Jacob Hollister Could Become Wyoming’s 13th Super Bowl Champ
As an undrafted free agent out of college, nobody expected Jacob Hollister to ever play in the NFL. On Feb. 4, the New England Patriots tight end has a chance to become the 13th Super Bowl champion from Wyoming.
Over the years, 17 players with Wyoming roots have represented the Cowboy State on the biggest stage in sports. Of those, 12 former players, either Wyoming natives or University of Wyoming alums, have gone on to win the Super Bowl.
Jay Novacek is the only three-time Super Bowl Champion in Wyoming history. Novacek starred at the University of Wyoming before winning three titles in four years with the Dallas Cowboys from 1993 to 1996.
Boyd Dowler was a three-sport athlete at Cheyenne High School (now Cheyenne Central) before accepting a football scholarship at the University of Colorado. Drafted by the Green Bay Packers, Dowler was part of five NFL Championship teams and won Super Bowl I and II.
Jim Kiick was a star running back at UW who played in three Super Bowls. He helped the Miami Dolphins win back-to-back titles in Super Bowl VII and VIII and is a member of the only undefeated team in NFL history.
Derrick Martin is the only other member of Wyoming’s back-to-back Super Bowl Champion club. Martin played safety at UW before winning his first ring as a Green Bay Packer in Super Bowl XLV. The following year, Martin joined the New York Giants, who upset the Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI.
Brett Keisel honed his skills at Greybull High School. After attending Brigham Young University, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won Super Bowl XL and XLIII.
Jerry Hill attended Lingle High School before enrolling at the University of Wyoming. The fullback appeared in two Super Bowls with the Baltimore Colts, falling to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III before avenging that loss two years later in Super Bowl V.
Hill’s former college teammate Mark Smolinski was on the other sideline in Super Bowl III. The running back was part of the biggest upset in NFL history when Joe Namath guaranteed, and delivered, a victory over the heavily favored Colts.
Tony McGee was part of the infamous "Black 14" scandal in 1969. After being dismissed by Wyoming coach Lloyd Eaton, "Mac the Sack" finished his collegiate career at Bishop College and played in three Super Bowls during his 14 year NFL career, winning a ring with the 1983 Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVII.
Joe Williams was Wyoming's co-captain in 1969 when he was kicked off the team with McGee and 12 other teammates. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1971 and won Super Bowl VI in his rookie season.
Aaron Kyle was a star defensive back at UW before appearing in back-to-back Super Bowls with Dallas in 1978 and '79. His Cowboys defeated Denver to win Super Bowl XII and came up just short the following year, falling to Pittsburgh 35-31.
The pride of Evanston, Brady Poppinga played his college ball at Brigham Young before entering the NFL. The linebacker was a member of the Green Bay Packers, who won Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
Former Pokes offensive lineman Joe Ramunno only played one year in the NFL, earning a Super Bowl XX ring as a member of the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.
There have also been several Wyoming products who made it to the Super Bowl but came up just short.
Worland native Gail Cogdill was a member of the Baltimore Colts team that was upset by the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.
Former University of Wyoming linebacker Guy Frazier played for the Cincinnati Bengals, who lost Super Bowl XVI to the San Francisco 49ers.
Cheyenne native Doug Miller was a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, who were defeated by the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIX.
John Burrough, who was born in Laramie, raised in Pinedale and played at UW, was a member of the Atlanta Falcons team that lost to John Elway’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Former Pokes defensive tackle Mitch Unrein played for the Broncos, who lost to the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.