Darwin Lynn Gonnerman
Born: January 3, 1947 (Luverne, Minnesota)
Died: February 7, 2015 (New Braunfels, Texas)
Darwin Gonnerman spent two seasons in the CFL as a fullback and kick-return specialist.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound running back was known as Go-Go Gonnerman with the Jackrabbits. In 1967, he was selected to play in the Small College All-American Football Team game. With the Jackrabbits, he ran for 1,023 yards, completed passes as a tailback, and handled place-kicking duties after touchdowns. He scored 102 points.
The conference MVP rushed for 177 yards and scored five touchdowns in a 47-27 victory over Augustina in 1968. In another 1968 game, the Jackrabbits trailed Youngstown State by 20-0 at the half, but Gonnerman rushed for two touchdowns as they pulled out a 23-20 victory.
Gonnerman came north to play for the Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL in 1969. He muscled his way onto coach Frank Clair’s roster thanks in part to a stellar preseason campaign that included a 79-yard pass-and-run touchdown from Russ Jackson on a screen play run at the Autostade in Montreal against the Alouettes. He handled one kick return for the Rough Riders, racing 27 yards.
He was acquired by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers early in the season. He ran back five kicks for 151 yards for a 30.2-yard average.
The Edmonton Eskimos grabbed Gonnerman at the start of the 1970 season. He rushed the ball seven times for 31 yards (a 4.4-yard average) and he had three receptions for 37 yards.
Gonnerman graduated from South Dakota State with a science degree and later completed an arts degree at the Central Michigan University. He served in the U.S. Army before settling in San Antonio, Texas, where he was a project manager in software development.
Gonnerman served on committees responsible for the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
In 1994, he was inducted into the South Dakota State University Athletic Hall of Fame.