Located at the west end of Bank of America Arena, the new Hall of Fame chronicles the glorious history of all 23 current athletic programs, as well as many of the retired programs and a special room for all members of the Hall of Fame.
A special dedication ceremony will take place to christen the newest addition to Hec Ed on Friday, September 6th. Many Husky Coaches from the past and present along with current and past athletes will join Athletic Director Barbara Hedges as she formally opens the 5,000 square foot display.
The public will get their first view on Saturday, three hours before kickoff of the home opener against San Jose State, as well as all other home games throughout the season. The Hall will also be open for 90 minutes following each home football game, and all varsity events held at Bank of America Arena. In addition, it will operate on a weekly schedule, Monday through Friday, from 10am to 5pm.
The Washington Hall of Fame was actually a project started by former Athletic Director Mike Lude back in 1979. When the renovation to Hec Ed Pavilion took place, as so did the renovation to the Hall of Fame. With the expansion, the Hall of Fame not only houses a display of the inductees, but also historical photos, forgotten artifacts, and game day memorabilia. The Hall of Fame will display medallions for represent each inductee in the north end of the room.
Dave Torrell was responsible for the gathering of the artifacts on display and will serve as a part-time curator. After making many calls and trips to athletes from Washington's past, Torrell was able to assemble a priceless collection of artifacts, some of which date back to the 1890's.
"It is more in the mold of a museum rather than just a Hall of Fame," said Torrell.
Some of the artifacts of interest on display include the 1991 Football National Championship Trophy, Steve Emtman's Outland and Lombardi Trophies, and the Windermere Cup. The women's crew team's three national championship trophies flank the crystal McDonalds Trophy won by the dominant '91 team. Other items include former basketball player Christian Welp's warm-up jersey, football gear from the Gil Dobie era (1908-1916), game day programs from the opening of Hec Ed Pavilion and Husky Stadium, and a rare photo of legendary football coach Jim Owens with other college football legends Bear Bryant, John McKay, Bud Wilkinson, and Darrell Royal. Don James' hand-written notes to his various pre-game pep talks are also on display next to his legendary poster declaring him the "Dawgfather" from the 1990 Homecoming Game.
The total cost of the renovation project to the Hall of Fame was $1.8 million. RCL Rhodes of Athens, Ohio, the same firm that designed the National College Football Hall of Fame, led the design team.
More artifacts will be added to the display in the coming years as more history is made. Each coach and athlete that makes their mark at Washington will have the opportunity to add to already impressive collection. Anybody who loves Washington athletics and bleeds purple and gold will be well served to take one, if not many trips.
One more note of interest: Contrary to popular belief, Corey Dillon's Jock Strap did not make the final cut. It is still somewhere on E-Bay.
Husky Fever Hall of Fame to Debut Saturday
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