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- Armory "Slats" Gill - Coaching
Amory "Slats" Gill will forever be remembered for his tenure as basketball coach at Oregon State, which eventually caused the school to rename its gym after him.
Born in Salem in 1901, Gill earned his nickname at age 12 due to his slight frame, which caused a friend to liken him to a picket fence. He played both baseball and basketball at Salem High School and played in the state's first two championship games. Salem won in 1920. He was named all-tournament first team both seasons.
Gill moved to OSU and played both baseball and basketball, finding his greatest success on the hardwood. In his three varsity seasons, 1921-24, the Beavers were either third or second in the Pacific Coast Conference's Northern Division.
Following graduation, Gill coached in Oakland, Calif., for a season then returned to OSU as an assistant. He became head coach at age 27 in 1928 and stayed in that position until 1964. He also coached the baseball team from 1932-'37.
In his 36 seasons as basketball coach, he won 599 games and took the Beavers to the NCAA Tournament Final Four twice, 1949 and 1963. OSU won the Pacific Coast Conference title five times.
Following his retirement, he became athletic director and served in that capacity until passing away in 1966 at age 64.
Gill was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988. He was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968.
- Bill Hayward - Coaching
Bill Hayward left an indelible mark on the University of Oregon, the state of Oregon and the U.S. Olympic Track and Field teams during five decades of coaching.
Born in Detroit, Mich., in 1868, Hayward grew up in Canada and was an all-around athlete in wrestling, boxing, hockey, lacrosse, even running. He took his first coaching job in track and field as an assistant at Princeton and found his way to the head position at the University of Oregon in 1904, where he stayed for 44 years.
At Oregon, Hayward earned the nicknames ‘Colonel Bill,” and ‘The Grand Old Man,’ while coaching nine Olympians and four world record holders beginning with Dan Kelly in the 100-yard dash in 1908.
Hayward was instrumental in helping the school construct a football field in 1919, which was named for Hayward. The field featured a six-lane track in 1921. By then, Hayward had also coached the men’s basketball team for 11 seasons, compiling a record of 34-29.
Hawyard was an assistant coach for the U.S. track and field team for six Summer Olympic Games beginning in 1912. He retired from coaching in 1947, shortly before passing away due to a heart attack.
Each Year, the Bill Hayward Award is presented to the top men’s and women’s amateur athlete of the year in Oregon.
Hayward was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980, the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992 and the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame In 2005.
- Howard Hobson - Coaching
Among the coaches at the University of Oregon, Howard Hobson ranks as one of the greatest for his pioneering style and for leading the 1939 “Tall Firs” to the inaugural NCAA men’s basketball championship.
Born in 1903, Hobson grew up in Portland and graduated from Franklin High, having led the school to the state basketball title in 1921. He moved to the University of Oregon and played for the Ducks for three seasons, graduating in 1926.
Hobson moved into coaching almost immediately, starting with the boys basketball team at Kelso High in Kelso, Washington. He took over the program at Portland’s Benson High in 1930 and led the Techmen to the state semifinals in 1931 and ’32. Benson lost to Astoria in the third-place game in ’31 and to Astoria in the semifinals in ’32. Following the ’32 tournament, Hobson moved to Southern Oregon State College where his teams were 56-13 in three seasons. Following the ’34-35 season, which ended with a trip to the national AAU tournament, he accepted the head position at Oregon. Hobson immediately recruited Astoria coach John Warren as an assistant and the two loaded their roster with in-state players, including the top players from Astoria’s 1935 state championship team.
In addition to basketball, Hobson also coached the Oregon baseball team. On the court, Hobson developed a fast-paced style in the era of the center jump, which followed every basket. When the center jump was eliminated in 1937, Oregon had an immediate edge over its opposition.
