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- Sam Baker - Football
Sam Baker played his way into the state’s memory as a halfback at Oregon State and then place-kicker in the National Football League.
Born in 1930, Baker grew up in Corvallis and had a standout athletic career at the school, helping the Spartans win the 1948 state championship in basketball.
Baker moved to Oregon State and played three seasons, 1950-52, for the varsity team as both a halfback and kicker. He graduated from the team as the record-holder in carries, 487, and yards gained, 1,947, and is credited with scoring the final touchdown at Bell Field in 1952.
The Los Angeles Rams drafted Baker in 1952, but he didn’t latch onto an NFL team until the next season with the Washington Redskins. In Washington, he carried the ball just 17 times and his career as a halfback ended. He revived his career as a kicker in 1956 and played 14 more seasons with the Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.
In 1956, he led the league with 17 field goals and made the first of his four appearances (56, 63, 64, 68) in the Pro Bowl. Baker led the league in numerous kicking categories throughout his career. In 1958, he averaged a league-best 45.4 yards per punt, made a league-best in PATs in both 1960 and ’62, and a league-best 18 of 25 field-goal attempts in 1966.
In his career, Baker made 179 of 316 field-goal attempts (56 percent) and averaged 42.6 yards on 703 punts. He missed just 16 attempts on 444 extra-points (96 percent). Baker was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980 and to the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
He died in 2007.
- Terry Baker - Football
From the heart of Portland to the Willamette Valley and onto national success at the highest level, Terry Baker remains the state’s most decorated player for having won the Heisman Trophy while at Oregon State. And, he played basketball, too.
Born in 1941 in Minnesota, Baker played football, basketball and baseball at Portland’s Jefferson High, and led the Democrats to an unprecedented level of athletic success. While at the school, the Demos won the state football title in 1958 and ’59 with the 6-foot-3 Baker at quarterback, the state baseball title in 1959 with Baker as the winning pitcher of the title game, and reached the state boys basketball tournament in 1959 and ’60 with Baker as point guard.
Despite the lack of success at the state level in basketball, Baker chose to attend OSU on a basketball scholarship to play for legendary coach Slats Gill. He quickly joined the football program to play under coach Tommy Prothro.
Baker guided the OSU football team as a dual-threat quarterback. In 1962, he passed for 1,738 yards and ran for 538 more. The team reached the Liberty Bowl and beat Villanova 6-0 thanks to a 99-yard touchdown run by Baker. He won the Heisman Trophy, was voted college player of the year by the Associate Press and Sporting News and was named Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated, which described him as a “James Bond in shoulder pads.”
The Beavers were not in the running to reach the Rose Bowl as the Pacific Coast Conference had disbanded in 1959 and OSU, along with Oregon, wouldn’t join what immediately became known as the Pac-8 until 1964.
The OSU basketball team played its way into the 1963 Final Four behind a standout line-up that included Mel Counts and Jim Jarvis in addition to Baker.
The Los Angeles Rams made Baker the first pick of the 1963 National Football League draft, but he started just one game and scored just three touchdowns in three seasons. He played one season, 1966, for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League before retiring to become a lawyer.
Baker was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980. He has also been inducted to the Oregon State University Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame as well as the National High School Athletics Hall of Fame. OSU has retired his jersey number, 11.
Baker lives in Portland.
- Steve Barnett - Football
Steve Barnett played his way into the state’s memory as an All-American football player and student before a short career in the National Football League.
Born in 1941, Barnett grew up in Oklahoma before moving to the University of Oregon in 1960 as a 6-foot-2 lineman on both offense and defense. At Oregon, he was voted All-Conference three times, including 1960 when he started on the squad that played in the Liberty Bowl.
In 1962, he was voted as a First-Team All-American at offensive tackle and as an academic First Team All-American. He played in the East-West Shrine Game as well as the Hula Bowl.
In 1963, the Chicago Bears selected Barnett in the second round of the NFL Draft, while the San Diego Chargers selected him in the ninth round of the AFL Draft. He chose the Bears and played one season in Chicago and one with the Washington Redskins.
Barnett was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 as part of the inaugural class and into the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2000.
- John Beckett - Football
Beckett died at age 89 in 1981, a year after being inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
John "Jack" Beckett (January 5, 1892 – July 26, 1981) was an American football offensive tackle who played for the University of Oregon and Mare Island. Born in rural northeastern Oregon, Beckett attended Eugene High School in Eugene before enrolling at the University of Oregon.
University of Oregon
Although primarily used as an offensive tackle, Beckett excelled at several positions, occasionally playing halfback and punter. Beckett was the team captain in his senior year of 1916 and was named to the all-Pacific Coast Conference team. He led the team to an undefeated record and tie for the conference championship with the University of Washington. Oregon was chosen to represent the conference in the 1917 Rose Bowl where they defeated Pennsylvania 14-0, with Beckett named the game's most valuable player.
U.S. Marine Corps service
With the United States' entry in World War I, Beckett joined the Marines in his senior year, and was assigned to the Marine base at Mare Island, California. He joined the Mare Island football team, coached by Beckett's Oregon coach Hugo Bezdek, and was selected as team captain. With the U.S. at war, the 1918 Rose Bowl featured two service teams: Beckett's Mare Island team and the U.S. Army's Camp Lewis team, with Mare Island winning 19-7. Beckett is the only person to have been the captain of two different Rose Bowl teams.
Beckett served 50 years in the Marines, coaching Marine teams at Mare Island, Quantico, and San Diego, amassing an overall coaching record of 56-19-3. He achieved a final the rank of brigadier general.
Beckett was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972, and was a charter member of both the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. He died in La Jolla, California in 1981.
- Jules "Zuck" Carlson - Football
Jules Carlson played his way through The Dalles and Oregon State into a professional career in the early days of the Chicago Bears.
Born in 1904, Carlson grew up in The Dalles and played center and guard at Oregon State from 1926-28. The Beavers were 16-6-1 in those seasons, including 7-1 in 1926. He signed with the Bears in 1929 after receiving a contract for $100 per game plus food, and a one-way ticket to Chicago in order to sign the contract. He played under Coach George Halas into 1936. The Bears won two NFL titles, including the first championship game, a 23-21 victory over the New York Giants in 1933. Carlson opened running lanes for backs Red Grange and Bronco Nagurski. He also played in the first "College All-Star Game," in which college players played the NFL champion.
Following his career, he remained in Chicago and worked as a pipefitter.
Carlson 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 1994.
- Chas "Shy" Huntington -Football
Charles "Shy" Huntington left an indelible mark on the University of Oregon football program by leading it to the 1917 Rose Bowl as a player, then guiding the program to the 1920 Rose Bowl as head coach.
Born in 1891, Huntington played three seasons for Oregon, beginning at age 23 in 1914.
Oregon reached the 1917 Rose Bowl with a 6-0-1 record, having beaten the Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club twice and given up just 14 points all season. The Ducks tied Washington 0-0, but beat Cal and the Oregon Agricultural College (OSU) to tie for the top spot in the newly formed Pacific Coast Conference.
