Class of 2010

2010 Hall of Fame Inductees Include 1950 Football 

A three-time national champion in the pole vault and the school’s 1950 Football Team are among those who will be inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame in ceremonies that take place on Oct. 9, 2010, in Cheney, Wash.

The new inductees include the 1950 football team, which won Eastern’s third-straight Evergreen Conference championship and finished the year with five-straight shutouts to finish 8-2. The coach from that team, Albert Harold “Abe” Poffenroth (pictured) will be inducted posthumously.

Other individual inductees include track and field standouts Curt Hisaw and Seville Broussard-Hering, as well as former women’s basketball coach Bill Smithpeters. Former Eastern golfer and legendary Canadian broadcaster Ernie Afaganis will receive the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Service and Contribution Award.

Poffenroth was 32-19-1 as the school's head coach for six seasons from 1947-52, winning league championships four-straight seasons from 1947-50. As an Eastern quarterback in the late 30’s, Eastern was 24-7-1 in his four years, and he earned his bachelor's degree at Eastern in 1940.

Hisaw won three National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) titles in the pole vault (outdoors in 1969 and 1970, and indoors in 1970). He was a four-time All-American and set three NAIA records, and is still one of only seven Eastern athletes to ever clear 16 feet in the pole vault.

While competing at EWU from 1995-99 in the hurdles and high jump, Broussard-Hering scored more than 100 points and won five league titles for Eastern at Big Sky Conference Championship meets. She is now a professor of communication studies at Eastern, and, like Hisaw, resides in Cheney. She is married to Cheney High School Track and Field Coach Todd Hering, whose assistant coaches through the 2009 season included Hisaw and his wife, Joan.

Smithpeters won 290 games in 18 seasons as Eastern's women's basketball coach from 1977-1994. He led the Eagles to the 1987 Big Sky Conference Tournament title and a berth in the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship. Also, in his second season as head coach in 1977-78, Eastern advanced to the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Tournament and finished 24-9 overall.

Afaganis golfed at Eastern and graduated in 1952 before embarking upon a 50-year broadcasting career in Canada. He has been selected already to five halls of fame, including those of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Canadian Football League.

Established in 1996, this year’s inductees will bring the total number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 53. Seven teams will have also been inducted, and Afaganis will be the fourth recipient of the Service and Contribution Award.

The inductees will be honored with a breakfast and ceremony that starts at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 9 at the Pence Union Building. The public is invited to attend (RSVP to 509-359-2463 or 1-800-648-7697) and the cost is $15 per person.

They will also be honored at EWU’s football game against Northern Arizona that begins at 1:05 p.m. Pacific time.

Best Western PepperTree Inns of Washington ( serves as sponsor of the event.

Below are biographies on each of the inductees:

1950 FOOTBALL(8-2; Coach Abe Poffenroth)

During a four-year stretch in which Eastern was 29-6-1 (1947-50), Eastern capped it by roaring to its third-straight Evergreen Conference title and fourth-straight league title overall (Eastern won the Washington Intercollegiate title in 1947). Eastern won its final four league games by a collective 71-0 score as it finished 4-1 in the league season and 8-2 overall. Despite graduation losses from the year before and injuries early in the year, Eastern finished the season with five-straight shutouts and a total of six for the season. Coached by Abe Poffenroth, Eastern opened the year with a 46-0 victory over Whitworth in the first Eastern game ever played at Albi Stadium in Spokane. Eastern lost two of its next four games, including a 21-7 league loss to Saint Martin’s on Oct. 14. But Eastern was perfect after that, defeating Puget Sound (7-0), Whitworth (32-0), Western Washington (6-0), British Columbia (34-0) and Central Washington (26-0) on successive weeks. In the Puget Sound game, Howard Glazier had a 60-yard touchdown run with less than a minute to play to break a scoreless tie. He also scored the lone touchdown in the win over rival Western with a 78-yard touchdown pass from Dale Gier. Meriel Michelson rushed for 1,049 yards to lead Eastern’s “Model T with a Trailer” offensive attack as he earned AP Little All-West Coast honors. He was dubbed “Mule Train” by Tacoma sportswriters after he scored both touchdowns in a 13-7 victory over Pacific Lutheran, including a 52-yard run. He scored on runs of 74 and 42 yards the week before in a 20-6 win over Montana State. Glazier, who scored all six of his touchdowns on plays of at least 25 yards, was a first team All-Evergreen Conference selection as both a halfback and defensive back. Michelson, who was inducted posthumously into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007, joined linebacker Ray Conrad, defensive guard Bill Lowther, offensive end Anton Rasmussen, defensive end Ray Sheahan and defensive tackle Don Thoreson as first team All-EvCo selections.



