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Athletics

Summer 2008

Bunion Derby: The 1928 Footrace Across America

Charles B. Kastner ’81
University of New Mexico Press, 2007

For generations, the 1920s have provided fodder for authors. The super-hyped sensationalism of those ballyhooed years seems a bottomless pool of entertaining topics. The decade of Lindbergh, Valentino, Capone, and Ruth, of flappers, Mah Jong, crossword puzzles, and marathon dances, also produced the Bunion Derby, a marathon footrace across America. It is to his credit that Seattle author Charles Kastner (’81 M.A. History) not only … » More …

Fall 2002

Gillies receives Alumni Achievement Award

Cliff Gillies, longtime executive director of the Washington Intercollegiate Activities Association (WIAA, 1982-93) and former president of the National Federation of State High Schools Association (1990-91), has received the Washington State University Alumni Achievement Award. The award was presented February 4 during the 2002 Man of the Year banquet in South Bend, Washington.

Gillies was recognized for leadership and service to the youth of Washington as a teacher, coach, counselor, principal, assistant superintendent, and as executive director of the WIAA during a career that spanned more than 40 years.

As executive director of the WIAA, Gillies and his staff were responsible for overseeing athletics for … » More …

Fall 2002

"D" is for Doba

“I missed those butterflies.” – Coach Bill Doba

Bill Doba doesn’t think the football turf is greener elsewhere. He likes his coaching job at Washington State University and living in Pullman, where “the only traffic congestion is on football weekends.”

When his cell phone rang, Doba was fighting the late afternoon I-5 freeway traffic. He explained to Washington State Magazine that he was en route to Seattle after a recruiting visit to Everett.

“Good recruits make good coaches,” he said.

Doba was the last addition to the Cougar staff when Mike Price was hired as head football coach in 1989. Now, 14 years later, he’s … » More …

Fall 2002

Murrell to chart new basketball course

Sherri Murrell may need a pair of steel-toed shoes.

“I’m going to be kicking down doors of all the coaches in the Northwest,” said Washington State’s new women’s basketball coach.

Even before she was introduced at WSU in late March, she had been on the phone trying to improve WSU’s recruiting success in the region. Last season, only one Cougar player was from Washington.

Murrell’s first order of business after being hired was to contact each returning Cougar player and “embrace them.” She also wanted them to know she wasn’t coming to WSU to “clean house.” With four scholarships to fill and less than two … » More …

Summer 2002

Ehlo inducted into Pac-10 Hall of Honor

Former Washington State University basketball coach George Raveling once described Craig Ehlo (’86 Soc. Sci.) as “playing on the ragged edge of being out of control.” In other words, Ehlo made things happen. His full-speed-ahead approach on the court produced some turnovers, but also a host of steals resulting in easy baskets for the Washington State basketball team.

The former Cougar star was one of 10 inaugural basketball inductees into the Pacific-10 Conference Hall of Honor. The ceremony was held during the Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Staples Arena in Los Angeles in March.

Other inductees included coaching greats John Wooden (UCLA) and Pete … » More …

Summer 2002

Six join hall of fame

When opportunity knocked, they answered. Their athletic prowess overshadowed that of their peers. And their accomplishments have stood the test of time.

As a result, five men and one woman were inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame in March. Drew Bledsoe, John Chaplin, Jason Hanson, John Olerud, Bob Robertson, and Sarah Silvernail join 99 athletes, coaches, and administrators enshrined since the hall was created in 1978.

Here’s what Cougar colleagues have to say about the new honorees:

“When I made up the lineup, I always put Ole [John Olerud] in the third spot—where you want your best all-around player—and filled in … » More …

Summer 2002

Olympic torchbearer

About 7 p.m. January 24, John Tarnai accepted the Olympic Torch and braved chilly winds along an eighth-mile leg of the Olympic Torch Relay in downtown Spokane. He said he was “honored and humbled” by the people who lined both sides of the street cheering and waving American flags. “A part of me said, ‘don’t trip.’ ”

More than 11,500 Torchbearers were selected to carry the Olympic flame from Atlanta to Salt Lake City, site of the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. The journey began December 4, 2001 and concluded with the February 8 lighting of the cauldron in Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium. The torch passed through … » More …