The 1989 Colorado Buffaloes football team represented the University of Colorado at Boulder during the 1989 NCAA Division I-A football season. Colorado finished with the most wins in school history, surpassing the 1971 team, and their first conference championship since 1976. The Buffaloes played for the national title but lost to Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl. The team dedicated the season to senior and former starting quarterback Sal Aunese, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in February and died on September 23 due to complications from the disease.
In another feel good story, the team was host to a Make A Wish recipient Chad Henry for the big game against Nebraska in Boulder. Henry was an up-and-coming high school football player from Indiana, Pennsylvania and the son of college/NFL coach Jack Henry, who began following the Buffaloes after reading about Sal Aunese's battle with cancer while himself battling a very rare and dangerous form of abdominal cancer. After cheering on the Buffs to the biggest win in school history, Henry and his family were also invited to attend the National Championship game as guests of the university. Henry went on to defeat the disease and did play football for his high school again in 1990. Although his once promising football career was ended following that season due to complications with side effects from the intense chemotherapy he endured, Henry went on to coach football at his high school and became a scout for the NFL's Detroit Lions and is currently with the Indianapolis Colts.