KU students have a new place to tailgate on gamedays: the corner of Fambrough and Fambrough.
Stretches of two streets northwest of Kansas University’s Memorial Stadium were renamed in honor of former KU football coach Don Fambrough. A parcel of 11th Street, from Mississippi Street to Missouri Street, is now named Fambrough Drive. And the piece of Maine Street tucked behind the Memorial Stadium press box is now Fambrough Way. The city of Lawrence and Kansas University worked together to rename the intersection.
“At the corner of Fambrough and Fambrough. How about that?” said KU Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger, just before the unveiling, which took place before the spring football game Saturday. A crowd of about 150 let out a cascade of laughter and applause at the commemoration.
“Don Fambrough’s passion is unparalleled, his service is unmatched — no one else can ever put in 60 years — and his loyalty ... even when the going was bad, Fambrough loved KU, and that’s why we’re honoring him today,” Zenger said.
Fambrough died last September. He was a well-known presence in Lawrence, recognized for his often exaggerated hatred of Missouri. He pledged to never spend a dollar in the state, and he delivered anti-Tiger speeches during Missouri week.
Lifelong KU fan Eli Bergman, of Lawrence, attended Saturday’s unveiling because he was moved by the way Fambrough rallied KU’s football team against Missouri.
“He was KU’s spokesman (versus Missouri),” Bergman said.
Pat Maxon, of Topeka, said that Fambrough was iconic at least partially because he understood the significance of the Border War.
“I think what means the most to me is his hatred toward Missouri,” said Maxon, former president of the Topeka Jayhawk Club.
But Fambrough was also known for his love of KU and positive effect on the community.
“Don was a longtime proponent of the university and the Lawrence community,” said City Commissioner Hugh Carter. “He was dedicated to his work with Kansas Athletics but was also a passionate volunteer and fundraiser.”