In the Rose Bowl, being played for only the third time as the "East-West Game," they faced Eastern power Pennsylvania, which was a heavy favorite despite being the third choice among Eastern teams after Harvard and Yale refused to travel by train to Pasadena.
Huntington played a key role in the game by intercepting three passes, throwing for a touchdown, rushing 17 times for 69 yards and a touchdown and kicking two extra points.
Oregon, coached by legendary Hugo Bezdek, won 14-0 before a crowd of 27,000.
Huntington was named All-American following the season.
In 1920, Huntington, who became coach in 1918, guided the Ducks to a 5-1 record, first place in the PCC and back to the Rose Bowl, where they faced unbeaten Harvard. Despite a standout performance from younger brother Hollis Huntington, who had 122 yards on 29 carries, the Ducks lost 7-6 before a crowd of 35,000. Oregon, which played its home games in newly christened Hayward Field, used just 13 players in the game.
Shy Huntington led the Ducks to a 26-12-6 record in his six seasons as coach. He also coached the basketball team for two seasons and the baseball team for one season.
He later coached Eugene High School for two seasons.
Shy Huntington was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980 and into the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame in 1993.
- George Christensen - Football
George Christensen carried the University of Oregon's name into the National Football League during the early years of the league as a lineman before becoming a successful businessman.
Born in Pendleton in 1909, Christensen played at Oregon from 1928-30 and was a Pacific Coast Conference all-star as a tackle in 1930. While at Oregon, the Ducks were a combined 23-7. Christensen often played entire games as both an offensive and defensive lineman.
After graduation, he moved to the NFL, which had begun in 1920. Christensen played three seasons for the Portsmouth Spartans, and five for the Detroit Lions, who won the league title in 1935. He played 93 games in eight seasons.
Three decades later, the Associated Press named him a lineman on the NFL’s All-1930s team.
In 1944, Christensen became a business owner with a former teammate manufacturing diamond core bits for the mining industry.
Christensen was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 1980 and the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame in 1996.
- Norman "Red" Franklin - Football
Norman ‘Red’ Franklin was an All-American at Oregon State, who played three seasons in the NFL before retiring.
Born in Rhode Island in 1911, he found his way to Corvallis and played running back from 1932-34. In 1933, Franklin had 94-yard kickoff returns in two games and was named an All-American. The Beavers were a combined 13-14-4 in his three seasons.
In the NFL, Franklin, who stood 5-foot-10, started nine games at tailback for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1935, and played in three more games for the team the next two years, retiring with 366 yards and four touchdowns on 119 carries.
Franklin was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Bobby Grayson - Football
During his high school and college football days, Bobby Grayson became one of the West Coast’s greatest players, helping create a dynasty at both Jefferson High and then playing a key role in three teams that reached the Rose Bowl while at Stanford University.
Born in Portland in 1914, Grayson reached the Jefferson varsity as a freshman in 1928 in the first season of legendary coach Eric Waldorf’s career at the school. As a quarterback, halfback and defensive back, Grayson helped the Democrats improve from 3-5-1 to 10-0-0 in four seasons. The 1931 team is famed for having outscored opponents 287-6, including 169-0 in seven games against Portland Interscholastic League teams. Grayson scored 117 points in those seven games.
Grayson also starred on the Jefferson track and field team, winning state titles in the 100-yard dash and 220-yard low hurdles in both 1931 and ’32.
Stanford’s legendary football coach Glenn “Pop” Warner then recruited Grayson to Stanford before leaving the following season for the position at Temple University. At Stanford, Grayson starred on both offense, as a quarterback and fullback, and defense as a safety.
The Indians, as they were then known, won the Pacific Coast Conference title in 1933, ’34 and ’35, and played in the Rose Bowl at the close of each of those seasons. They won the 1936 Rose Bowl, 7-0, over Columbia.
Grayson earned a spot on the All-America team as a quarterback in 1934, and fullback in 1935. In ’34, he set a school record with four interceptions during a game against Washington. In his three seasons on the varsity team, Grayson ran for 1,547 yards on 405 carries. He is regularly listed among the top five players in the history of Stanford football.
Following his senior season, the Pittsburgh Pirates (Steelers) of the fledgling National Football League selected Grayson with the third pick of the third round of the league’s first draft. But Grayson - as did first overall pick Jay Berwanger of Chicago University - chose to go into private business. He worked for companies in Oregon and Washington and served as the head of the U.S. Savings Bond Division for Oregon for eight years until retiring in 1980.
During World War II, Grayson served as commanding officer of the USS Loyalty, a minesweeper.
Grayson passed away in 1981 at age 66. He was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955, and into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the initial class in 1980.
- Vic Sears - Football
Vic Sears played his way from Central Oregon, through Corvallis and into a spot in state sports lore as a durable lineman on Oregon State’s first bowl team.
Born in Ashwood in 1918, Sears found his way to Oregon State and played there for three varsity seasons (1938-40) as a 6-foot-3, 200-pound tackle on the offensive line. As a junior, Sears teamed with center Quentin Greenough and guard Len Younce to lead the Beavers to a 9-1-1 record and win over Hawaii in the 1940 Pineapple Bowl, played in Honolulu. Following his senior season, he was voted first-team All-America. He played in the East-West Shrine Game in 1941.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Sears in the fifth round of the 1941 Draft, but he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and played there through the 1953 season, missing 1944 due to a broken leg. He helped the Eagles win the NFL title in 1948 and ’49.
In 1943, Sears played for the legendary “Steagles,” the team formed by the merger of the Eagles and Steelers due to the shortage of players caused by World Ward II. In 1950, Sears became a defensive lineman as well and played there exclusively his final two seasons.
In 12 seasons, he played 131 games, earned All-NFL recognition on either the first of second team five times and earned the nickname “Old Smoothie.” He was voted to the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1940s at tackle.
Sears was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980 and into the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Norm Van Brocklin - Football
Norm Van Brocklin established the tradition of quarterback excellence at the University of Oregon, won two championships in the National Football League and coached for 13 seasons in the NFL before the age of 50.
Van Brocklin was born in 1926 in South Dakota, but grew up in California and joined the Navy in 1943. He played at Oregon from 1946-48 and led the team to a 16-5 record as starting quarterback during his sophomore and junior seasons. He also served as punter. In 1948, under second year coach Jim Aiken, Oregon went 7-0 and tied California, which went 6-0, for the Pacific Coast Conference title, but missed a trip to the Rose Bowl when the Bears won a vote by other conference members. Oregon played in the Cotton Bowl, but lost to Southern Methodist 21-13.
Van Brocklin threw for 1,949 yards and 18 touchdowns in his two years as Oregon quarterback, and was named All-American after the 1948 season. He left school after his junior season and was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fourth round in 1949.
