Jim Owens Passes Away
June 6, 2009
SEATTLE (AP) - Jim Owens, who led a resurgence of West Coast football during his 18 seasons as University of Washington coach, has died at age 82.
Owens died Saturday at his home in Bigfork, Mont., Washington athletics spokesman Richard Kilwien said.
Owens, who played at Oklahoma for Bud Wilkinson, coach at Washington from 1957 until his retirement in 1974. He went 99-82-6 in his nearly two decades as Huskies coach, including three Rose Bowl trips. He also served as athletic director at UW from 1960-69.
His accomplishments at UW were honored in 2003 when the university dedicated a statue of Owens outside one of the entrances to Husky Stadium.
While having a successful playing career, Owens was better known for his efforts as a coach, quickly raising the profile of West Coast football in his early years at Washington.
Owens spent six seasons as an assistant to Paul "Bear" Bryant before taking over the Huskies program in 1957 from Darrell Royal at age 29.
It took only three seasons for Owens to get Washington to the Rose Bowl.
The Huskies capped a 10-1 season in 1959 with a 44-8 win over Wisconsin on Jan. 1, 1960. It was Washington's first Rose Bowl appearance since 1944 and the first of three Rose Bowl trips for the Huskies under Owens' watch.
Washington went 10-1 again in 1960 and beat No. 1 Minnesota 17-7 in the Rose Bowl. The Huskies' only loss that season was 15-14 to Navy.
Owens also took Washington to the Rose Bowl in 1964.