Football, Community, and a Life-Changing Moment

Zack Golditch, 61, on the field at the Rocky Mountain Showdown.

By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)

Zack Golditch (B.A., ’17) has earned a number of awards playing football. The awards he is most proud of, however, are those honoring his community service. This impressive young man has turned a horrific experience into inspiration for how he lives his life.

Golditch and fellow Ram athletes pose with a local boy during their Green and Global Initiative trip to Jamaica.

A three-year starter for Gateway High School in Aurora, Colo., Golditch played on both sides of the ball as offensive and defensive lineman. Named to the all-league first team and all-city second team his junior year, he received even more honors his senior year. He was named first team all-conference and all-city on both offense and defense, first team All-Colorado, Root Sports all-star first-team defensive line, and conference defensive player of the year. He also threw discus and shotput, winning state championships in discus his junior and senior years. In addition, he made the honor roll five semesters and won a scholar-athlete award.

At CSU, Golditch played several positions on the offensive line for the Rams. He was named first-team All-Mountain West his senior year. He went to the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Los Angeles Chargers through training camp, then was on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad, followed by a short stint with the Indianapolis Colts. He spent the rest of last season on the Arizona Cardinals’ active roster. When released, he was claimed by the Kansas City Chiefs, where he is currently.

On site at one of the Green and Global Initiative service projects in Jamaica.

One of his passions is “making the community a better place.” He explains that service activities “brought a lot of joy to me.” He has visited hospital patients, including at the UCHealth burn unit in Aurora. He volunteered with the Fort Collins Boys and Girls Club and the Reading with the Rams program at elementary schools. He also worked with children who have developmental disabilities through Respite Care and traveled to Jamaica with other Ram athletes to do service projects. Activities such as these resulted in Golditch receiving nominations his junior and senior years for the Wuerffel Trophy, given to the college football player who “best combines exemplary community service through athletic and academic achievement” and being a finalist for both the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year and the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

Another part of this young man’s story occurred one night in July of 2012. He took a bullet in the neck during the horrific mass shooting at an Aurora movie theatre. Looking back, he says this near brush with death “gave me a greater appreciation for things, including the importance of people around me.” In addition, he now “appreciates the moment I’m in a little longer.”

A “proud to be” CSU alumnus.

Golditch loved his time in Fort Collins, including “the endless option of places to eat, beautiful views, and the people.” He is proud of his degree  ̶  sociology and ethnic studies  ̶  and rates his overall experience at CSU as “awesome!”

He hopes to be remembered at CSU as “an advocate for being more than just an athlete.” He encouraged his teammates “to do well on the field and in the classroom while being engaged on their campus and in the community.” We certainly will remember Zack Golditch for that and so much more!