Hall-Greff, Goldberg, and Higley attended
UPS before the changes brought about by Title
IX were in full effect. Thus these three super-
athletes never were formally recognized as All-
Americans. Even so, their records and accom-
plishments will likely never be exceeded.
The giants from ‘Puny’ Sound win it all
It was ironic that some wise guy from Tennessee
fashioned T-shirts referring to the Logger hoop-
sters as “Puny” Sound when they vied for the
NCAA Division II championship in Evansville,
Ill., in 1976. These “puny” team members aver-
aged 6 feet 7 inches tall and may very well have
been the tallest collegiate quintet in the country
at the time. Led by Puget Sound’s one and only
7-foot post player, Curt “The Peak” Peterson ’76,
the team included guards Tim Evans ’78 (6 feet
6 inches) and William “Rocky” Botts ’78 (6 feet
5 inches), and forwards Brant Gibler ’76 (6 feet
7 inches) and Rick Walker ’78 (6 feet 5 inches).
The Loggers, masterfully coached by Don Zech
P’84, stunned the defending champion, Old
Dominion, in the semifinals of the tournament
with an 83-78 win. In the championship game,
the Loggers finished off Tennessee-Chattanooga,
hitting 55 percent of their shots from the field
and controlling the boards. Again, it was report-
ed that game observers were “stunned” by the
outcome, particularly Tennessee fans wearing
those “Puny” T-shirts.
Actually, the most stunning victory for the
Loggers was in the quarterfinal game against the
University of North Dakota in a match Doug
McArthur described as “the greatest ever played
in Memorial Fieldhouse.” The North Dakota
five were in many respects a mirror image of the
Loggers. Their records were similar, offenses the
same, and each team posted an imposing front
line, featuring tall and talented centers. It was a
nail-biter game for the 4,300 fans crammed into
the field house for that Sunday evening contest.
With seconds remaining, North Dakota guard
David Dickey missed what would have been the
winning shot. Logger Rick Walker grabbed the
rebound, was fouled, and sank two free throws
to seal the win: 80-77. Thus, “Puny” Sound be-
came the first Washington state team to win a
national collegiate basketball championship.
Nor-Pac League: Loggers taunt and tease
overmatched UW Huskies
Logger baseball coach Jack McGee’s recruiting
prowess was legendary. His top recruit, Rich
Hand ’70, was arguably the most talented col-
legiate pitcher in the country and became the
Cleveland Indians’ first-round draft choice.
Many Logger professional-baseball signees fol-
lowed. In the 1970s UPS was the dominant team
in the short-lived NCAA Division I Nor-Pac
League, which included Portland, Portland
State, Gonzaga, Seattle, Idaho, and Boise State.
The Logger nine often defeated Pac Eight teams,
as well, and in one season defeated California,
Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State, and
particularly, the hapless Washington Huskies.
Stars Rich Hand and Mick Kelleher ’69
were no longer with the Logger baseball team
in the spring of 1972. But McGee had reloaded
his squad with pitching aces Craig Caskey ’72
and Bob Fisher ’72,
’75, as well as power
hitter Fred Bullert ’72, among others. During
that season, the team played the University of
Washington Huskies four times. Those one-
sided contests became an embarrassment to
the big school up north. Puget Sound won all
four games, outscoring the Dawgs 23-3. In one
Seattle game the Loggers “taunted and teased”
their UW opponents as they posted a 5-1 win.
Caskey termed his one-earned-run performance
an “off ” day. The Huskies rarely played the
Loggers after that season.
Like a guy with two families
The two most disparate collegiate sports would
have to be football and swimming. Swimmers,
generally long and lean, get up before the crack
of dawn to put in their solitary training hours in
the pool, lap after lap. Their land-bound breth-
ren practice in late afternoon, bouncing off one
another and practicing timing and positioning.
For an athlete in the modern era to train and
participate in both sports and attain national
recognition in each would be considered impos-
sible. In fact such a feat might even lead to a
feature story in
Sports Illustrated.
And so it did
with Logger All-American football player and
All-American swimmer Bob Jackson ’82.
Paul Wallrof had difficulty understanding
competitive swimmers. “(They) are weird,” he
would say. “Those guys march to the beat of a
different drummer.” But he certainly understood
the value of his swimmer nose guard, Jackson.
“Bob’s the quickest and smartest guy on the
team. He never lifts weights and gets his strength,
quickness, and concentration from swimming.”
Swim Coach Don Duncan also had a hard
time figuring out why a football lineman would
be swimming the tough breaststroke. He said
at the time: “He has two separate families, two
distinct lifestyles, and yet he is very emotionally
involved in each.” The two coaches would cer-
tainly agree that Jackson was one of a kind, as his
athletic achievements demonstrated. Jackson was
a seven-time champion in eight NCAA Division
II swimming finals, set a national record in the
100 breaststroke that stood for 24 years, and
helped lead the Logger football team to its only
10-2 season in history.
Other memories
Some of my other fondest memories include:
the talented back-court duo of Charles Lowery
’71 and Ed Huston ’71—Huston’s 40-point
games against Gonzaga and Hardin-Simmons,
and Lowery’s 35 points against Old Dominion
in 1970; Ned “Shotgun Red” Delmore’s (’71)
remarkable 27-point game in an upset victory
over the Running Rebels of Nevada Las Vegas;
Steve Levenseller’s (’79) 99-yard kickoff return
that turned the tide against PLU; the Loggers’
win over PLU in the Kingdome in front of more
than 15,000 fans; the Loggers’ football upset of
The University of Montana Grizzlies in Missoula;
pitcher Rich Hand’s regular season earned-run
average of less than 1.00; Vic Swanson ’81 win-
ning 98 of 99 individual races as a swimmer; Joe
Leonard’s (’81) selection as a three-time NCAA
All-American hoop star; and the Loggers’ great
wins over Seattle University in basketball.
In victory and defeat, there have been a lot of
great Loggers over the last century and a quar-
ter—always competitive, and nothing ever puny
about them.
Bill Baarsma is a retired Puget Sound professor of
business and was a two-term mayor of Tacoma.