Hobson prepared the Ducks for a run at the first NCAA title by organizing an East Coast trip early in the 1938-39 season. The trip was a first for teams from the West Coast and Oregon went 6-2. Oregon won the Pacific Coast Conference title and advanced to the West Region tournament, where they beat Texas and Oklahoma to advance to the title game at Northwestern University in Chicago. The Ducks beat Ohio State 46-33 before a crowd of 5,000 to win the NCAA title.
Hobson guided the program through 1944 before handing it over to Warren. He left to coach Yale following the ’47 baseball season and guided the school through 1956. He coached Yale to its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 1949, the same season he led the team on its first tour of the West Coast.
Hobson retired in 1956 with a record of 495-291 in 27 seasons as a basketball coach. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Basketball Committee for 12 years and was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1965.
Hobson was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980. He died in 1991.
- Lon Stiner - Coaching
Lon Stiner remains one of Oregon State’s most memorable coaches, having led the team to its first bowl game, then first Rose Bowl during his 14-season run at the helm of the program.
Born in 1903, Stiner grew up in Hastings, Neb., and played on line at the University of Nebraska from 1923-26. In 1926, he was voted an All-American.
In 1928, Stiner became an assistant at Oregon State under coach Paul Schissler, a one-time assistant at Nebraska, and helped the Beavers to a combined record of 28-19-1 in five seasons. In 1933, Schissler became coach of the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football League and Stiner moved up to head coach at age 30.
The Beavers went 6-2-2 in his first season, a record that included a 0-0 tie against No. 1 USC, which had won the previous two national titles, at Portland’s Multnomah Stadium, and a 9-6 win over Fordham at New York City’s Polo Grounds. In the tie with USC, Stiner used the same 11 players for the entire 60 minutes. The team finished the season with a 22-0 loss at Nebraska.
In Stiner’s era, the Beavers went to three bowl games, including the 1942 Rose Bowl, when the team won its first Pacific Coast Conference title. Oregon State beat No. 2 Duke in the Rose Bowl played in Durham, N.C., due to wartime concerns brought on by the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Beavers finished 8-2-2 and ranked No. 12. Following the season, Stiner – just 38, had opportunities to coach several larger programs, but remained at Oregon State and received a $400 raise.
The Beavers beat Hawaii in the Pineapple Bowl in 1940 to finish 9-1-1, and again in 1949. Following the 47-27 win on Jan. 1, 1949, the school moved to replace Stiner.
In his 14 seasons (the school did not field teams in 1943-44 due to World War II), Stiner guided the Beavers to a combined record of 74-47-17, and the team had four first-team All-Americans. The Beavers were 8-6 against Oregon and 2-3 against Nebraska. Stiner was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, and to the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
He was inducted to the Nebraska chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in 2008.
- John Warren - Coaching
John Warren built the Astoria High basketball program into a state power, helped coach the University of Oregon to the 1939 NCAA title and earned the nickname “Honest John” during a three-decade coaching career at the school.
Born in LaGrande in 1904, Warren excelled as an athlete in football, eventually earning a spot on the University of Oregon roster in 1926 and ’27, each of which went 2-4-1.
After graduating with a business degree, Warren moved to Astoria, became basketball coach and led the Fishermen to a second-place finish at the state tournament in 1929. Astoria then won state titles in 1930, ’32, ’34 and ’35, using Warren’s up-tempo style, which contradicted the established style of play during the era of the center jump following every basket.
After the ’35 title, new Oregon coach Howard Hobson recruited him to Eugene and Astoria standouts Bobby Anet, Wally Johansen and Ted Sarpola followed. Anet and Johansen were two of the starters on the 1939 NCAA Tournament championship team.
During World War II, Warren coached the Oregon football team to a 2-6 record in 1942 and the basketball team to a 30-15 record and third-place finish in the NCAA Tournament West Regional in 1944-45.
Warren officially took over for Hobson in 1947 and guided the Ducks for four seasons, serving as an assistant on the football team for two of those seasons.