Broussard scored more than 100 points for Eastern at Big Sky Conference Championship Track and Field meets, easily the most in school history as she won five league titles. She finished her career seventh in Big Sky history with 54 points scored in indoor conference meets from 1997-99, and scored another 55 outdoors. Both marks are school records, and still rank among the highest in league history. She won Big Sky championships indoors in the high jump (1998 and 1999) and 55 hurdles (1997), and won two titles outdoors in the 400 hurdles (1997 and 1998). She broke six school records -- three each indoors and outdoors. She set records outdoors in the 400 hurdles (48.12 in 1999), 100 hurdles (13.52 in 1999) and high jump (5-10 in 1997). Indoors she broke records in the 55 hurdles (7.85 in 1998), 60 hurdles (8.51 in 1999) and high jump (5-11 1/4 in 1995). All six of those records still stand. On five occasions she earned Big Sky Athlete of the Week accolades. She is married to current Cheney High School track and field coach Todd Hering and is now a professor in communications studies at EWU.



CURT HISAW (Athlete/Track & Field)

A four-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) All-American, Hisaw won three NAIA pole vault championships and broke three NAIA records while at Eastern. He was the NAIA Indoor Champion in 1970 with a record vault of 15-6 1/2 after finishing as the runner-up the year before. He also won outdoor titles in 1969 (16-1 1/4) and 1970 (16-3 3/4) as he broke the NAIA record in 1969 and broke his own record the following year. He was Evergreen Conference Champion in 1969 with a conference record vault of 15-6 1/2, and his vault of 16-3 3/4 in 1970 stood as a school record for 18 years. He is still one of only seven Eastern athletes to ever clear 16 feet indoors or outdoors in the pole vault (only three had until 2005), and he still ranks fourth in school history behind only Ben Cogdill (16-8 1/4 in 2010), Todd Frietag (16-7 in 1988) and Mike Erickson (16-7 1/4 in 2005). He also won the Evergreen Conference title in the 120-yard high hurdles in 1970 with a time of 14.5, which at the time was the second-best in school history and now ranks third. He received his degree from Eastern in 1970 and was voted as a Top Ten Senior by his graduating class. He went on to serve as a teacher, coach and administrator in the Cheney and East Valley school districts, and is now retired and living in Cheney. His wife, Joan, is a 1968 graduate of Eastern and also worked in the Cheney School District. Married in 1968, both are 1964 graduates of East Valley High School. After retiring from teaching, they both continued to serve as assistant coaches at Cheney High School through the 2009 season.


ALBERT HAROLD “ABE” POFFENROTH (Coach/Football & Athlete/Football)

A former Eastern football standout in the mid-30’s, Poffenroth was the school's head coach for six seasons from 1947-52. His teams were 32-19-1 (.625) with Evergreen Conference championships in 1948, 1949 and 1950 and a Washington Intercollegiate Conference (Winco) title in 1947. He also was the school’s baseball coach, and served as Dean of Men at Eastern from 1951-55. In order to get back into coaching, he left Eastern for Central Washington where he served as football coach for six seasons (1955-1960) and won two more EvCo titles in 1957 and 1958. That gave him a total of six league titles in a 12-year coaching career, with a collective record of 57-41-3 (.579) in 101 games. He was also chair of the physical education department at Central from 1960-76. In his head coaching career, he was 9-2-1 in Eastern versus Central games, including a 5-1 record against Central and a 4-1-1 mark versus Eastern.  He was among the first students to attend Rogers High School in Spokane when it opened in 1932, and he graduated in 1936. He was All-City in 1935, then earned unanimous All-Winco honors in 1937, 1938 and 1939 while playing for Eastern. The Savages were 24-7-1 in his four years as a quarterback in Cheney, and he earned his bachelor's degree at Eastern in 1940. Legendary Eastern coach Red Reese selected his All-Time Football Team in 1947, and Poffenroth was his quarterback. He was selected by the Eastern Athletic Department to the “100 for 100” All-Time Football Team, which was honored on Sept. 27, 2008, to commemorate Eastern’s 100th year of football. His brothers John (1933-34-35-36) and Bob (1946-47-48-49) also lettered in football at Eastern. Their parents, John and Mary, were of German descent and emigrated from Russia. Originally their name was spelled “Pfaffenrath,” but was changed by officials when they entered the United States at Ellis Island, N.Y. Interestingly, there are 19 Poffenroths who have received degrees from Eastern, but only five of them are from Abe’s family tree. Abe Poffenroth passed away on May 1, 1997 at the age of 76.