Van Brocklin platooned with established quarterback Bob Waterfield in 1950 and the team established a scoring record by averaging 38.8 points per game. Van Brocklin led the league in passer rating, but the Rams lost to Cleveland in the NFL title game.
In ’51, the Rams again reached the title game and beat Cleveland 24-17. During the season, Van Brocklin threw for 554 yards in a game to set an NFL record.
The Rams also reached the league title game in 1955, where they lost to the Browns 38-14.
Van Brocklin played nine seasons with the Rams before moving to Philadelphia, where he led the Eagles to the NFL title in 1960. Van Brocklin was voted league MVP and named All-Pro in 1960. In his 12 seasons, he passed for 23,611 yards, 178 touchdowns and was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times. He led the league in punting average once.
Directly after the 1960 season, Van Brocklin, at age 34, retired and became the head coach of the expansion Minnesota Vikings. He compiled a record of 29-5-14 in six seasons, before leaving to be an NFL commentator for CBS in 1967. The following season he became head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. In seven seasons with the Falcons, he finished 37-43-3 and had the team within reach of the playoffs before being fired in 1974.
Following his coaching career, he became a pecan farmer. He died in 1983.
Van Brocklin was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980, and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
- Len Younce - Football
Len Younce earned his spot in the state’s sports memory as a scrappy lineman who helped Oregon State to its first bowl game and then reached the NFL.
Born in Dayton in 1917, Sears graduated from Portland’s Roosevelt High and enrolled at Oregon State, where he played three varsity seasons (1938-40) as a 6-foot-1, 200-pound guard on the offensive line. As a junior, Younce teamed with center Quentin Greenough and tackle Vic Sears to lead the Beavers to a 9-1-1 record and win over Hawaii in the 1940 Pineapple Bowl, played in Honolulu. Following that season, he was voted honorable mention All-America.
The New York Giants selected Younce in the eighth round of the 1941 Draft and he played there on the offensive line for six seasons, helping the team reach the NFL title game three times. He also played linebacker, and handled punting and placekicking duties at times.
In 1944, he led the league in punting yards. In 1948, he made 36 of 37 extra-point attempts. He finished his career with 10 interceptions.
Younce was voted All-NFL five times, and was voted to the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1940s at guard.
Following his playing career, Younce returned to Oregon State as an assistant coach for six seasons. He also coached in the Canadian Football League for the Edmonton Eskimos.
In 1992, Younce coached Joseph High in Eastern Oregon for one season at age 75.
Younce was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980 and into the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 1991.
- John Kitzmiller - Football
Pennsylvania, John Kitzmiller had his heart set on a football career at West Point and was particularly impressed with Army coach John McEwan. Just when Kitzmiller was about to enter West Point, McEwan was lured to the head coaching position at Oregon. Without hesitation, Kitzmiller followed him and the two brought the Ducks into national prominence. McEwan and Kitzmiller shared a warm sense of humor, which bonded the two, and together they led the Ducks to national prominence. Kitzmiller was given the nickname the “Flying Dutchman” for his spectacular tackles for his size at 165lb and 6ft. The Dutchman scored 14 touchdowns over his college career. While on line, 1928-1930, the Ducks had a 23-7 record, two of the games were lost because Kitzmeller had a broken foot. He was awarded the 2 time All-Pacific Coast Conference defensive back and offensive back. During his senior year he earned the 2nd-team All-American honors. After U of O, Kitzmiller played one season as fullback in 1931 with the NY Giants. He returned to University of Oregon as an assistant football coach from 1932-1935. When WWII rolled around, Kitmiller served a tour in India as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Force and returned to Oregon again to establish his own manufacturing company in the Williamette valley. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1969 the University of Oregon Athletic Hall of Fame in 1992, and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. Kitzmiller died in Oregon in 1986.
- Ross Carter - Football
Ross Carter earned a reputation as a fearsome lineman and masters athlete and was eventually voted into an athletic hall of fame four times.
Born in Missouri in 1914, he grew up in Oregon and graduated from Lakeview High School. He attended Southern Oregon University and played football in 1932 and ‘33 under coach Howard Hobson before transferring to Oregon in 1934.
Carter filled out to 6-foot, 238 pounds and played on both offense and defense as a guard for the Ducks in 1934 and ’35.
Carter was the first Oregon player selected in the NFL Draft, taken in the eighth round of the inaugural event by the Chicago Cardinals in 1936.
He played four seasons as a reserve for the Cardinals, then moved into the lumber business as co-owner of Starr-Carter.
His son, Ross Carter, Jr., played at Oregon from 1964-66.
Carter became a masters athlete upon turning 65 and set age-group records in the shot put and discus. He set the US Record in the shot put in the Men’s 75 age group in 1990 at 40-41/4 inches. He was voted USA Track and Field Male Athlete of the Year in 1994 after setting an age-group record of 121-8 in the discus at age 80. He threw 101-1 in 2000 at age 86.
He died in 2002 of natural causes at age 88.
Carter was voted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, the Southern Oregon University Hall of Fame in 1990 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. He was voted to the USA Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame in 1998.
- Jack Crabtree - Football
Jack Crabtree is one of the least well-known quarterbacks from the University of Oregon, but led the team to one of its famed accomplishments – the 1958 Rose Bowl, where the Ducks nearly pulled off a huge upset.
Crabtree grew up in Southern California and moved to Eugene from San Bernardino Junior College in time for the 1955 season.
At 6-feet, 180 pounds, he played three seasons for the Oregon varsity, and was the starter at quarterback as a senior when the Ducks went 7-3 and tied Oregon State for the Pacific Coast Conference title. Conference rules gave the Ducks, who lost to the Beavers 10-7 at the close of the regular season, the Rose Bowl berth because OSU had been to the game the previous year.
During the season, Crabtree attempted just 99 passes and threw for four touchdowns, but the Ducks averaged 295 yards of offense per game and he was named all-conference honorable mention.
In the Rose Bowl, Crabtree completed 10 of 17 passes for 135 yards and also played defense against Ohio State, ranked No. 1 and favored to win by 19 points. Although Oregon lost 10-7, the Ducks carried coach Len Casanova off the field on their shoulders and Crabtree was named the game’s MVP, only the third player at the time to be so honored from the losing team.
Crabtree served two years in the Army before attempting to play in the American Football League with both the Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Chargers. He did not see any action and retired to work in the athletic supply business.
Crabtree was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the University of Oregon Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002.
- Don Durdan - Football
Don Durdan remains one of Oregon State’s most versatile and inspiring athletes, having played football, basketball and baseball despite usually being the shortest player on his team.
Born in 1920, Durdan grew up in Eureka, Calif., and was a member of the Eureka High “Wonder Team” that did not allow a point during the 1935 season. He reached Oregon State in 1938 as a 5-foot-9, 175-pound halfback and played for the varsity in 1939-41, an era that included a win in the Pineapple Bowl and Rose Bowl.
