Coach's Corner

Just when the Huskies are about to welcome in another group of football players, they lose one of their all-time supporters and friends of the program. Pete Brinkman passed away Monday night after a long bout with cancer.

He was one of the great Huskies and actually participated in an unusual sports combination at Washington. Brinkman might have been the only football player who was also on the Husky swim team.

Pete had been a key member in the old Husky Hunter organization and regularly flew to Husky games both at home and on the road. He did so for close to 50 years never missing bowl appearances or key road games.

Despite playing football and swimming, Pete was best known for his skiing. He was a nationally recognized instructor at every ski resort from Aspen to Sun Valley to Jackson Hole, but especially at all the California resorts where he actually started most of their ski schools. He was always a friend to the Husky players and coaches and opened his home near Heavenly Valley to many a Husky ski traveler.

Pete served for years as the "athletic director" for Caesar's Tahoe Resort and became the instructor to the stars. One of his very best friends was Clint Eastwood and he taught literally hundreds of celebrities the techniques of that particular sport. He organized all of Tahoe's celebrity golf and tennis tournaments and took the big time "players" or gamblers skiing, fishing, golfing, or entertaining outside of gambling.

For years he also was one of the main Husky Hunters of Nevada and California, regularly sending newspaper clippings and statistics that he always carried in a brown paper bag; his "notebook" or "briefcase" of football "stuff" always close at hand. Of course, this was before the advent of the internet, and his efforts helped the Huskies with great players like Kevin Gogan and others from the northern California region. When Pete also established a residence in Brentwood in LA, he began to supply the staff with all critical articles related to the recruiting by both USC and UCLA.

Because of Pete's vast network of "big hitters" he was privy to a lot of the LA gossip with regard to recruiting and who the Trojans and Bruins were really on. This information was always valuable in determining who the Huskies should concentrate on in the LA area as well as northern Cal. It was this sort of network that gave the Huskies such a powerful advantage when recruiting LA considering it was second only to the State of Washington in our recruiting efforts.

This was a man who had passion for the Huskies. It was almost to the point of an obsession and every winter I would get calls from ski resorts throughout the country inquiring how the Huskies were doing in recruiting. It was always a thrill to see Pete with friends like Arnold or Danny Devito or Clint. They all knew him as did the great legends of skiing like Stein Erickson, Suzy Chaffey or Billy Kidd.

Pete remained an active alum of the SAE fraternity at Washington and became fast friends with any player like Frankie Garcia who joined his house. He never really left college in his mind. He was a Husky and he was always loyal to the program. He never really understood the modern game of football but he always understood the meaning of being a true Husky.

Pete Brinkman was a legend himself and his skiing ability and his teaching techniques were recognized throughout America. Anyone who ever met the man knew what a wonderful person he was and they all knew that he was first and foremost, a HUSKY. Top Stories