TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona alum and Tucson High School standout Fred W. Enke passed away on Sunday at the age of 89. Enke was Arizona’s first major college All-American (football) and lettered in three sports during his career (1946-48).
“Arizona Athletics is mourning the loss of an iconic Wildcat,” said Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “Fred was one of the UA’s first great athletes and his contribution to the athletics department will always be remembered. We send our condolences to Fred’s family and friends.”
During his time at THS, Enke was a first-team all-state selection in football (1941, ‘42), basketball (1943) and baseball (1943). The Badgers won state titles in all three sports during that time. Enke did not participate in sports at Arizona until he was 21 because he was a Navy pilot during World War II.
An Arizona Sports Hall of Famer, Enke lettered in football (1946, ’47), basketball (1946, ’47, ‘48) and baseball (1946, ’47, ‘48). He combined for 2,973 total yards during his career, and in 1947, posted 1,941 total yards (1,406p/535r), which led the nation. As a result, Enke was named third-team All-American by the Associated Press and was an All-Border Conference selection. He also helped the basketball team, which was coached by his father Fred A. Enke, to three consecutive conference championships and was named All-Border Conference in 1947. Enke also captained the 1948 baseball team coached by Pop McKale, batting .345 during that season.
Following his college career, Enke headed to the NFL, where he played seven seasons with the Lions (1948-51), Eagles (1952) and Colts (1953-54). He tallied 4,169 yards passing and 640 yards rushing during his career and earned All-Pro honorable mention honors as a rookie.