Stretch of highway near Greeley is named after former Husker punter Sam Foltz

By: - February 10, 2022 11:17 am
Sam Foltz, former NU punter

Sam Foltz was a star punter with the Nebraska Cornhuskers until tragically killed in an accident. (Scott Bruhn/University of Nebraska Communications)

A small Nebraska town has won approval to memorialize a local football hero.

A portion of Nebraska Highway 56 near Greeley has now been officially designated as the “Sam Foltz Memorial Highway.”

Sam Foltz, former NU punter
Former Nebraska punter Sam Foltz (Scott Bruhn/University of Nebraska Communications)

Foltz, whose family is from the Greeley area, was a star punter for the Huskers until being tragically killed in a vehicle accident in Wisconsin in July 2016.

Foltz attended Grand Island High School and joined the University of Nebraska football team as a walk-on, meaning he wasn’t given a scholarship. But he eventually earned a scholarship and blossomed into the Big 10 punter of the year in 2015. Foltz was seen as a prime prospect for the NFL.

Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a resolution last week naming a 12.9-mile segment of Highway 56 after Foltz. Five generations of the Foltz family have farmed along that stretch of highway, including Sam Foltz’s parents, Gerald and Jill Foltz.

The Greeley Citizen reported that the naming project was launched by a local committee of citizens led by Mary Ann McQuillan of Greeley. A fund-raising campaign has been launched through the First National Bank in Greeley to defray costs of signage along the highway.

The State Highway Commission, which governs the naming of highways, approved the request in December.


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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.