Warren coached track and field as an assistant at Oregon into the 1950s, when he became a business owner in Eugene. He helped raise funds for the school to build Autzen Stadium and later helped create a Hall of Fame for the UO athletic department, contributing numerous historic photos to the school library.
Warren fathered Charlie Warren, who became an athletic standout in Eugene and the University of Oregon as a basketball player.
John and Charlie Warren were inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981.
John Warren was inducted to the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
He died in 1981 at age 76.
- Hal Laycoe - Coaching
Hal Laycoe came to Oregon via the Portland Buckaroos of the Western Hockey League and left an indelible mark on the Rose City through the team’s success. In the 1960s, the Buckaroos were the most successful professional hockey team, winning three Lester Patrick Cups in the WHL and consistently filling the Memorial Coliseum in the process.
Born in Sutherland, Saskatoon in 1922, Laycoe excelled as a hockey defenseman and reached the professional level with the Saskatoon Quakers in 1941. He returned to pro hockey following World War II with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League in 1945-46. Laycoe moved between the NHL, Eastern Hockey League and American Hockey League for the next three seasons before settling in with the Montreal Canadiens (1949-51) and then the Boston Bruins (1951-56). The Bruins reached the Stanley Cup in 1953, but lost to the Canadiens.
Immediately after his retirement, he was named head coach of the New Westminster Royals of the WHL and guided them for three seasons when the franchise moved to Portland and renamed itself. Laycoe led the Buckaroos to a winning record each of the nine seasons he served as head coach and led the team to the league title in 1961 and ’65.
In 1969, Laycoe left the Buckaroos to become coach for the Los Angeles Kings, but was released after winning just five of their first 24 games. He returned to coach the expansion Vancouver Canucks for two seasons (1970-72) before retiring.
Laycoe was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
- James Torson - Coaching
James “Mush” Torson Among the coaches who’ve experienced success at both the prep and collegiate level, James “Mush” Torson has one of the most diverse resumes and stands out as having brought the University of Portland basketball program to national prominence.
Born in 1907, Torson played baseball and basketball at Oregon Agricultural College (Oregon State) under legendary coaches Ralph Coleman in baseball and Stats Gill in basketball. He compiled a .444 batting average in baseball. After three seasons in each sport, he graduated in 1931. Shortly thereafter, he became a teacher and coach at Corvallis High.
In 1932, Torson took over as head coach in football, basketball and baseball. The football team experienced moderate success with a 15-15-2 record in five seasons, but the basketball team won the large-school state title in 1936. Oregon did not have a state baseball championship until 1946.
Torson moved to Portland’s Grant High School during World War II, and led the school’s football team to the state title in 1945. Following the war, the University of Portland hired him as its basketball coach. He also coached baseball for three seasons, 1947-49.
Under Torson, the Pilots experienced significant success and helped their supporters overcome the disappointment that followed the school dropping its football program in 1950.
In eight seasons, the Pilots won 20 games four times and qualified for the NAIA playoffs (NAIB prior to 1953) six times. In 1952, Portland reached the 16-team national tournament, played in Kansas City, Mo., and played into the semifinals, where they lost to Murray State, 58-57.
Torson stepped down as coach following the 1953-54 season having compiled a 144-110 record. In addition to the wins, the Pilots played to large crowds, which caused home games to move to everywhere from the Portland Ice Arena to the Portland Armory to the Pacific-International Pavillion at Delta Park. The 1951-52 team is credited with attracting an average of more than 7,000 fans for its 18 home games.
Torson and his wife Velma raised three sons, including one, Jim, who played basketball at Portland under his father.
James Torson died of heart problems in 1986. He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.
- Tommy Prothro - Coaching
Tommy Prothro is widely regarded as Oregon State’s most successful football coach, having led the Beavers to the Rose Bowl twice in 10 years.
