Past Stars of Football, Basketball, Crew and Swimming Honored by UW
The University of Washington will honor five former student-athletes and one team Nov. 5, when it inducts into the Husky Hall of Fame football standouts Napoleon Kaufman, Lincoln Kennedy and Jeff Jaeger; women's basketball player Rhonda Smith; retired swimming coach Earl Ellis; and the members of the 1970 and '71 men's crew team.
Former senior associate athletic director Don Smith will be presented the Dr. Don Palmer Award for his contributions to the Husky athletic department.
The Hall of Fame ceremony that will be held in Hec Edmundson Pavilion and the new members will be honored at halftime during the Nov. 6 Homecoming football game against Arizona.
Ellis spent 20 years with the Husky program, including 19 as the head coach before retiring in 1998. He directed the men's teams to a record of 215-45 (.827) in dual meets and was responsible for starting the women's team and guiding it to a 206-29-2 (.873) record. Ellis coached 36 men's All-Americans, 25 women's All-Americans, seven Olympians (including three medalists) and six national champions. His teams won three Pac-10 titles.
Washington's all-time rushing leader, Kaufman ran for 4,401 yards from 1991 to 1994. He set the Husky single-season rushing record in 1994 with 1,390 yards and was the only UW player to have three 1,000-yard seasons in a career. Kaufman was a three-time All-Pac-10 pick and a second-team All-American as a senior. His six-year NFL career was spent in Oakland where he rushed for 4,792 yards. After he retired from professional football, he founded the Crucified with Christ Ministry and the Napoleon Kaufman Foundation in Alamo, Calif.
Kennedy was the only unanimous first-team All-America pick in 1992 among Pac-10 players and the top offensive tackle in the nation his senior season. The Husky offense averaged 387.6 yards-per-game largely due to his blocking. He allowed only two sacks in his four years at Washington and was the ninth player selected in the 1993 NFL draft-a first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons. He played there for three seasons before joining the Oakland Raiders in 1996 until he retired following the 2003 season.
Placekicker Jaeger is the all-time Husky scoring leader with 358 points. During his career he set a NCAA record with 80 career field goals and as a senior he earned first-team All-America honors. He set Washington's single-game record with five field goals against Houston in 1985. Jaeger made 80 of the 99 field goals (80.8 percent) he attempted during his career. Jaeger later played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Chicago Bears. During his 11-year professional career, he scored 1,008 points and converted 74 percent of his field goal attempts.
Smith was a standout for the Husky women's basketball team from 1992-1995. Washington went 80-40 during her career, including a 25-9 mark her senior season. During her four-year career Smith scored 2,948 points and pulled down 803 rebounds, finishing as the UW's all-time scorer. As a senior she guided the Huskies to the National Invitational Tournament championship by scoring a career high 38 points in the finals at Texas Tech. A three-time All-Pac-10 pick, Smith was a founding member of the Seattle Reign women's pro team and became the first Washington player drafted by the WNBA.
1970 & 1971 Crew
The Washington men's crew teams from 1970 and 1971 included three future Olympians and two others who competed at the World Championships. The 1970 Varsity 8 team defeated heavily favored Pennsylvania for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) national championship under the direction of Coach Dick Erickson. The 1971 squad placed second at the IRAs, but rebounded to take the "Eight" crown at the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen championship. Representing the U.S. at the 1971 Pan American Games, the Huskies brought home a silver medal. The individuals who rowed for both teams included Cliff Hurn (stroke), Greg Miller and Rick Copstead. Larry Johnson, Brian Miller, Brad Thomas, Chad Rudolph and Mike Viereck rowed for the 1970 team that included coxswain Jim Edwards. The 1971 team featured Jon Buse, Charles Rutherford, Fred Schoch, Bruce Beall, Pete Suni and coxswain Dwight Phillips. Rex Thompson was a spare on that team who competed at the Pan Am games.
Don Smith, Palmer Award
The Big W Club's most prestigious award, the Don H. Palmer Award, was created in 1994 to recognize Palmer's outstanding contributions to the UW athletic program as the unpaid athletic team physician from 1904-1947. He was a founder of the Big W Alumni Club, the Homecoming halftime Blanket Parade and the 101 Club. The 2004 recipient of this award is Don Smith, who was an administrator at Washington from 1971 to 1995. Smith helped to oversee the support operations of the athletic department and is credited with helping to solve the department's racial problems during the early 1970s.