of the Falcons
Hall of Fame
GIANTS OF SEATTLE Pacific University’s rich athletic
past and present returned to the campus on Friday, January 23,
when the Falcon Legends Athletic Hall of Fame inducted its second
Former KOMO TV sports director Bruce King served
as master of ceremonies and SPU President Philip Eaton bestowed
the awards at the packed luncheon event held during Homecoming
In all, one coach and four athletes were inducted into
the 2004 class: basketball coaching great Les Habegger, soccer
scoring sensation Ken Covell ’75, record-setting track and field
sprinter Roy Duncan ’58, gymnastics champion Debbie Halle Jackson ’77
and tennis ace Bob Thompson ’69. In addition, the late Jack MacDonald ’50,
a Falcon Legend cofounder, longtime booster and former basketball
letterman, was given the first Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously.
Habegger has been gone from the campus for nearly 30 years, coaching
in the NBA and then in Europe, but he says he left his heart
at SPU. “I’m elated, excited and very thankful for this honor,” explains
the hugely successful Seattle Pacific basketball coach from 1957–75. “This
is very meaningful to me. My time at Seattle Pacific was special.
I experienced some wonderful things after I left for the Sonics,
but I left part of my heart at this place, and it will never
Now retired and living in Phoenix, Habegger reversed
the Falcons’ fortunes shortly after taking over as head coach
in 1958. It took two years to crack .500 and three more to make
the NCAA tournament. By 1965, SPC won the West Regional and advanced
to the Elite Eight. The next campaign commenced with an upset
of then-Division I Seattle University. In all, his teams won
267 games in 17 seasons and went to the NCAA tournament six times.
The four other Hall of Fame inductees were all students during
Habegger’s 20-year run as athletic director.
of Duncan have become more and more impressive over time. He
remains the greatest sprinter to ever wear an SPU singlet, not
just because he was the most decorated (a three-time All-American
in the 100- and 220-yard dashes), but because his school records
have gone untouched for 45 years. Originally from Wenatchee,
Duncan now lives in Anacortes.
Thompson set the standard for
all tennis players at Seattle Pacific. In his senior season,
Thompson reached the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Championships
in both singles and doubles (with partner Wilbert Look). The
native of Vancouver, Washington, and current resident of Salem,
Oregon, finished with a career record of 66-20 in singles and
56-23 in doubles — the most of any player.
Covell’s arrival at
Seattle Pacific coincided with a reversal of fortune in Coach
Cliff McCrath’s fledgling soccer program. The team went from
winless before Covell to four consecutive trips to the playoffs,
including a 1974 NCAA championship game appearance. A two-time
all-region selection, Covell held every major scoring record
upon graduation. He resides in Denver, where he graduated from
Lincoln High School.
Jackson was a member of the original gymnastics
team that placed fifth in the national (all-division) championship,
and she punctuated that first season by winning the school’s
first national title, on the uneven bars. She graduated with
each of the five school records and was a seven-time All-American.
Married to Western Washington basketball coach Brad Jackson,
she lives in Bellingham.
MacDonald was a member of the Falcon
basketball teams in 1945 and 1946, but his demonstrated allegiance
to his alma mater lasted well over 50 years and touched nearly
every sport. He later became longtime president of the Falcon
Club booster group and was the spearhead for creating the Falcon
Legends Hall of Fame. He died November 28, 2002 — two months
before the first class was inducted.
The list of presenting speakers
for this year’s Falcon Legends luncheon was also a who’s who
of Falcon athletics. Joining longtime soccer coach Cliff McCrath
were former tennis coach, NCAA faculty representative and professor
emeritus Wes Lingren; gymnast Jill Johnson Welker; basketball
letterman Bob Hathaway; and former SPU Board of Trustees Chair
Hall of Fame classes are limited to five inductees
each year and must have no more than one non-athlete represented.
Nominations for the induction Class of 2005 are now being accepted.
To make your nomination, call 206/281-2085.
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