GEORGE HARVEY SAGE
December 27, 1929 – February 11, 2019
National Academy of Kinesiology – Fellow #263
George Sage, 89, of Greeley, died peacefully at his home on Monday, February 11, 2019. He was born December 27, 1929 in Rifle, Colorado to George E. and Maybell Sage. In 1948, he graduated from Denver North High School; he earned varsity letters in basketball and baseball. Immediately after graduation from high school, George enlisted in the United States Army. In 1950, shortly after North Korea invaded South Korea, George, then a member of the Infantry Division, was deployed to Korea where his division fought to defeat North Korea.
George was honorably discharged from the Army in October of 1951, and he enrolled in what was then Colorado State College. He was a member of the basketball and baseball teams. During his years on the CSC baseball team, it qualified three times for the College World Series in Omaha, NE. In one game, he was the winning pitcher against the University of Southern California. In his senior year, George received the Colorado State College Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, George remained in Greeley to complete a Master’s Degree. After teaching and coaching three years, George was selected to be a Teaching Assistant at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) where he completed his Doctorate Degree. While at CSC, George met the love of his life, Liz (Amelie) Sage and married her August 20, 1955. They were married for 63 years.
Upon graduating from UCLA, George was hired as the head basketball coach at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. After four years at Pomona College, George was hired as the head basketball coach at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). During his five years of coaching basketball at UNC, the teams won the Rocky Mountain Conference Championships all five years, and the teams were chosen to play in three NCAA District Basketball Tournaments.
In order to devote more time to teaching, research, and writing, George resigned from coaching. George then turned to a career of teaching, writing, and research in sociology and psychology of sport. He published more than 50 articles in professional publications; he authored, co-authored, and edited 21 books including multiple editions of some. He recently finished his 11th edition of Sociology of North American Sport. He was president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, a society for which he was a founder and president of the National Association for Kinesiology in Higher Education. He became a fellow in the National Academy of Kinesiology in 1979 (Fellow #263) and also held Fellowship status in the American Academy of Kinesiology. He was inducted in the National Association for Sport and Physical Education Hall of Fame in 2006.
George was selected for the 1978 UNC Distinguished Scholar Award and in 1987 was selected for the Lucile Harrison Outstanding Teaching Award. He was inducted into the UNC Athletic Hall of Fame three times: first as an individual, second as the coach of the 1965 basketball team, and third as a member of the 1955 baseball team. Also, at the annual UNC awards function for athletes, the UNC Athletic Department presents the George Sage Scholar-Athletic Award to the top senior, male athlete. In addition, George and Liz established the George and Liz Sage Endowed Scholarship at UNC which will continue to provide financial assistance to UNC baseball and men’s basketball athletes who are achieving good grades and need financial support in order to continue with their sport and achieve the goal of graduating.
George is survived by his wife, Liz Sage; sons Mike (Kathy) Sage and Larry Sage; five grandchildren, Tyler, Garrett, Lucas, Elise, and Stone; two great grandchildren, Braxton and Alexandria; as well as his sisters, Bonnie Grams, Bernice Williams, and Patricia Vaughn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UNC Men’s Basketball and Baseball programs or the Guadalupe Community Center. Donations may be made in care of Allnutt Funeral Service 702 13th St., Greeley, CO 80631.