor and opinions. David is a GOAT in his profession and at CU. And, a Buff4Ever!”
*Curtis Snyder, CU SID Office (1994-2003, 2008-2015, 2018-present, most recent an Assistant AD): “A fateful call while still in high school changed my life. Having chosen not to pursue playing basketball in college, I needed something to fill the void. Before graduating from high school, I was lucky enough to have found Dave Plati and he openly afforded me that life-changing opportunity. Mentor. GOAT. Teacher. Counsellor. Adviser. Boss. Friend.
My story is not unique, not by a long shot. Dave has mentored so many of us through the trials and tribulations of the sports communication industry while simultaneously mentoring countless student-athletes, students, coaches and staff at CU not to mention peers in the SID and media worlds. Knowing David Plati is like being in a club, and I’ve been lucky enough to work inside that club for longer than most, having made that fateful phone call and shortly after walking into the Fieldhouse Annex for the first time some 28 years ago.
I am beyond honored to be named Interim SID and I do not take the task ahead lightly. I’m comforted knowing that he will still be around, historian and SID-Emeritus, and comforted knowing that there are a lot of us in this club, because we all know we can count on each other. That is the true legacy of David Plati and I will do my best to continue it throughout the rest of my career.”
Tim Tessalone, USC Sports Information Director (1984-2022): “There is nobody who has cared more for an institution than Dave Plati has cared for Colorado. His long devotion for his Buffs is off the charts. It has been an incredible marriage, CU and Dave, with each valued so much by the other. Dave is an SID extraordinaire. He has done a phenomenal job telling the stories of CU’s student-athletes, coaches, staff, games and moments. And of course, his voluminous and detailed game notes (CU’s record during full moons, its record on odd-numbered Saturdays, the longest run by a Buff wearing #35, etc.) are legendary. He is a walking encyclopedia of Colorado athletic history, so CU is fortunate that he will remain in the role of the athletic department’s historian and SID emeritus. There’s only one Dave Plati. What a guy, what a character, what a Buff! I’ve been blessed to call him a friend and a colleague, and I wish him much, much happiness.”
Doug Vance, Former Kansas SID, Outgoing CoSIDA Executive Director (1984-2022): “I have no hesitation in saying that Dave Plati represents one of the very best SIDs our profession has known. When it came to statistics, game notes, promoting student-athletes and working with the media – fundamentals of the job for many years – Dave Plati had no equal. And, it should be pointed out, that he was one of the most loyal people I’ve known when it came to representing the University of Colorado.
I feel honored to have worked with him and to call him a friend.”
Michael Westbrook, CU Football Player (1991-94): “Dave was like Coach Mac in a way. He truly understood and empathized with what the CU athlete in the late 80s and 90s had to go through. While on one hand, a lot of coaches make you feel like you’re a machine, Dave made you feel like you were human. Almost like a counselor. I could talk to Dave for hours, about anything, and everything. If people truly understood the value that Dave Plati brought to CU, and how much he has done for so many athletes, he would be one of the biggest celebrities in CU history. I just want to say thank you, Dave, for all that you have done for myself, all of the athletes of the University of Colorado for the past, almost 40 years. And hopefully, he understands how much he was, and is appreciated.”
Alfred Williams, CU Football Player (1987-90, ’90 Butkus Award Winner): “I have had a very blessed existence here in Colorado. My time in the colorful state started in 1987 and one of the few constants has been my great friend and mentor Dave Plati. We have enjoyed big wins and we have survived terrible losses both on the field and away from it. When I left my NFL career I sought out counsel from Plati. His guiding hand set up meeting and interviews for me as I began my second career as a broadcaster. A gentle push was all I needed to embark on a career that has spanned over two decades. I truly love this man! His love and consistency in his stance that the University of Colorado is second to none rubs off on anyone that has ever met him. I have never seen anyone fight harder for the University of Colorado and all of its glory. Dave Plati is All Buffs All The Time.
I have never made a call that he didn’t answer or return the call. He’s a Pro’s Pro and is respected by everyone in the media business across this country. Just take a look at the former Buffs that have excelled in the media and business that Dave Plati has mentored. The list is long and impressive. Plati’s impact on the media landscape cannot and will not ever be matched in Colorado. In a word he has personified excellence and I am glad to have worked with him for the last 35 years! Enjoy retirement, whatever that means. You will still be my Coach and I’ll still call you at weird hours whether you like it or not. Love you Buddy!”
Neill Woelk (Boulder Daily Camera Sportswriter, 1980-2010; CUBuffs.com Contributing Editor, 2015-present): “When Dave took over the CU Sports Information Department, he was the youngest SID in the school’s history (and the country at the time), assuming the reins when the entire athletic department was still reeling in the throes of unprecedented fiscal woes. But in the same vein as the administrators and coaches with whom he worked — beginning with folks like Bill Marolt and Bill McCartney — he turned CU Sports Information into the standard by which others around the nation were measured.
Dave has always been known for his mastery and creative use of statistics, as well as what evolved into one of the most extensive and comprehensive notes packages to be found. If you needed to know it, the answer could always be found in his notes. But he also built an impressive SID “tree,” spinning off branch after branch of successful sports information directors and public relations personnel in the college and pro ranks. Literally hundreds of students have learned the ropes in CU’s Sports Information Department, then converted that knowledge and experience into careers across the nation.
Dave always ran an efficient, well-managed operation. Nothing slipped through the cracks – and he always came up with innovative ways to assist the media in covering the Buffs. In a state dominated by professional sports, Dave crafted excellent working relationships with the state’s journalists. He made sure the Buffaloes got their fair share of publicity and he worked tirelessly to promote CU’s coaches, teams and student-athletes.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Dave since we were in CU’s Journalism School together in the late 1970s. It was a treat to watch him grow professionally while nurturing CU Sports Information into a new era, and a pleasure to work with him as a member of the media. He was demanding but fair and knew the art of the occasional backroom deal that would ensure an accurate presentation of any issue around Colorado Athletics. No doubt we butted heads on occasion, but in the end, he recognized the media’s job and did his best to work with them.
Most importantly, everyone who worked with Dave learned one thing quickly: the University of Colorado came first. Taking care of CU Athletics wasn’t a job, it was a passion. Long before “24-7″ became a thing, Dave was putting it into practice. In 40 years, that passion hasn’t subsided. Best of luck, sir, traveling the next road.”
Larry Zimmer, Voice of the Buffaloes (1971-2015): “Having worked with some of the best sports information directors starting in the sports writing and sports broadcasting as a teenager some 70 years ago – including Jim Corbett and Ace Higgins at LSU, Bill Callahan at Missouri, Les Etter and Will Perry at Michigan, and Mike Moran and Tim Simmons at Colorado, I feel I can comment. Moran and Simmons groomed a young journalism student to take the SID position. That student is Dave Plati with whom I’ve worked for more than 40 years. Dave defines what an SID should be: loyal to his school, yet honest and fair in dealing with the media be it the top network broadcast team to the reporter from an obscure weekly newspaper in the state. His enduring friendships at every level attest to that. Dave is an expert at statistics and game media organization, having been asked to work at the highest levels — NFL, MLB, Rose Bowl, and the BCS and CFP championship games — and to be sure to promote CU when doing so. He supervised an efficient press box team and provided rapid and essential information. By teaching a class in sports information and developing interns who now serve on every level of college and professional sports, Dave has left an indelible impact on his profession. Godspeed, Plato. Enjoy your (semi-) retirement years.”