Born in 1920, Prothro grew up in Memphis, Tenn., and played quarterback and halfback at Duke University during his four seasons there, 1938-41. He helped the Blue Devils reach the 1942 Rose Bowl, which was played at Duke following the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Duke played Oregon State, which won 20-16. He also played lacrosse and baseball.
Prothro turned to coaching immediately after college, becoming an assistant at Western Kentucky in 1942. Following military service in the Navy, Prothro became an assistant at Vanderbilt for three seasons and moved to UCLA along with head coach Henry Russell Sanders in 1949. As backfield coach, Prothro fine-tuned the single-wing offense and UCLA won the national title in 1954. Oregon State, which had won just six games the previous three seasons, hired him as head coach in 1955.
Oregon State won six games in Prothro’s first season, and then reached the Rose Bowl in his second. The Beavers, behind Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker, played in the Liberty Bowl in 1962 and again in the Rose Bowl in 1965. In 10 years, Prothro led the Beavers to a 63-37-2 record.
In 1965, UCLA hired Prothro and he guided the Bruins to the Rose Bowl in the first of his six seasons at the school. Prothro went on to coach in the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams (1971-72) and the San Diego Chargers (1974-78).
In 16 seasons as a college head coach, Prothro compiled a 104-55-5 record. He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Fred Spiegelberg - Coaching
Fred Spiegelberg turned Medford High into a football dynasty and left a mark on high school athletics enough that the town named the stadium after him.
Spiegelberg boxed and played football collegiately at Washington State in 1939-41, then entered the war as a captain and received a Purple Heart after being wounded in France. He followed Bill Bowerman as coach and teacher at Medford and led the Black Tornado to 253 wins and four state titles in 31 years as head coach. In 1971, he was named National Coach of the Year.
Under Spiegelberg, the Black Tornado,prior to splitting into North and South, reached the state final nine times beginning in 1956 with a title loss to Marshfield, and ending in 1980 with a title loss to Beaverton. Medford won titles in 1959, ’62, ’69 and shared a title with Churchill in ’77.
Medford renamed its stadium Spiegelberg Stadium in 1983 at Fred's Retirement Party in Medford.
Spiegelberg was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1989 and the National Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Dale Thomas - Coaching
There are few Oregonians who had as productive an athletic career as a participant, coach and administrator than Dale Thomas, who guided the Oregon State University wrestling program for 34 seasons.
Born in Marion, Iowa in 1923, Thomas wrestled collegiately at Cornell College of Mount Vernon, Iowa, from 1943-47. He won nine national titles in three different styles and was on the ’47 team that won the NCAA title. Following his graduation, he earned a master’s degree from Purdue University.
Thomas also continued as a wrestler and earned a spot on both the 1952 and ‘56 U.S. Olympic teams in the Greco-Roman discipline. He finished fifth at 192 pounds in 1956. He also competed on the U.S. team in the ’54 FILA World Championships.
Thomas moved to the head coaching position at OSU in 1957 and immediately worked toward making the Beavers a national power. Not only did his teams compile a record of 616-168-13 in dual meets, Thomas successfully lobbied the NCAA into moving the 1961 National Championship meet to Oregon State – the first time it had been held in the West. OSU also played host to the meet in 1980.
During the Thomas era, the Beavers won the Pacific Coast Conference, Pac-8 or Pac-10 title 22 times, and placed in the NCAA Tournament Top 10 14 times. They were in the Top 5 seven times and finished second in 1973.
Oregon State had 60 All-Americans under Thomas, who was voted NCAA Coach of the Year in 1961 and ’70. He served as an official in the 1960 and ’64 Summer Olympics. Thomas left an indelible mark on youth wrestling in the state as well, helping create a kid wrestling program, and a freestyle state tournament for youth competitors. He directed the state Cultural Exchange program between teams from Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Europe.
