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Sports >  WSU football

‘He put people on their backs’: Former Washington State fullback and Rogers alum Larry Eilmes dies at 78

June 13, 2022 Updated Mon., June 13, 2022 at 7:57 p.m.

Larry Eilmes, a record-setting Washington State fullback from Spokane who distinguished himself as a forceful hitter for the Cougs’ celebrated Cardiac Kids team of the 1960s, died May 27. He was 78.

No other details were included in a public death notice.

The Rogers High graduate played at WSU in 1963-65, earning all-conference accolades twice. Eilmes, a first-team All-Coast pick in 1965, set Cougar program records for yards in a game and career rushing yards (1,597). He amassed 818 yards and six touchdowns on the ground during his final collegiate season in 1965. The Cougs surpassed expectations and compiled a 7-3 record that year, pulling off tense wins over Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana and Oregon State to earn their nickname.

Eilmes built a reputation as a leader and one of the toughest players for the hard-nosed Cardiac Kids. “To this day I’ve never seen a better blocking fullback,” All-American defensive tackle Wayne Foster told Cougfan in 2005. “He put people on their backs. He was an amazing man.”

Eilmes played two seasons in the Canadian Football League for the British Columbia Lions before returning to Spokane for a stint with the Shockers of the Continental Football League. He also worked as a grad assistant at WSU.

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