Howard Hobson and the Golden Age of Oregon BASEBALL

Jim Maloney History 14 Comments

Oregon fans know of the “Tall Firs”—winners of the 1939  NCAA National Basketball Championship—by famous players like Admiral John Dick and Tall Firs coach Howard “Hobby” Hobson. Yet few realize that coach Hobson also coached the University’s baseball team, achieving nearly the same level of success that he did with his basketball program. The Oregon Ducks experienced a golden age in baseball from the …

Where Are They Now? Oregon Offensive Coordinators Post-Bellotti

Jim Maloney History 14 Comments

Oregon has had some pretty exciting offenses over the years, and those offenses have been led by some of the best minds in the business. Some Duck offensive coordinators have had relatively unremarkable careers after leaving Oregon, others went on to great accomplishments. Several years ago, I wrote an article on the offensive coordinators who coached at Oregon prior to Mike Bellotti. It’s …

What Ever Happened to Those Offensive Coordinators Before Mike Bellotti?

Jim Maloney Men of Oregon: Players and Coaches 1 Comment

Over the past several decades, Oregon has had a number of offensive coordinators with rates of success all over the board. Most of us are familiar with College Football Hall of Fame recent inductee Mike Bellotti, Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich, who eventually became Oregon head coaches, and Jeff Tedford and Dirk Koetter, who left the Ducks to take over …

The Enigma That Was Jim Evenson

Jim Maloney Men of Oregon: Players and Coaches 3 Comments

There was a time, in the darker days of Oregon football, that Len Casanova managed to land a highly-prized fullback — Jim Evenson.  He was touted as the kind of running back who could help turn a program around. Evenson was born in 1947 in Hillsboro, Oregon.  Eventually his family moved to Vancouver, Washington, where Evenson would graduate from Fort Vancouver High.  …

Do You Remember When the Globetrotters Came to Eugene?

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What were a person’s entertainment choices in Eugene on a Tuesday night in February, 1943?  It was the height of World War II and choices were limited.  You could go dining and dancing at The Holland, go ice skating, or catch a double feature at one of the area theaters. There was one other option on February 1st.  You could …

The Rise and Fall of the Kamikaze Kids

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Following Oregon’s disastrous 1971-72 season, Dick Harter was finally able to land his first outstanding recruiting class that included guard Ronnie Lee, guard/forward Mark Barwig, forward/center Bruce Coldren, and center Geoff Nelson.  Along with the holdovers from Harter’s 1971-72 team, five sophomores from the 1971-72 freshman team, and three walk-ons, the four freshmen would form the original version of the …

Dick Harter — King of the Kamikazes

Jim Maloney Men of Oregon: Players and Coaches 8 Comments

For a school that boasts an NCAA title and two Elite Eight appearances this century, its noteworthy that its teams from nearly four decades ago would remain arguably the most memorable and popular in program history.  The “Kamikaze Kids” are legends at Oregon, as is the man who led them: Dick Harter. Harter’s arrival at Oregon can be traced back …

Sophomores Lead Oregon to the Big Dance

Jim Maloney History 6 Comments

The Oregon men’s basketball team is currently in a dogfight for the PAC-12 title and, barring a total meltdown, will almost certainly reach the NCAA tournament in March.  How far into the tournament can this team go?  That same question was being asked in 1960. The 1958-1959 version of the Ducks basketball team had not fared well, finishing with a 9-16 record.  The …

The Eugene Bombers: Ducks and Beavers United — Briefly

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©University of Oregon Libraries – Special Collections and University Archives On the eve of this year’s Civil War game between Oregon and Oregon State many, if not most,  fans don’t know that some Ducks and Beavers football players were once actually teammates on Eugene’s only professional football team — the Bombers.  It didn’t last long – who would have thought?  The Eugene …

The Fighting Ducks Came Marching Home

Jim Maloney History 1 Comment

www.ohsu.edu Oregon’s 1942 football season had turned out to be a major disappointment, finishing 2-6 with a roster that had managed to beat the eventual Rose Bowl bound 7-4 UCLA Bruins.  To make matters worse, even though the Pacific Coast Conference (PCC) had voted to allow freshman eligibility in December 1942, it would not be enough to save varsity football at Oregon …

When Ducks Truly Went to War…

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“A day that will live in infamy.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke those words to the United States Congress Dec. 8, 1941, a day after the Japanese surprised the world with their attack on Pearl Harbor just the day before. Of course this had great consequences throughout the country and the world, but on the Oregon campus, it would dramatically …

Floyd Rhea – One “Scrappy” Lineman

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“Black Mamba”.  “Super Mariota”.  New additions to a prolific history of great Duck nicknames.  Another great one?  “Scrappy.”   As in, Floyd “Scrappy/Scrap Iron” Rhea, one of the more interesting linemen to play for Oregon in the early 1940’s. Born in Rhea’s Mill, Arkansas on September 21, 1920, Rhea’s family moved to California shortly thereafter, with Floyd growing up in Fullerton. …