Thomas, who died in 2004 at age 81, was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
He is also a member of the Cornell College and State of Iowa Sports Hall of Fame, the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
- Eric Waldorf - Coaching
In the era before high school football teams played for a state title, Eric Waldorf built a reputation for being one of Oregon’s great coaches while at Portland’s Jefferson High. Waldorf grew up in Kennewick, Wash., and played halfback at Washington State from 1923 to ’25. He coached the team at Stayton, Wash., in 1927, before being recruited to Jefferson in 1928, just a year after the organization that would become the Oregon School Activities Association expanded to sponsor a state championship in its second sport - track and field.
Waldorf took over a program that had scored just 14 points and gone winless the previous season. Four years later, the Democrats went 10-0 and outscored opponents 287-6, having given up a score only to Kelso, Wash., in a preseason game. In 1932, the Demos went 10-0-1 and gave up just 12 points. In 1933, Jefferson went 7-1-1, and gave up just 14 points. In those three seasons, the Democrats were 19-1-1 against teams from the Portland Interscholastic League, and allowed just 19 points in those games.
The 1931 team featured halfback Bobby Grayson, who scored a record 117 points in seven league games. He later played at Stanford University and earned a spot in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Waldorf took a season off from Jefferson in 1939 to coach the freshman team at the University of Oregon, but returned in 1940, the first year the OSAA sponsored a state championship.
In the spring and summer of 1942, during the first year of World War II, Waldorf coached the semi-pro Seattle Shipbuilders to the Northwest Region title. He later took the fall and winter off from Jefferson in 1944 to work for the Red Cross.
The Demos reached the state title game in 1948, losing to Grants Pass 6-0 in the final. Waldorf, nicknamed the “Gray Fox” because of his hair having turned gray during his 20s, retired to private business following the 1952 season. In his 22 seasons as coach at the school, his teams won or tied for the Portland city championship 10 times. He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Don Requa - Coaching
- Ad Rutschman - Coaching
Ad Rutschman, a phenomenal football player, was drafted by the Detroit Lions but he stayed home to teach and coach at Hillsboro High School. He committed 39 hard working years to build a winning tradition at Hillsboro and Linfield College. As head football coach at Linfield for 24 years, his record was 183-48-3. Rutschman’s NAIA National Baseball Championship (1971) combined with his three NAIA National Football Titles (1982, 1984, 1986); make him the only coach to have NAIA national titles in two sports. His list of honors includes “Slats” Gill Man of the Year (4 times), Kodak District 8 Football Coach of the Year (2 times), and Linfield Alumnus of the Year. Rutschman and his wife Joan live in McMinnville.
- Pete Susick - Coaching
In 33 years of coaching football at Marshfield High School, Pete Susick compiled an amazing record of 185 wins, 69 losses and 18 ties. His teams won state titles in 1955, 1956, shared the title in 1954 and advanced to the state playoffs 13 times. An incredible coaching career spanning three decades resulted in Susick being the winningest Oregon high school football coach in history from 1948-1978. As a football player, he was a standout three-sport star at North Bend High School and lettered three years in football at the University of Washington.
- Bill McArthur - Coaching
In 35 years of coaching (always as head coach) at Western Oregon State College (1947-1982), Bill McArthur compiled an outstanding record of 181 victories, 115 losses and 7 ties for a .609 average. Bill ranks fourth among the nation’s winningest small college coaches. As a tribute to his career, Dr. McArthur was inducted into the District 2 Coaches Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National NAIA Hall of Fame in 1983. In addition, WOSC dedicated its football field to Bill in 1980, renaming it McArthur Field. Bill currently consults at the high school level and resides in Monmouth.
- Tom DeSylvia - Coaching
As a player, DeSylvia was a four-year letterman on Oregon State Football, playing offense and defense, and was named to the All-Coast 2nd Team and received an AP All-American honorable mention. In 1949, DeSylvia was voted team captain and played in the East-West Shrine game. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles.