In the ’42 Rose Bowl, Durdan ran for 54 yards and a touchdown and played enough other roles such as punter to be named the game’s Most Valuable Player, retroactively since the award didn’t exist at the time of the game.
Durdan played for the basketball team under coach Slat Gill from 1940-43, and was voted All-American in 1943. The 1941-42 team won the Pacific Coast Conference Northern Division title despite missing Durdan for several weeks due to the Rose Bowl. He also played for the baseball team under Ralph Coleman in 1941 and ’42. Durdan served in the Navy during World War II.
In 1946, Durdan signed with the San Francisco 49ers of the All-American Football Conference and played as a halfback, punter and defensive back. He then returned to Oregon to play for the Portland Indians of the expansion Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League. He played one game for the 49ers in 1947 before returning to Oregon to play for the Indians for a second season before the league collapsed.
Following his two stints as a professional, he ran a funeral home in Corvallis until passing away in 1971.
Durdan was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988.
- Quentin Greenough - Football
Quentin Greenough earned his place in state sports lore as center for Oregon State’s first Rose Bowl team.
Born in 1919, Greenough grew up in San Gabriel, Calif., and played three seasons for the Beavers, 1939-41. As a sophomore, he helped Oregon State finish 9-1-1 and score a win in the 1940 Pineapple Bowl, played in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In 1941, Greenough helped the Beavers finish 8-2, including a win over Duke in the 1942 Rose Bowl, which was played in Durham, N.C., due to the threat of invasion from the Japanese army.
In the third game of the season, Greenough played on both offensive and defensive lines and led the Beavers to a 10-0 upset of Stanford, which had played in the previous Rose Bowl and was a heavy favorite to play in the game again. He played until the fourth quarter, when a dislocated knee forced him from the field.
During the regular season, the Beavers allowed just 33 points before beating second-ranked and unbeaten Duke 20-16. Oregon State finished 12th in the final national rankings, which were produced before any bowl games.
Greenough was voted second team All-American.
He served in the United States Coast Guard and played for the USCG football team in ’42 and ’43.
Following the war, Greenough returned to Corvallis and served as an assistant to coach Lon Stiner until Stiner was released in 1948. Greenough later established a general contracting business in Corvallis.
Greenough was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Howard Maple - Football
Howard Maple earned the distinction of being the only Oregon State alum to ever play in both the NFL and Major Leagues after graduating from the school in 1928.
Born in Missouri in 1903, Maple found his way to Oregon State and lettered from 1926-28 as a halfback, earning recognition as a second-team All-American following his senior season. During his years in Corvallis, the Beavers were a combined 16-7-1, with three of the losses coming to USC.
Maple played eight games with the Chicago Cardinals of the NFL in 1930, and hit .244 in 44 games as a catcher with the Washington Senators in 1932.
He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Adolphe Schwammel - Football
Adolphe Schwammel played three seasons at Oregon State, then won two NFL titles in five seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
Born in 1908, Schwammel grew up in Oakland, Calif., and played on the offensive line at OSU from 1931-33. In those years, the Beavers were a combined 16-9-3. In '33, the Beavers tied USC 0-0, using the same 11 players for the entire game, and traveled to New York City to beat Fordham 9-6 before 45,000 fans. Schwammel played in the East-West Shrine Game in 1934.
Schwammel played two stints as a lineman and back-up place-kicker with the Packers, 1934-36, and '43-44, with a seven-year break for military service. They won the NFL Championship game in both 1936, and '44. He was voted first-team All-Pro in 1935.
Schwammel was voted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Bill Austin - Football
Bill Austin turned his experience at Oregon State into a distinguished career in the National Football League as both a player and coach.
Born in 1928, Austin grew up in San Pedro, Calif., and reached Oregon State as a 16-year-old. He played offensive lineman for the Beavers for four seasons (1945-48), eventually filling out to 6-foot-1, 225 pounds.
In 1946, the Beavers were 7-1-1, losing only to UCLA. They tied Stanford. As a senior, he was voted to the All-Pacific Coast Conference team and played in the 1949 East-West Shrine Game. During his years in Corvallis, the Beavers were a combined 21-14-5.
The New York Giants drafted Austin, who earned a degree in biology, in 1949. He played seven seasons for the Giants, missing the 1951 and ’52 seasons while serving in the military during the Korean War.
Upon his return, Austin excelled and played in the Pro Bowl in 1954. His playing career ended in 1957, but he immediately became an assistant coach.
In New York, Austin played under Vince Lombardi, who was an assistant, and was one of 17 players from the 1950s Giants to become coaches in the league. Austin became the offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers when Lombardi took over the team in 1959. In Austin’s six years in Green Bay, the Packers reached the NFL Championship game three times and won twice. He coached the offensive line for the Los Angeles Rams in 1965 before being named head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1966, where his teams went a combined 11-28-3 in three seasons. Upon his dismissal, Austin rejoined Lombardi, this time with the Washington Redskins in 1969. Upon Lombardi’s death the following year, Austin coached the team for one season.
Austin coached the offensive line with the New York Giants from 1979-82 before retiring from coaching.
In four years as a head coach, Austin finished 17-36-3.
Following his career, he moved with his wife to La Mesa, Calif., and became a business owner.
Austin was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and into the OSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Del Bjork - Football
Del Bjork played his way from the Oregon coast to the Willamette Valley and into the NFL.
Born in 1914, Bjork grew up in Astoria and filled out into a 6-foot-1, 218-pound lineman during a sparkling athletic era for the high school, which won four state basketball titles in six years beginning in 1930.
Bjork played for Oregon from 1934-36, when the Ducks were a combined 14-13-1. Despite Oregon’s 2-6-1 record in 1936 (the team scored just 34 points), Bjork’s play earned him postseason action in the East-West Shrine Game. He also played in the 10th Collegiate-Pro Classic, and helped the college team beat the Green Bay Packers 6-0.
The Chicago Bears drafted Bjork in the sixth round of the 1937 NFL Draft, only the league’s second draft, and he played there for two seasons. He was the second UO player drafted, following guard Ross Carter in the 1936 Draft.
He served in the North Pacific during World War II.
Bjork died in 1988. He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.
- Ken Carpenter - Football
Ken Carpenter had one of the more memorable pro careers of any Oregonian, playing in the NFL, the CFL and in the first year of the AFL.
Born in Seaside in 1926, Carpenter grew to be 6-foot, 195 pounds and played running back from 1946-49 at Oregon State, amassing 3,903 all-purpose yards. He impressed professional scouts enough to be selected No. 13 in the 1950 NFL Draft by Cleveland, and scored 17 touchdowns as a back, receiver and kick returner in four seasons with the Browns. He was named to the NFL Pro Bowl in 1951.
Carpenter then played six seasons in the Canadian Football League for the Saskatchewan Roughriders before being signed by the Denver Broncos in time for the inaugural season of the American Football League in 1960. He caught 29 passes in six games before retiring.
He was named an NFL Pro Bowler in 1951.
