Latimore set gold standard
for Blue Dragon O-Linemen
Before 1969, the Hutchinson Blue Dragon football program had seasons of success, but only one Jayhawk Conference championship was earned over a 20-year period.
Hall of Fame coach John Matous brought in some of the most explosive talent Blue Dragon fans had seen in several years in 1968 and 1969.
A key piece of that tremendous recruiting class was an offensive lineman from Byron, Ga., named Marion “Mo” Latimore.
Latimore was a two-year starter for the Blue Dragons and helped pave the way for Hutchinson’s first Jayhawk Conference championship since 1963. The Blue Dragons went 11-0, their first undefeated season since 1947.
Latimore was the leader of one of the Blue Dragons’ best offensive lines in team history. He paved the way for 1,000-yard back Dave Wassenberg, quarterback Donnie Wilcox and All-American receivers Jack Morris and Lonnie Crittenden.
Led by Latimore, the 1969 Blue Dragons scored the fourth-most points to that point in team history (300 points), ran the table in the Jayhawk Conference - winning seven league games by an average of 27 points per game - and qualified for the program’s first bowl game in 20 years.
The Blue Dragons rolled past Nassau, N.Y., 32-7 in the 1969 Sterling Silver Bowl.
Latimore was named a 1969 first-team NJCAA All-American.
After Hutchinson, Latimore transferred to Kansas State University where he became one of the top linemen in Wildcat history. Latimore earned third-team All-America honors and first team All-Big Eight accolades while also serving as team captain in 1971. He played in the 1971 Senior Bowl and North-South Bowl.
From Kansas State, he was drafted in the seventh round by the New York Jets and wound up playing four seasons in the Canadian Football League with Calgary, Saskatchewan and Hamilton.
Latimore began his coaching career at K-State in 1976 as a graduate assistant. After 10 years in various roles on the Kansas State staff, Latimore moved to Texas-El Paso in 1986, where he coached the defensive line for three seasons. He helped the Miners to the school’s first 10-win season in 1988, which culminated in the school’s first bowl game in 21 years - the 1988 Independence Bowl. In 1989, Latimore moved to Missouri, where he coached until 1993. He has been on the Kansas State staff since then.