As a coach, DeSylvia won state championships in football, baseball and track. At Jefferson, with players Terry Baker and brothers Mel and Ray Renfro, he won two state football championships and seven PIL Football League championships. DeSylvia was also an assistant coach for state champion baseball and football teams at Grand and David Douglas. He has won multiple awards, including league Coach of the Year, and he is one of the original founders of Oregon Pop Warner football.
- Pokey Allen - Coaching
From coaching some of Portland State University’s greatest football teams to his zany television commercials, Pokey Allen is fondly remembered in the City of Roses. In seven seasons, Pokey coached PSU to its fine best records, to the University’s first five NCAA football playoffs and to two trips to the NCAA Division II national championship game. Pokey joined the Vikings in 1986 and left seven years later with a 63-26-2 record, three times winning 11 games in one season. He is the winningest coach in PSU history, guiding the Vikings to seven straight titles. Allen was named Conference Coach of The Year in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1192 and Region coach of The Year in 1987 and 1988. After leaving PSU, Allen went to Boise State where he turned around a losing program and during his second year there led the Broncos all the way to the 1-AA national championship game.
- Jack Dunn - Coaching
Jack Dunn is a sports legend in Oregon after coaching baseball for 39 years. He retired in 1994 from Portland State University after 20 straight winning seasons. At PSU, Dunn compiled a record of 630 wins against 439 losses. Playing in the PAC-10 Northern Division, the Vikings won the 1984 league title and placed in the upper division eight times in his last 11 years. PSU also won the North NCAA Regional playoffs. He had an equally successful 19-year career guiding Portland high school programs at Cleveland (14 years) and Wilson (5 years). He is the only coach to win state championships at two Portland high schools. Before dedicating his life to teaching and coaching, Jack played ten years of professional baseball in the Los Angeles (Brooklyn) Dodgers organization.
- Roy Love - Coaching
Roy Love started his time at Portland State as a student athlete, playing baseball from 1955-1959. In 1993 he retired for the second time, as Athletic Director after over three decades of service to the University.
Just three years after graduating, he became the head baseball coach and led his team to one NCAA Pacific Coast College championship (1967) and a second place finish in the NAIA nationals (1962) ove 13 seasons. He finished his baseball coaching career with a 257-215 record.
In addition to his baseball coaching, he also served as an Assistant Football coach from 1962-71, Golf Coach 1968-87 and was a member of the Health and Physical Education Faculty for over 30 years.
He served as Athletic Director from 1975-86, retired, and then was asked to return and served an additional 6 years from 1988 until 1993. While serving as Athletic Director, PSU teams won 4 national championships in volleyball, two national championships in wrestling, five league championships in football as well as numerous other titles in baseball and women’s basketball.
It was under his guidance that PSU moved athletic conferences. Women’s team moved into the Mountain West and Pacific West conferences. Men’s football moved to the Western Football Conference. The baseball team moved to the Northern Pacific and Pac 10 North divisions and wrestling moved to the Pacific Athletic Division. It was also his vision that brought notable coaches, such as Mouse Davis, Don Read, Pokey Allen, Jack Dunn, Jeff Mozzochi, Teri Meriani, Marlin Grahn an Greg Bruce to Portland State.
He was inducted into the Portland State Hall of Fame in 1998.
- Joe Etzel - Coaching
Joe Etzel began his athletic career as a little league pitcher, moving on to Columbia Prep, and Central Catholic High Schools, before entering University of Portland where he starred in baseball, and holds pitching win percentage record.UP made the NCAA regionals in 1957 and 1958, and Etzel finished with a 20-7 record and ERA of 2.45.
After graduation, Joe was head baseball coach at Central Catholic for five years. He was hired as the Pilot’s head baseball coach in 1965. In 21 seasons he won 378 games. 34 of his players went on to play professionally, including four reaching the major league (Ken Dayler, Bill Krueger, Tom Lampkin, Steve Wilson).