Carpenter was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Jim Dixon - Football
Jim Dixon was an All-American lineman during his career at Oregon State and then served as an assistant football coach and head wrestling coach long enough that the school named a building after him.
Dixon played left tackle at OSU under coach Paul Schissler from 1924-26 and was an All-American and All-Coast selection as a senior.
He returned to campus as an assistant coach in 1933 under Schissler’s successor, Lon Stiner, and remained in that position for 14 seasons, including the Rose Bowl year, 1941-42. Dixon also served as head coach of the wrestling program from 1934-38, and again from 1952-55.
Due to his long service, Oregon State named its campus recreation center after him. Today it’s known as the Dixon Recreation Center.
Dixon was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- George Powell - Football
George Powell played, coached and recruited for Oregon State during his lifetime on the Pacific Coast.
Powell, born in 1898, was part of the first graduating class from Portland's Franklin High School, and played fullback at Oregon State from 1918 to 1921, earning the distinction of being the school's first All-American as a senior. He also won the Pacific Coast Conference title in the shot put following his junior season.
After graduating he coached the team to a 3-4 record in 1922, then moved to Southern California and became a business owner distributing oil and gas. During his business career, he promoted OSU to athletes throughout California and became known as "Mister Oregon State."
Powell was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Aaron Thomas - Football
Aaron Thomas had an all-star career at Oregon State and in the NFL before becoming an ardent Beavers’ booster.
Born in 1937, Thomas played receiver at OSU from 1958-60. He played in the East-West Shrine Game following his junior season, and the College All-Star Game, Coaches All-America Bowl, and the Senior Bowl following the '60 season.
Thomas was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Draft and Dallas Texans in the AFL Draft, and chose to sign with San Francisco. He played receiver with San Francisco, and tight end with the New York Giants after being traded during the '62 season, which ended with the Giants losing toGreen Bay in the NFL Championship game.
In 10 years, Sears caught 262 passes for 4,554 yards and 37 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 1964, despite the Giants finishing 2-10. In his career, he missed just seven games.
Upon returning to Oregon, Thomas served as the assistant director of the Beaver Club from 1983-89. He was inducted into the State of Oregon Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
- Hal Moe - Football
- Mel Renfro - Football
Mel Renfro established himself as a standout in high school, college and with a Hall of Fame career in the National Football League.
Born in Houston in 1941, Renfro grew up in Portland and attended Jefferson High, where he starred in football and track and field.
With Renfro catching passes from quarterback and future Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker, the Democrats won the state title in 1957 and ’58. Following Baker’s graduation and move to Oregon State, the Demos lost to Medford, 7-6, in the 1959 title game.
By then, Renfro had established himself as a track star as well, having won the 180-yard low hurdles at the 1959 state meet. As a senior, Renfro won the low hurdles, 120 high hurdles and long jump to power Jefferson, which won six events, to the team title.
Renfro played three seasons at Oregon, 1961-63, as both a defensive back and running back. In his career, he rushed for 1,540 yards and led the Ducks in scoring each season. As a senior, he won the Maxwell Award as the nation’s top running back and helped the Ducks finish 8-3 and play in the Sun Bowl. Renfro is still among the Oregon career leaders in all-purpose yardage.
In 1962, he finished second in the high hurdles and third in the long jump to help the Ducks win the NCAA Track and Field Championship. He ran a leg on the 440-yard relay team that set a world record at 40.0 seconds.
The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the second round of the 1964 NFL Draft and he played 14 seasons for the team as a defensive back. Renfro excelled on special teams returning kicks for several seasons, but played primarily as a cornerback, eventually establishing a franchise record for interceptions with 52.
In his 14 seasons, he was named to the Pro Bowl 10 times and All-Pro five times. Renfro played in the Super Bowl four times with the Cowboys winning twice, Super Bowl VI and XII.
Renfro was the fifth Dallas player inducted into the Ring of Honor at Cowboys Stadium. He currently works as a motivational speaker.
Renfro was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, and into the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. He was enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 1996.
- Dave Wilcox - Football
Dave Wilcox played his way from eastern Oregon into the National Football League Hall of Fame as an intimidating lineman and linebacker.
Born in 1942, Wilcox grew up in Vale and graduated in 1960 having led the Vikings to three state title games, with wins in ’58 and ‘59. On his way to 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Wilcox played two seasons at Boise Junior College, (now Boise State) as an offensive and defensive lineman before transferring to Oregon for the 1962 season. Oregon went 6-3-1 in ’62, losing only to Texas, Ohio State and Oregon State.
In ’63, the Ducks featured quarterback Bob Berry as well as defensive back Mel Renfro and finished 8-3, including a 21-14 win over Southern Methodist in the Sun Bowl.
Wilcox played in the Hula Bowl following his senior season and was voted outstanding lineman. He also played in two other college all-star games before being selected in both the NFL and AFL drafts.
Wilcox signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1964 and played there for 11 seasons, being named to the Pro Bowl team seven times and the All-NFL team four times at linebacker. In his 11 seasons, the 49ers reached the playoffs three times, 1970-72, thanks primarily to the team’s defense. They were eliminated from the playoffs by the Dallas Cowboys each season.
Wilcox was voted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. He was enshrined in the NFL Hall of Fame in 2000.
- John Witte - Football
John Witte made a name for himself as a standout lineman on Oregon State’s 1957 Rose Bowl team as well as a national-caliber wrestler.
Witte played under coach Kip Taylor in 1951-52 before joining the military during the Korean War. He returned to play under Tommy Prothro and was a two-time All-American (1955-56), helping the Beavers reach the Rose Bowl.
Witte wrestled in 1952 and again in ’56 with his success coming in ’52 when he won the Pacific Coast Conference title at heavyweight. He finished second in the NCAA meet.
Witte signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League in 1957 and played one season before retiring.
Witte was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Emery Barnes - Football
Emery Barnes created a legacy as an athlete and social leader in both Oregon and Canada that will last.
Born in 1929, Barnes was raised in Louisiana and then Oregon, where he played football and ran track and field at Jefferson High School. He set the state high school record in the high jump in 1948 at 6-foot-2½ inches, a record that stood until 1960.
Barnes moved to the University of Oregon in 1950 as both a 6-foot-6 defensive end on the football team and international-caliber high jumper.
In 1952, he shared the NCAA title in the high jump by clearing 6-8, then set a personal best of 6-9¾ in the AAU national championships. Barnes missed clearing the world record of 6-11, but earned a spot as an alternate on the U.S. team for the 1952 Olympic Summer Games. In the fall, Barnes was voted to the all-Pacific Coast Conference team at defensive end, and he was team captain for the ’53 season.
The Green Bay Packers drafted Barnes 18th overall in 1954, but he served two years in the military before joining the team. Barnes played just two games for the Packers in 1956, before moving to Canada.
Barnes revived his career with the British Columbia Lions from 1962-64, playing on the Grey Cup champions in his final season. Barnes then moved to social work and found his way into politics in 1972, when he was the first person of color to be elected to a legislative position in British Columbia.
