Former Coug and NBA basketball star James Donaldson (’79 Socio.) faced a lot of adversity over the last decade. He has turned his struggles with mental health into a new purpose: helping others through sharing his experiences.
Video: Eric Johnson (’84 Comm.) interviews Donaldson for Eric’s Heroes on Seattle’s KOMO-TV
Your Gift of Life: Donaldson’s nonprofit to increase awareness of mental health
Read more about Donaldson’s journey back in “Standing tall.”
From the … » More …
Out here, among the rolling hills of the Palouse, generations of rowers have pulled hard.
They’ve learned life lessons on the Snake River, where conditions can change instantaneously and team work is essential. They’ve forged lifelong friendships. They’ve made memories.
Here, a few former WSU oarsmen share theirs.
The Idea Man
Rich Stager (‘74, Civ. Eng.) started his freshman year at WSU Pullman in fall 1970. His parents had recently moved to Pullman; his father had taken a job as a project manager for the construction of Lower Granite Dam.
They came from behind—counting their strokes, catching the Belgian boat, and gliding to gold on California’s Lake Casitas.
Theirs was the first Olympic gold medal in men’s double sculls for the U.S. since 1932. To date, it remains the last medal of any kind for America in that event.
While they took first place, neither had been selected by U.S. Olympic coaches.
Rowing partners Paul Enquist (’77 Mech. Eng.) and Brad Lewis earned their spot at the 1984 Summer Olympics by challenging—and besting—the national team.
“We didn’t take no for an answer,” says Enquist, who—along with Lewis—was cut from the Olympic selection camp.
About three … » More …
Washington State University men’s track and field coach John Chaplin ’63 led the most successful sports program in Cougar history.
The Cougars went undefeated in dual meets nine seasons en route to a 202-17 record during his 21-year tenure. WSU won four Pac-10 outdoor championships, was NCAA runner-up four times outdoors, and claimed the 1977 NCAA indoor championship. Chaplin’s athletes earned 105 All-America certificates and 61 conference titles. Below are just a few of the many athletes he mentored and coached over his years with the program.
Read more about Chaplin and his legacy in “Athlete, coach, winner.”
TUARIKI JOHN DELAMERE: Tuariki “John” Delamere … » More …
Washington State baseball and basketball standout Gene Conley x’50, the only professional athlete to win both a World Series and NBA championship, died July 4, 2017. He was 86.
Conley was a pitcher with the Milwaukee Braves when the team won the World Series in 1957 and he helped the Boston Celtics to three NBA titles from 1959 to 1961. He played against sports legends such as Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, and Wilt Chamberlain during an 18-year dual-sport career that also included four All-Star appearances.
At Washington State, where he anchored both the baseball and basketball teams for two seasons before going … » More …
Former Cougar football and NFL standout Steve Gleason ’00, whose battle with ALS has become an international symbol of perseverance and determination, has been named the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus for 2017.
“Steve Gleason epitomizes the essence of ‘Cougar Spirit,’” said Washington State University President Kirk Schulz at the August 10 ceremony. “His passion to persevere and succeed despite life’s challenges has inspired thousands, not only in the United States, but around the world.”
Gleason helped take WSU to the Rose Bowl in 1997 and in 2006 had a punt-blocking dive for the New Orleans Saints that rallied the hurricane-ravaged city’s down-but-not-out spirit. Five … » More …