In 1970, in addition to his baseball coaching duties, Etzel took on those of athletic director, finally giving up coaching in 1986. He eventually served as AD for 34 years, retiring in May, 2004.
During his tenure as athletic director, Joe oversaw the construction of the Chiles Center, the Louisiana-Pacific Tennis Center, Pilot Stadium, and Merlo Field. One of his proudest achievements was his involvement with the NCAA women’s soccer championship.
- Dewey Sullivan - Coaching
Dewey Sullivan coached football at Dayton High School from 1965 to 2006, compiling a record of 352-84-2. He was a positive influence on hundreds of young boys during his four decades at Dayton, and an equally influential icon to his fellow coaches. During his coaching career, Dayton teams won five state titles and made a record twenty-five straight football playoff appearances. Sullivan won 24 Coach of the Year awards while at Dayton. In 2001 he was named the National High School Coach of the Year the National Association of Interscholastic Coaches. As of 2006 Dewey Sullivan is the winningest high school football coach in Oregon history. He is among the 10 winningest high school coaches in the nation and among the top-20 all time.
Sullivan was born in Geary, Oklahoma, on May 6, 1935, and was a graduate of Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado in 1959. He came to Dayton in 1965, to teach and coach football. Dewey’s teams played a conservative brand of football that took on their coach’s no-nonsense personality. Sullivan’s fullhouse-T offense had but a handful of plays, but when executed to his satisfaction, it made the Dayton Pirates almost unstoppable.
Dewey Sullivan passed away on November 8, 2006.
- Dick Gray- Coaching
Dick Gray’s Benson boys basketball teams won five state championships, and he was once ranked as the all-time winningest coach in Oregon history. Gray spent 38 years at Benson High and finished his career with 560 victories. Among the many players Gray coached, standouts who went on to college and professional fame include A.C.Green and Richard Washington. He was a three-sport star at Roosevelt who went on to play four years of football at Oregon State in the late 1940s (1945 and 1947-49).
- Nick Robertson - Coaching
Nick Robertson coached boys basketball for 41 years at three schools, finishing with 699 victories, two state titles and having co-founded the state’s most prestigious winter tournament – the Les Schwab Classic.
Robertson’s career began at Sandy in 1964, but took off at McMinnville, where he coached the Grizzlies – led by center Charlie Sitton - to the 1979 state title with a double-overtime win over Churchill. McMinnville went 27-0 and extended the win streak to 39 games the next season.
After moving to Beaverton, Robertson coached the Beaverton Beavers to the 1989 state final and the 1998 state championship. He guided the Beavers to the Metro League title 10 times in 22 seasons, and his teams to the large-school state tournament 25 times.
Robertson was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
- Rich Brooks - Coaching
Brooks's coaching career started at Oregon State as an assistant freshman coach while working on his master's degree. After receiving his master's degree, he moved to Sacramento, California, where he accepted an assistant coaching job at Norte Del Rio High School. He soon returned to his alma mater to serve as defensive line coach for the Beavers from 1965 through 1969 under new head coach Dee Andros.
Brooks rejoined legendary coach Tommy Prothro in 1970 as linebackers coach at UCLA, then followed Prothro to the Los Angeles Rams in 1971 as special teams and fundamentals coach. After two years in the NFL, Brooks returned to Oregon State to serve as defensive coordinator in 1973 under Andros, after previous DC Bud Riley left for the CFL. Brooks returned to the NFL in 1974 as defensive backs and special teams coach for the San Francisco 49ers under Dick Nolan, then went back to UCLA in 1976 to coach linebackers under first-year head coach Terry Donahue, where he helped the Bruins to a top-20 final ranking.
Brooks accepted his first head coaching position in 1977 at the University of Oregon, Oregon State's bitter rival. At the time of his arrival, the Ducks had not had a winning season since 1969, and only one since 1965. Brooks' first contract was a four-year deal at $32,000 per year. In 1980 a scandal was exposed from the 1977-79 academic years, and the school was placed on a two-year probation (including a one year bowl ban) by the NCAA for violations in recruiting, misuse of funds and academic standards.
