By Joe Walljasper
Twenty people have won the Kiwanis Club of Columbia’s Don Faurot Sportsperson of the Year award. But only one had his wedding postponed by the namesake of the award.
John Kadlec, who played and coached football under Faurot at Missouri, received the honor yesterday in a banquet at Dulany Hall on the Columbia College campus. In his acceptance speech, Kadlec credited Faurot with all the good fortune in his life … and at least one awkward conversation with his future bride.
Kadlec had planned to wed in June 1950, the summer before his senior year at MU. When Kadlec told Faurot, the coach wasn’t happy. Faurot didn’t condone his players getting married unless they were military veterans, so he firmly suggested that Kadlec push the date back until after his senior season. Kadlec then had to break the news to his fiancée, Dolly, who responded that she always suspected football was more important to him than she was.
“No, Dolly, that’s not true,” Kadlec recalled saying. “Coach Faurot is more important to me.”
It is a testament to Kadlec’s likability that Dolly let him live that one down. She and the couple’s children were on hand to see Kadlec honored yesterday.
“This is the guy that molded my life,” Kadlec said, holding the plaque. “This is the guy that gave me everything I have today. This means everything to me.”
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