Barnes was re-elected four times and served as Speaker of the Legislature from 1994-96. He died of cancer in 1998 at age 68.
Vancover, B.C., honored Barnes’ legacy by officially opening Emery Barnes Park in 2003. He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.
- Bob Berry - Football
Bob Berry thrilled fans at Hayward Field as the second great quarterback for the University of Oregon, and played 11 years in the National Football League.
Born in 1942, Berry grew up in San Jose, Calif., and was recruited by Len Casanova to where he played three seasons on the varsity (1962-64). In Berry’s junior season, the Ducks also featured receiver Mel Renfro and tight end Dave Wilcox and played their way into the Sun Bowl, where they beat Southern Methodist 21-14. In 1964, Berry was voted first-team All-American, and played in both the East-West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl after guiding the Ducks to a 7-2-1 record. He threw for 4,297 yards in his three seasons at Oregon.
The Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) and Denver Broncos (AFL) both drafted Berry in 1964, prior to his senior season, but he began his pro career with the Minnesota Vikings in 1965. At Minnesota, he played under coach Norm Van Brocklin, who starred at quarterback at Oregon from 1946-48. In three seasons as a back-up in Minnesota, he attempted just 46 passes.
Van Brocklin moved to Atlanta in 1968 and Berry moved with him as the starting quarterback. In Atlanta, Berry threw for 1,000 yards or more for five consecutive seasons and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1969 despite playing in just seven of 14 games. He finished his career with three seasons as the back-up in Minnesota. In 11 seasons, he threw for 9,197 yards and 64 touchdowns.
He became a realtor following his playing career.
Berry was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Ahmad Rashad - Football
Ahmad Rashad played his way into the hearts of Oregonians as a standout running back and receiver for the University of Oregon, as a receiver in the NFL and then as a broadcaster on NBC.
Born in Portland in 1949, Rashad grew up in Tacoma, Wash., under his birth name, Bobby Moore. He moved to the University of Oregon in 1967, the year Autzen Stadium opened, and played on the varsity team from 1969-71. In those three years, the Ducks were a combined 16-15-2 and Moore set the school record for rushing (2,306 yards), receptions (131), all-purpose yardage (3,898) and scoring (226 points). He was named All-American in 1971.
The St. Louis Cardinals drafted Moore with the fourth pick of the ’72 NFL Draft and shortly thereafter he converted to Islam and changed his name to Ahmad Rashad.
Rashad played 10 seasons with four teams in the NFL and was voted to the Pro Bowl four times, including 1979 when he was a second-team All-NFL selection while with the Minnesota Vikings. In his 10 seasons, he caught 495 passes for 6,831 yards and scored 44 touchdowns.
After retiring, Rashad became a regular on NBC’s coverage of the NFL and then moved into the network’s coverage of the NBA.
Rashad was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1987 and the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.
- Bob Grim - Football
Bob Grim played a key role in helping Oregon State reach the 1965 Rose Bowl and then played 11 years in the NFL.
Born in 1945, Grim grew up in Red Bluff, Calif., and moved to Oregon State as a 6-foot halfback and kick returner. As a sophomore, Oregon State tied USC atop the Athletic Association of Western Universities standings and was voted into the Rose Bowl. Grim was voted to the Coaches All-America Bowl. As a junior, Grim played in the East-West Shrine Game, and the following season in the Senior Bowl, where he was named Outstanding Back.
Selected in the second round by Minnesota in the 1967 NFL Draft, Grim played 11 seasons as a receiver with the Vikings, New York Giants and Chicago Bears. He played in Super Bowl IV and XI, both with Minnesota, and finished with 194 receptions for 2,914 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Grim was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Joe Francis - Football
Joe Francis ran and passed Oregon State to the 1957 Rose Bowl and then played professionally in both the NFL and CFL.
Born in 1936, Francis grew up in Hawaii and was recruited to Corvallis by coach Kip Taylor. He remained at the school after Tommy Prothro became coach in 1955. Francis played halfback from 1955-57, but frequently threw passes in the Beavers’ run-based offense. In 1956, the Beavers lost two of their first three games, but then won six consecutive games to claim a spot in the Rose Bowl. They tied their final regular-season game, 14-14, against Oregon while playing before a national television audience on NBC. In the Rose Bowl, Francis had 207 yards of total offense, but OSU lost to Iowa 35-19, and finished No. 10 in the final Associated Press poll – its highest ranking at the time.
Oregon State went 8-2 in ’57 with Francis being named team MVP as he had been the previous season.
The Green Bay Packers selected him in the fifth round of the 1958 NFL Draft and he played two seasons under Coach Vince Lombardi as back-up for Bart Starr. He played two seasons, 1961-62, for the Montreal Alouettes in the CFL before returning to Hawaii to become a Physical Education teacher and football coach.
Francis fathered two sons, Jon and Ikaika, who played in the NFL.
Francis was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Bill McKalip - Football
"Wild Bill" McKalip played at Oregon State from 1928-30, had four successful seasons in the NFL, and then returned to Corvallis as an assistant coach.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1907, McKalip played halfback at OSU, helping the Beavers to a combined 18-10 record, including a 25-13 upset of New York University in 1928, and a 14-7 upset of Detroit the following season. The Beavers are frequently credited with being the first Western school to travel to the East for a game, and won despite being a 3-to-1 underdog. Their win over Detroit snapped that team’s 22-game winning streak.
As a senior, McKalip earned All-Pacific Coast Conference First Team, Associated Press All-Northwest First Team, and United Press International All-Coast Second Team honors. He played in East-West Shrine Game in 1930.
McKalip signed with the Portsmouth, Ohio, Spartans for the 1931 and '32 NFL seasons, and, after the franchise became the Detroit Lions, played in 1934. After a season off, spent as a sports writing insider, he returned for one more season, 1936. In his four seasons, his team finished second in the league or conference twice and third the other two seasons.
McKalip returned to OSU as an assistant coach from 1937-41, and also served as an assistant in the basketball program. He was inducted to the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Pete Pifer - Football
Pete Pifer ran for 1,000 yards twice while at Oregon State and finished his career as the school's all-time leading rusher.
Pifer played at OSU from 1964-66, and was the first back to run for 1,000 yards, which he accomplished as a junior and senior. Pifer earned a spot in the East-West Shrine Game as a fullback in 1965, and the Hula Bowl in '66. As a senior, Pifer ran for 228 yards on 34 carries in a 31-12 win over Arizona, one week after running for four touchdowns in a 41-13 win over Washington State. He completed his career with 2,233 yards, and received the Pop Warner Award for top back on the Pacific Coast and the Voit Memorial Trophy for outstanding player on the Pacific Coast.
Pifer was inducted to the Oregon State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
- Dan Fouts - Football
Among the players to come from an Oregon college, Dan Fouts ranks as one of the most well known for his transition to the professional ranks, both statistically and for his position within the national media.