Brooks' teams dominated the instate rivalry with Oregon State, compiling an overall record of 14–3–1, which kept him popular during several disappointing seasons. In 1989, he led the Ducks to a berth in the Independence Bowl—their first bowl appearance since 1963. Brooks would lead them to three more bowls in his tenure, becoming the first coach in school history to take the Ducks to four bowl games. (The Pac-8 did not allow a second bowl team from the conference until 1975).
His best season came in 1994, when he led the Ducks to the first outright conference title in the school's 100-year football history and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Brooks was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year, and also won the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award as national coach of the year. His 91 wins were a school record until his successor and former offensive coordinator, Mike Bellotti, broke it in 2006; his 109 losses remain a school record. Brooks left Oregon for the NFL after the 1994 season. His overall record at Oregon was 18 games under .500, largely due to his first seven teams winning only 22 games combined. Nonetheless, Brooks is credited with reviving Oregon's football program and setting the stage for its rise to national prominence under Bellotti and Chip Kelly.
- Mouse Davis - Coaching
Mouse may have not invented the run and shoot offense that is so closely associated with him. He just nurtured it into the mainstream of.
Like many future coaches before and after him, Davis played quarterback for the legendary Bill McArthur at Oregon College of Education, now known as Western Oregon University.
Mouse first showed his coaching chops in 15 seasons at Milwaukie, Sunset and Hillsboro high schools. The 1973 state champion Hillsboro Spartans re-wrote the record books and helped send Davis to his next adventure at Portland State.
The nation discovered Mouse Davis by watching the scoreboard. Unbelievable and outsized final scores flashed across the wires in the late 70’s and early 80s. 75-0, 93-7 and the stranger-than –truth 105-0 shellacking of Delaware State at Civic Stadium.
The ruin and shoot also made stars of Viking quarterbacks. June Jones and Neil Lomax were the brightest of all. Jones set a single season record of 3,500 yards passing in 1975. Lomax re-set national career records with 13,00 yards passing and 106 touchdowns.
Those numbers would carry Mouse Davis to the pro coaching ranks, a championship in Canada and successful runs in the NFL, World League, USFL and Arena football.
Always quick to tell a story or help a former player, Davis returned to the coaching ranks as an assistant his former player June Jones at Hawaii and again at his beloved Portland State.
Now 80 years young, Mouse is now a Viking football broadcaster, avid golfer and proud to be a living legend of coaching.
- Barry Adams - Coaching
After college, Adams took his degree and guided kids in the classroom, teaching history, economics, and government, all while building his reputation as one of the most highly regarded high school coaches in the state.
Having coached basketball for a total of 40 years at five different high schools (Nestucca, Lebanon, Hillsboro, Glencoe and South Salem), Adams was once the Most Winningest Coach in Oregon High School History. He has 656 total career wins and led two teams to state basketball titles: Glencoe in 1983 & South Salem in 1996. He’s been named Oregon Boys Basketball Coach of the Year four times. He also coached football for 19 years.
Outside of coaching, Adams has founded some of the state’s most successful camps and ventures, including the Cascade Sports Camp, which has positively shaped more than 56,000 camp graduates. He also created The Hoop, one of the region’s top basketball and fitness facilities. This premier center evolved from scribbles on a napkin into a place where athletes can go to stay in shape and ahead of the game. Additionally, Adams is the co-founder of the Les Schwab Invitational Tournament.
Not surprisingly, Barry Adams already has a long list of accolades and has been inducted into the Hall of Fames of South Salem High School, Western Oregon University, the NAIA, and the National Coaches Association.
Today, Adams owns and operates Competitive Edge Basketball and serves as a Special Assistant & Advisor for the Portland State Men’s Basketball Team.