Lone Star joins Mayes, Williams on HOF ballot

THREE WASHINGTON STATE gridiron legends—William "Lone Star" Dietz, Clancy Williams and Rueben Mayes—have passed the initial screening process and selection criteria to be considered for 2005 induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. This will be the third consecutive year Mayes and Williams have appeared on the nomination ballot, but the first time for Dietz, the coach of Washington State's 1916 Rose Bowl champions.

Their names are among the 75 players and 10 coaches who appear on the ballot being mailed this week to 12,000 voting members of the National Football Foundation. It's been over a quarter of a century since a player from Washington State University has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Dietz—known as brilliant motivator, defensive genius and a guru of the then-new-age single-wing offense—compiled a 17-2-1 record in his three years at Washington State. His Rose Bowl squad went undefeated during the 1915 season, giving up just 10 points to opponents. In fact, the sole touchdown scored against WSC occurred on a defensive turnover.

Like the past few years, many Cougar faithful were guardedly optimistic this would be the year Lone Star would earn the honor, thanks to the push of Foundation member and Cougar great Paul Sorensen and Lone Star historian and biographer Tom Benjey.

The inclusion of Lone Star on the ballot is especially sweet to Benjey, who is writing a biography and filming a documentary on the legendary Sioux coach.

"Lone Star was instrumental in elevating West Coast football to the level of the then dominant Eastern teams, establishing the Rose Bowl and making New Year's Day a football tradition," Benjey told Cougfan.com.

As a college head coach, Deitz compiled a 113-61-7 record at WSU, Purdue, Wyoming, Louisiana Polytechnic, Haskell Indian Institute and Albright College. He also was freshman coach at Temple, and head coach of the Boston (now Washington) Redskins for two seasons.

Dietz guided two teams to the Rose Bowl – Washington State and the Mare Island Marines -- and was an assistant to Pop Warner at Stanford in two other Granddaddys of Them All. Unfortunately, his success at the helm of Mare Island won't play a part when foundation members cast their votes.

"The ballot omits any mention of what Dietz considered his second Washington State Rose Bowl team," Benjey said. "The 1918 Mare Island Marines' roster boasted of ten of his former WSC stars."

Cougar faithful are also hoping their third appearance on the ballot will finally lead to induction for Mayes and Williams, two of the most electrifying players to ever don the Crimson and Gray.

Williams was a two-way terror for WSU from 1962-64 at running back and defensive back. The Renton native was named first team All-America and all-conference in 1964. He led the Cougs in rushing, scoring, and kickoff returns as a junior and senior. He also led the team in total offense, receptions and punt returns as a senior.

Following his collegiate career, Williams starred in the Los Angeles Rams' secondary for eight seasons. He was their first round draft pick in 1965. His son, Butch Williams, was a three-year all-conference selection at tight-end for the Cougs from 1990-92.

Mayes was named consensus All-America in 1984 and All-Pac-10 in 1984 and 1985. He still holds the WSU records for single-season rushing yards (1,632) and career rushing yards (3,519). His 357-yard game against Oregon in '84 was an NCAA record and helped him finish in the top ten for Heisman Trophy votes.

The Saskatchewan native also spent eight seasons in the NFL, earning the league's Rookie of the Year honor as a New Orleans Saint in 1986 and twice being voted to the NFC Pro Bowl team.

Just four Cougars have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame: Mel Hein (1954), Turk Edwards (1975), Babe Hollingbery (1979), and Forest "Evy" Evashevski (2001). Hein and Edwards starred for the Hollingbery-coached Rose Bowl Cougars of 1931. Evashevski posted an 11-6-2 record as Cougar head coach from 1950-51.

To be eligible for the ballot, players must have been chosen first team All-America by an organization recognized by the NCAA, played their last year of college football at least ten years prior, played within the last 50 years, and be retired from professional football. Coaches must be out of the college ranks for at least three years, coached a minimum of 10 years, 100 games as a head coach, won at least 60% of their games and not be coaching in the pros. In both cases, the candidate's post-football record as a citizen may also be weighed.

Other former Pac-10 players who earned spots on the ballot this year include UCLA's Troy Aikman and Ken Norton, Jr.; Anthony Davis and Marlin McKeever of Southern Cal; Cal Golden Bear Steve Bartkowski; Arizona State's Al Harris; and Stanford's Jeff Siemon and Paul Wiggin.

Other former Pac-10 coaches joining Dietz on the coaches ballot are John Cooper and Darryl Rogers, both past helms of the Sun Devils.

Additional notable names that appear on the ballot include Roosevelt Leaks, Texas; Joe Washington, Oklahoma; George Kunz, Notre Dame; Mark Herrmann, Purdue; Jim Taylor, Louisiana State; Tom Nowatzke, Illinois; Mike Phipps, Purdue; Rex Kern, Ohio State; Tom Curtis, Michigan; Carl Eller, Minnesota; Terry Hanratty, Notre Dame; and Art Monk, Syracuse.

The Hall of Fame Class will be announced in late April and inducted at The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame's 48th Awards Dinner December 6, 2005, in New York City. Official enshrinement will take place in 2006 at the Hall's headquarters in South Bend.

Former Cougar athletics director Ray Nagel, who held that post at WSU from 1971-76, is one of 19 former athletic administrators to be inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame in June, 2006.

Cougfan Top Stories