Born in 1951, Fouts grew up in San Francisco, Calif., as the son of radio broadcaster Bob Fouts, who handled play-by-play duties for San Francisco 49ers games. Dan Fouts played for two private schools before accepting a scholarship to the University of Oregon.
At Oregon, the 6-foot-3 Fouts blossomed into one of the nation’s top passers and set 19 school records, including career passing with 5,995 yards. He threw 24 touchdown passes in 1970 and 54 from 1970-72. Oregon went 15-17-1 in those years.
From Oregon, Fouts moved to the San Diego Chargers, who selected him in the third round of the 1973 NFL Draft. He became the starting quarterback almost immediately for a team that finished with just two wins in 14 games and scored 6 points or less five times. Fouts passed for 1,126 yards and six touchdowns with 13 interceptions.
In 1978, the Chargers hired Don Coryell as coach and became a pass-oriented team behind Fouts, who threw for 2,999 yards and 24 touchdowns. The next season, Fouts threw for 4,082 yards and 24 touchdowns as the Chargers went 12-4, won the AFC West and reached the NFL playoffs for the first time since the AFL and NFL merged.
San Diego won the AFC West the next two seasons and reached the AFC championship game in ’80 and ’81, but lost both games.
Fouts was selected as the league Offensive Player of the Year in 1982 – a season shortened to six games by strike. The team struggled to win the next five years and Fouts retired in 1987 at age 36.
In his 15 seasons, Fouts passed for 43,040 yards and 254 touchdowns. The Chargers retired his number (14), and fans voted him the “Greatest Charger of All-Time” in 2009. Following his retirement, Fouts became a television broadcaster working on NFL games as both a play-by-play and color commentator. His broadcast career included a role on ABC’s Monday Night Football.
Dan Fouts was inducted to both the University of Oregon and Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. He was inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1993.
- Russ Francis - Football
Russ Francis, a multi-sport Pleasant Hill High School graduate, became a star tight-end down the road at the University of Oregon. At Oregon in 1974, Francis was named First Team All-Pac 8 and honorable mention All-American while ranking third in the conference with 31 catches (495 yards). Francis was drafted in the first round (16th pick overall) by the New England Patriots, where he had 206 receptions for 1996 yards (average 14.5 a catch) and 28 touchdowns (1975-1980). He moved to the San Francisco 49ers (1982-87), where he had 186 receptions for 2105 yards (average 11.3 yards a catch), 12 touchdowns, and earned the prized Super Bowl Ring in 1985. Francis’s sticky fingers made him one of the most prolific receivers in the NFL for over a decade. Francis currently moves in California.
- Neil Lomax - Football
Neil Lomax started his fabled career on the fields of Lake Oswego High School. At Portland State University (1977-80), he started his freshman year as the Viking’s fifth string quarterback. After nine games, he took the helm. As a senior, he led the NCAA Division I-AA football in total yards (4,094), touchdown passes (37) and completions (296, and was seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting. He remains second on the all-time total NCAA passing yards list. Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals (1981-88), Lomax’s 82.7 career passing efficiency rating ranks ninth on the NFL’s All-Time Quarterback Ratings and his 4,614 passing yards (1984) ranks fifth highest for a single season in NFL history. Lomax earned pro bowl honors in 1984 and 1987. Lomax’s voodoo with the football avoids description on paper, but fan’s minds nationwide are filled with his countless acts of poetry.
- Ted Bates - Football
Oregon State standout Ted Bates was selected for two All-American first teams. He played in the 1957 Rose Bowl, the 1958 East-West Shrine games, and the Hula Bowl, and was named to the All-Coast team.
Drafted by the Cardinals in 1959, Bates played for them in Chicago and St. Louis through 1963. He ended his professional career as a Washington Redskin. He received the 1958 Hayward Award as Oregon’s outstanding amateur athlete.
- Brad "Whitey" Ecklund - Football
Brad Ecklund played his way into Oregon lore as one of its most versatile athletes and characters, starring on the field, in the ring, on the sidelines and even on the silver screen. Born in Los Angeles in 1922, Ecklund graduated from Milwaukie High School as a star in football, basketball and baseball and found his way to the University of Oregon in 1941.
At 6-foot-3, Oregon coach Tex Oliver moved Ecklund from fullback to center and he started as a freshman. Academics caused Ecklund to leave school and join the military, where he served in the Marines during the Island Hoping campaign in the South Pacific. Ecklund also took up boxing and became the Marine Corps Golden Gloves champion. He returned to Oregon following the war and played three more seasons: 1946-48, and helped lead the Ducks, with Norman Van Brocklin at quarterback, to the 1949 Cotton Bowl, which they lost 20-13 to Southern Methodist.
During his senior season, Ecklund, at age 26, regularly played on both offense and defense and was on the field for every minute of five games. He was voted All-Pacific Coast Conference in those three seasons.
Ecklund, who had been drafted by the Green Bay Packers following the 1946 season, signed with the New York Yankees of the All-America Football Conference in 1949 and played one season in the AAFC before it merged with the National Football League. He played four more seasons in the NFL in New York, Dallas and Baltimore. In five pro seasons, Ecklund started at center in all 60 games, played in the Pro Bowl twice and earned the nickname “Whitey” due to his white hair.
After five seasons, Ecklund returned to Oregon to coach high school football and moved to the University of Oregon sidelines under coach Len Casanova in 1957. Ecklund helped the Ducks reach the Rose Bowl in 1958, then moved to the NFL under Dallas coach Tom Landry in 1960. He was an assistant to Van Brocklin in Atlanta in 1968.
Ecklund coached in the NFL with five teams for 20 seasons, and had an uncredited role in the 1979 feature film North Dallas Forty.
Upon retiring, he became a substitute teacher in New Jersey.
Ecklund was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1980. He was inducted to the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
Ecklund died in 2010.
- Todd Christensen - Football
With his eleven-year career in the NFL, Todd Christensen established himself as one of the most prolific tight ends in league history. At 6-3, 230 pounds, he was known as a sure-handed receiver with the ability to get open and make catches in heavy traffic. The Oregon Native first starred at Eugene’s Sheldon High School where he made the All-State team as both a running back and a defensive Lineman. Christensen then went to Brigham Young University where he was a four-year starter at running back. But playing in the wide-open BYU offense, it was as a receiver where he made his mark. Christensen led the Cougars in receiving fro three straight years and helped the team win their league championship in three of his four hyears at the school. He also was the Most Valuable Player of the 1977 Blue-Gray Classic catching 10 passes in the college all-star game.
