New Memorial Stadium scoreboard dedicated to Freddie Steinmark
On this day in 1972, the new forty-seven-foot scoreboard at the University of Texas's remodeled Memorial Stadium was dedicated to former Longhorn football player Freddie Steinmark. Steinmark, born in Colorado in 1949, played defensive back on the UT varsity during his sophomore and junior years. As a sophomore he was the team's leading punt returner and was named an All-Southwest Conference athlete-scholar. In December 1969, six days after helping Texas defeat Arkansas in the "Big Shootout," Steinmark was diagnosed with cancer in his left leg. Twenty days after doctors amputated the limb, Steinmark, on crutches, attended the Cotton Bowl game between Texas and Notre Dame, gaining national recognition for his determination and stamina and becoming an inspiration to thousands of cancer victims. The game, won by Texas, was dedicated to Steinmark by his teammates. The university's board of regents took on responsibility for Steinmark's medical and educational expenses, and friends and fans were invited to contribute. The response to Steinmark's illness was nationwide. In 1970, Steinmark received a special citation from President Nixon for "steadfast faith in God, his country and himself." Despite extensive therapy the disease continued to progress, and Steinmark died in June 1971.