BILL SMITHPETERS (Coach/Basketball)

Smithpeters compiled a 290-227 record in 18 seasons as Eastern's women's basketball coach from 1977-1994. He helped Eastern emerge as a success story in the AIAW, followed by NCAA affiliation through the Mountain West and Big Sky conferences. His teams won 20 or more games six times, and were conference runners-up three times during the regular season and three more times in the post-season. In all, his teams reached the conference post-season tournament six out of a possible 12 years. Eastern won the 1987 Big Sky Conference Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Division I Basketball Championship. In his second season as head coach in 1977-78,  Eastern advanced to the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) National Tournament and finished 24-9 overall. Three victories in the Region IX Tournament helped Eastern advance, including a 56-45 victory over Seattle University in the championship game. Eastern held its three opponents to an average of 41.3 points per game as Jae Jae Jackson was selected to the All-Tournament team. Three of the players he coached have been inducted into the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame -- Brenda Souther-Robinson (1998), Maria Loos-Lefler (1999) and Lisa Comstock-Schultz (2003).


Service and Contribution Award Winners


Afaganis golfed at Eastern and graduated in 1952 before embarking upon a Hall of Fame broadcasting career in Canada that spanned 50 years from 1953-2003. Most recently, he was selected for the inaugural class of inductees into the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Hall of Fame in 2007. He was elected to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1979, the Helenic World Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Lethbridge Hall of Fame in 1991, and is also a member of the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame. In 1976 he became one of the early winners of the ACTRA Award for Broadcasting. He also received an Achievement Award in 2001 from Sports Media Canada, and was selected to that organization’s Honor Roll. Born and educated through high school in Lethbridge, Alberta, Afaganis graduated from Eastern and then returned to Canada to work at CFRN in Edmonton in 1953. Eight years later he moved to CBC Edmonton and was soon one of Canada's most popular and most versatile radio and TV sports broadcasters. He was a prominent voice in the coverage of the CFL from 1955 to 1980, and served as president of the CFL Writers and Broadcasters Association. He covered winter and summer Olympic Games from 1968 to 1996 and from 1974 to 1994 he was also a fixture on the broadcast crews of the Pan Am Games, Commonwealth Games and Canada Games. The list of his broadcasting endeavors also includes international hockey, World Track and Field Championships, World Basketball Championships in Finland and Colombia, Canadian Open Golf from 1961 to 1986, World Curling Championships from Scotland, Switzerland, France, Germany and the USA, the Calgary Stampede from 1979 to 2000, Montreal Expos baseball and the NHL Playoffs in the 1980s. He also hosted the popular Par 27 Golf Show for 26 years. While in Cheney, he was one of Eastern's most outstanding golfers, and was selected in 1950 to the Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.



Woodward was head of Eastern’s department of physical education and health for 23 years from 1927 to 1950. He was insistent that every interested student should have the opportunity to engage in competitive sports through intramural activities. He endeared himself to students, and, as a result, Woodward Field was named in his honor in 1932. He also established the physical education program at North Central High School in Spokane. During World War I he was in charge of physical fitness work for the Navy in the Puget Sound area, and spent eight years as director of physical and health education for Tacoma public schools. Woodward passed away of a heart attack on Feb. 2, 1950, just a short time after attending a convocation and rally honoring the Eastern basketball team.  When the field was dedicated in his honor, Eastern was known as Cheney Normal before going through three name changes (Eastern Washington College of Education, Eastern Washington State College and Eastern Washington University). The stadium originally was located in two different sites, but was moved to its present location in 1967. A plaque commemorating the 78 years the stadium was named Woodward Field has been placed on the new entrance to what is now known as Roos Field.


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