Husky Legends Come Alive in New Stadium
Husky Stadium has never been so decorated.
James Phelan. Don Heinrich. Hugh McElhenny. Warren Moon. Jacque Robinson. Steve Emtman. Mario Bailey. Lincoln Kennedy. Marques Tuiasosopo.
And “The Dawgfather,” Don James.
They all made unforgettable moments while playing and coaching in old Husky Stadium.
The new stadium remembers. Grandly.
Ten purple-and-gold banners went up last week on the outer wall of UW’s new football operations center facing Montlake Boulevard, on the west side of renovated Husky Stadium. Each banner represents a college football All-American, national champion, College Football Hall of Fame member, Pac-10 Player of the Year, Rose Bowl Most Valuable Player and/or major national postseason award winner -- such as, for Emtman, the Outland and Lombardi trophies.
The 23 players on UW’s new Ring of Honor are: Benji Olson, Roy McKasson, Ray Frankowski, Billy Joe Hobert, Moon, Rick Redman, Tuiasosopo, Dave Hoffmann, Greg Lewis, Emtman, Bailey, Robinson, George Fleming, Mark Brunell, Kennedy, Ron Holmes, Jason Chorak, Heinrich, Vic Markov, Paul Schwegler, McElhenny, Bob Schloredt and Max Starcevich.
Washington had already recognized George Wilson, Chuck Carroll and Roland Kirkby before it established the recognition policy used to select the honorees in the new stadium.
Four coaches – James, Gil Dobie, Jim Owens and James Phelan – have plaques and their pictures on the walls lining the new, grand stairwell in the southeast corner of Husky Stadium. The new Neal Dempsey Coaches Walk of Honor has great game-day visibility for fans walking from “The Zone” fan area to the new south seating areas.
UW’s selection criteria for that wall was that a Huskies coach must have received one of the following national coach of the year awards: the American Football Coaches Association, The Sporting News, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Paul “Bear” Bryant, George Munger, Home Depot, The Associated Press; or the coach must have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame or won a national championship.
James (UW’s coach from 1975-92), Phelan (1930-41) and Dobie (1908-16, when UW was nicknamed the “Sun Dodgers” and went a national-record 64* games without a loss) are in the College Football Hall of Fame. James led the Huskies to a national championship in 1991. He was the “Bear” Bryant national coach of the year that season and won the AFCA coach of the year in 1977. Owens (1957-74) won a national championship at Washington in 1960.
Recognition of Husky greatness is all over the new stadium. The new, main-level concourses have huge banners overhead that capture the greatest moments since the football team moved home games to the Lake Washington shore in 1920, when the original facility was called Washington Field. The 1960 and ‘91 national-champion teams are now honored with newly repurposed plaques inside the stadium.
Each time the Huskies enter and exit their new locker room under the west stands they will pass wall murals honoring the Dawgs that have played in the NFL and who have been named first-, second- or third-team All-Americans. When they gather in their new team meeting rooms, giant murals of Husky greats will be looking over them; UW’s defensive line, for instance, is painted in a menacing, game-day stance on the wall of the new defense room.
The Huskies’ 15 conference-championship teams are honored inside the new football operations building.
So whether you are a keen student of Washington football history or are new to its heritage, just look up. There is recognition for everyone inside new Husky Stadium.
* - A previous un-recorded win from 1912 was added to Dobie's record this offseason, increasing the UW's record unbeaten streak by one game.
Want to see more of Retake Montlake's 30 features in 30 days? Click here.