WSU's Pro & College Hall of Famers

They were the very best. Here's a quick list of some of the greatest Cougars to grace the gridiron, be it in college, the National Football League or the Canadian Football League. They are the ultimate Hall of Famers.


Mel Hein
Center (1928-30)
Jersey No. 8; Inducted 1963

The Burlington native was first-team All-American in 1930, starring at both center and linebacker for the Cougars. Also a charter inductee into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1963. Never missed a single game in 15-year pro career with the Giants. Later a long-time assistant coach at USC. Hein and 1970s-era quarterback Jack Thompson are the only two Cougar football players to have the school retire their numbers. In Hein's case, however, they retired his more famous number with the Giants --- 7 --- than they did his actual number --- 8 --- at WSU.

Albert Glen "Turk" Edwards
Tackle (1929-31)
Jersey No. 12, Inducted 1975

Like Hein, he was two-way terror on Washington State's fabled 1930 team and also earned first-team All-American honors. Also a member of the NFL Hall of Fame, inducted 1969. His eight-year All-Pro career with Redskins ended when he blew a knee walking to mid-field for a coin toss. Hein once called the Clarkston native "the "greatest tackle who ever played the game."

Rueben Mayes
Running back (1982-85)
Jersey No. 36, Inducted 2009

Pictured above, he reewrote every Cougar rushing record during his career and established himself as one of the finest running backs in Pac-10 history. The 1984 consensus first-team All-American set 15 school records, including single-season (1,632) and career rushing yards (3,519), rushing touchdowns (23), rushing average (5.53) and 100-yard games (13). He also set an NCAA Division I single-game record with a 357-yard rushing performance against Oregon in 1984. Twice named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. Went on to become NFL Rookie of the Year and earned two Pro Bowl selections with the New Orleans Saints.

Orin E. "Babe" Hollingbery
Coach (1926-42)
Inducted 1979

A gifted motivator and strong recruiter, he guided the Cougars to nine straight winning seasons, including a 10-2 campaign in 1929 and a 9-1 effort in 1930. The only loss of the 1930 season was to Alabama in the 1931 Rose Bowl. In 17 seasons as Cougar head coach he posted winning or .500 seasons 15 times. Were it not for a scoreless tie at Washington in 1942, his last Cougar team would have returned him to Pasadena.


 Forest "Evy" Evashevski

Coach (1950-51) Inducted 2001

Compiled an 11-6-2 for the Cougars. The original architect of the renowned Washington State passing game, Evy was known as a strict disciplinarian and taskmaster. Later revived a stagnant Iowa program, coaching them to a pair of Rose Bowl wins.


Albert Glen "Turk" Edwards
Tackle, Redskins (1932-40)
Jersey No. 17; Inducted 1969

The Cougar All-American joined the brand new Boston team, called the Braves, in 1932 for $150 a game. A year later the team hired another legendary Cougar, Lone Star Dietz, as head coach and changed the club's name to Redskins in Dietz' honor. In 1937 the team moved to Washington and, under another head coach with local ties --- Gonzaga University product Ray Flaherty --- they won the NFL title. A giant of his era at 6-foot-2, 260 pounds, Edwards has been described by historians as an "Immovable, impregnable 60-minute workhorse --- a steamrolling blocker and smothering tackler." Named All-NFL in 1932, ‘33, '36 and '37 and second-team All-NFL in '34 and ‘38. Bizarre knee injury suffered at pre-game coin toss against Mel Hein and the Giants ended his career in 1940. Edwards became a Redskins assistant coach and then served as the team's head coach from 1946-48, going 16-18-1. Died in 1973.

Mel Hein
Center, New York Giants (1931-1945)
Jersey No. 7; Inducted 1963

Wrote to three NFL clubs offering his services after his All-American senior year in 1930. Had already signed and mailed a contract to the Providence Steamrollers when the New York Giants offered $150 per game. With a plea, the postmaster pulled the contract from the stacks. A 60-minute regular for 15 years, he was nicknamed "Old Indestructible" because he missed but one series of plays (to treat a broken nose) in his 15-year career. He is believed to have played more minutes of football than any other player in NFL history. He was named All-NFL eight straight years, 1933-1940, and led his club to two championships. In 1938 he was voted the NFL's Most Valuable Player. In 1969, a panel of sportswriters from across the nation voted the Burlington native one of the 11 best players --- college or pro --- to ever strap on a pair of pads. At center, he was flawless ball-snapper and powerful blocker who pioneered the idea of dropping back to pass block and pulling to lead sweeps around end. At linebacker, he was a superior pass defender and picture-perfect tackler. Died in 1992.


By Bailey
Back, British Columbia Lions (1954-64)
Inducted 1975

A Cougar mainstay from 1949-51, he spent three seasons in the NFL with Detroit and Green Bay before joining the B.C. Lions for their inaugural campaign in 1954. The Seattle native scored the Lions' first-ever TD and starred for eight seasons at fullback and three more at defensive back.

George Reed
Running back
Jersey No. 34; Inducted 1979

The most prolific ground gainer he pro football history, CFL or NFL, the Renton native racked up 16,116 yards in his star-studded 13-year career with Saskatchewan. He scored a CFL record 137 touchdowns and was named all-CFL nine times and all-Western Conference ten times. He rushed for 1,000 yards or more in 11 seasons and in 1965 was named the league's MVP. He led Saskatchewan to four Grey Cup appearances and the 1966 championship. He retired in 1975. Also well known in Canada for his community involvement. He starred at Washington State under passing guru Jim Sutherland for three seasons --- 1959, 1961 and 1962 --- and sat out the '60 campaign with a broken leg.

Hugh Campbell
Receiver, Saskatchewan Roughriders
Jersey No. 34; Inducted 1979

After a record-breaking career at WSU from 1960-62 that still ranks him No. 1 on the Cougar career reception list, the "Phantom of the Palouse" was cut by the San Francisco 49ers so turned his attention north. The move proved fortuitous. Campbell has been CFL fixture for three decades as a player, coach, general manager and now president and COO. He spent six seasons at wide receiver with Saskatchewan, earning all-CFL recognition and posting three straight years of at least 60 catches and 1,000 yards. He scored 17 TDs in the team's championship season of 1966. He became head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos in 1977 and led the club to a record six Grey Cup appearances and five consecutive championships. His regular season coaching record of 70-21-5 is the best winning percentage in league history (.773).

Brian Kelly
Receiver, Edmonton Eskimos
Jersey No. 70; Inducted 1991

The 5-foot-9 wide receiver teamed with Jack Thompson and Mike Levenseller in the late 1970s to make WSU's passing attack one of the most feared in the nation. His 116 catches from 1975-77 still rank him in the WSU career top 10. He went on to spend nine seasons in the CFL with Hugh Campbell's Edmonton Eskimos. Earned CFL rookie of the year honors in 1978 and was a perennial all-CFL pick. Caught 575 passes for a CFL record 11,169 yards and 97 career touchdowns --- second only to George Reed's 137 career TDs. The Eskimos won six Grey Cup titles during his career, including his first and last seasons.

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