Christensen was chosen by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1978 NFL Draft but was cut before playing a game with the team. He then played one game with the new York Giants before embarking on aj storied ten-year career with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. With the Silver and Black, Christensen was a five-time All-Pro and member of two Super Bowl Champion squads. His greatest years came from 1983-86 when he twice led the NFL in receptions and set a then league record for tight ends of 95 catches in 1986. Called “The Renaissance Man” during his playing days with the Raiders, Christensen has certainly lived up to that billing. After his NFL retirement, Christensen took his talents to the broadcast booth working as an analyst for both college and pro football games. He was an on-field reporter at tow super Bowls and broadcast from the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Carcelona. A sought-after speaker, he is President of a non-profit organization called Athletes for Youth that provides activities and financial aid to Los Angeles inner-city youth. Christensen is also an accomplished opera singer and has written three books of self-published poetry.
- Gary Zimmerman - Football
Gary was a three year letterman at Oregon from 1980 to 1983. He is one of the greatest offensive lineman to come out of Oregon. He was named the Pac-10 offensive lineman of the year in 1983 and received the coveted Morris Trophy. Gary was drafted in the first round of the supplemental draft in 1984 by the New York Giants. He played in the USFL for two years for the Los Angeles Express. He then entered the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and finished his twelve year career with the Denver Broncos. Gary was named the NFL lineman of the year in 1997. He was selected to seven pro bowl appearances in his career and was selected All-NFL five times. He was a personal favorite of John Elway and was a key member of the offensive line for the 1998 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos.
- Chris Miller - Football
Chris Miller played at Sheldon High School before lettering four years at quarterback for the University of Oregon. He was a first-round pick in the 1987 NFL draft, taken 13th overall by the Atlanta Falcons. By 1989, at the age of 24, Miller had thrown for more NFL yards than Joe Montana, John Elway, Boomer Esiason or Jim McMahon at the same age. A versatile athlete, Miller also kicked a 25-yard field goal in a game against the San Francisco 49ers. In 1991, he earned a spot in the Pro Bowl by throwing for 26 touchdowns and 3,103 yards and leading NFL quarterbacks with 7.2 yards per rush. He played 10 seasons in the NFL (Atlanta 1987-93; Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams 1994-95; Denver, 1999). He finished his career with 19,320 yards passing and 123 touchdown passes, completing more than 54 percent.
- Jack "Mad Dog" O'Billovich - Football
Oregon State football head coach Mike Riley likes to bill the Beavers as “linebacker U” west coast and for good reason. Many recent Beavers have earned postseason honors and went on to the NFL. The lineage of linebackers that OSU has produced can be traced back decades and includes Jack “Mad Dog” O’Billovich in the mid-1960s. O’Billovich earned All-America honors as a junior and helped the Beavers play in the 1965 Rose Bowl. His honors also include All-Pac-8 Conference, All-Coast and team captain. His photo was the cover shot for the NCAA Official Collegiate Football Record Book 1965, with only one football player in the country being chosen for the honor. He concluded his collegiate career as one of a few Beavers to play in both the Hula Bowl and East-West Shrine Game. Jack was a 1966 OSU graduate in Forestry.
In 1964 he led the team, coached by the late Tommy Prothro, finished eighth-ranked in the country and ended the regular season beating top-20 Oregon in Eugene. “He was the toughest football player I have ever coached,” Prothro would later say. “He was a very loyal Oregon Stater, but he was a fine human being to start with.” His performance and passion on game day were mirrored in his training and practice during the week and in the off-season. Strength and Health magazine, February 1966, featured Jack in a story about his weight training program at OSU and his disciplined and healthy approach.
Following OSU, O’Billovich was drafted by the Detroit Lions where he played the first season, then played in 1967 with the Hamilton TigerCats of the Canadian Football League. The Butte, Montana, native was one of the first individuals to be inducted into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame (1991).
Tony O’Billovich followed his dad’s footsteps to Oregon State, where he was an outstanding linebacker in the early 1990s. Tony was the team’s MVP and co-captain in 1993, and later played with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. Jack’s ashes were dispersed over the Tommy Prothro Football Complex (practice fields) “where he was most at home.”
- Paul Brothers - Football
Paul Brothers is one of the state’s most decorated citizens athletically having won a high school state title as a player, led Oregon State to the Rose Bowl, played professionally and then coached a team to a prep state title.
Brothers grew up in Roseburg and led the Indians to the state football title in 1961. Upon moving to Oregon State, he quarterbacked the football team from 1964-66, taking over as a sophomore following a season-opening loss to Northwestern. He guided the team to eight wins in its next nine games and a spot in the Rose Bowl, where the Beavers lost to Michigan to finish 8-3.
Following a 5-5 season and 7-3 season, Brothers was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys, but played professionally in the Canadian Football League with British Columbia and Ottawa for three seasons.
Brothers coached prep sports in Eugene at both Marist High and Willamette, which won the state girls basketball title in 2007 and ’09.
He was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
- Joey Harrington - Football
It was meant to be. The son and grandson of former collegiate quarterbacks, Harrington would blossom as a signal-caller at Central Catholic High School.
4,000 yards and 50 touchdowns later, Joey would follow in his father’s footsteps to the University of Oregon. His timing was perfect.
Harrington was the unquestioned leader during the beginning of the golden age of Ducks football. He led Oregon to 25 wins in three seasons, including bowl victories against Texas and Colorado. Harrington’s 7,000-plus total yards still ranks him as one of the top offensive producers in school history.
The rest of America got to know him as Joey Heisman in the fall of 2001 when a unique Heisman trophy marketing campaign landed his likeness on a giant billboard in Times Square.
Harrington was 4th in Heisman balloting but also took home plenty of honors including 1st team All-America and PAC-10 offensive player of the year.
All of that attention put Joey in the express lane to the NFL. The 3rd overall pick in the 2002 draft, Harrington was elevated to starter in his rookie year. Harrington would play 6 pro seasons, starting a total of 76 games for the Lions, Dolphins, Falcons and Saints.
Even after football, Joey Harrington remains in the public eye as a talented broadcast commentator and a dedicated philanthropist. The Harrington Family foundation supports youth activities and education.
A talented musician, dedicated father and always positive, Joey Harrington is the essence of the favorite son in the Rose City.
- Ken Simonton - Football
A California native and all-everything high school football (and baseball) player, Ken Simonton went on to build a new home in the Oregon State Football record books.
Most notably known for his winning touchdown in the 1998 double-overtime Civil War as a red-shirt freshman, Simonton helped the Beavers rise in what is now considered a turning point for the school’s football program.
His record-setting stats speak for themselves. He rushed for more than 5,000 career yards (second most in Pac-12 history), racked up 59 career touchdowns (four of which contribute to Reser Stadium’s record for most rushing touchdowns in a game), and established a new record by rushing for 100 yards in five consecutive games.
After leading the Beavers to a 2001 Fiesta Bowl title over Notre Dame, Simonton was greeted with All-American status and a spot on the Heisman ballot.
His collegiate success led him to a professional career with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers & Buffalo Bills, the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders, and the Scottish Claymores of the NFL Europe, where he became Offensive Player of the Year in 2003.
Today, Ken lives with his wife, Kollete, and their two children in California, where he is coaching the running backs at his high school alma mater and helping them reach their own dreams of success.