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Where Legends Live – Oregon Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2015

 

What do you do when you see a star filled night sky?

If your name is Vincent Van Gogh, you paint a picture that will eventually hang in an art gallery.

Maybe you paint two of them.

In another instance, look at a piece of marble. Maybe you see something in there. What do you do?

If your name is Michelangelo, you carve a statue of David. And it ends up in a museum as one of the world's most iconic art pieces.

Then there's Mike Bellotti.

This is a football coach who had the chance to make his mark on the stairway to a national championship, but instead of finding new teams and greener pastures every few years, he stayed at Oregon.

Where does a coach go who brought a college to #2 final ranking? He's going to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. On November 19th at the Multnomah Athletic Club, Coach Bellotti will join others in the class of 2015.

Standing with Bellotti will be Mike Doherty, Jack Folliard, Elmer Kolberg, Damon Stoudamire, Leann Warren, and the 2000 OSU football team.

Where does Mike Doherty go after 50 years coaching the most wins in high school basketball? The same place as the man who started refereeing Pop Warner games and made stops along the way. One of Jack Folliard's stops was a BCS title game.

Elmer Kolberg knew how to chop in basketball and move the pile in football. He played both at Oregon State, then entered the NFL draft in 1938 where he was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Pittsburgh Press called him Rough Guy when he came to the Steelers in 1941. He looks like he'd fit right in with today's Steelers. This was a player who knew what to do in football, and he did whatever it took to stick in the NFL.

Football in America is a game of legends; football at Oregon State added to their legend in 2000. Their end of year ranking at #4 showed the rest of the country something they'd never seen. Beaver football became a 'thing.'
Notre Dame turned into a Beaver football 'thing' in the Fiesta Bowl when they left the field after a 41-9 loss. It felt like the first dream season of Pac-12 football for Oregon schools. No dream was too big after that, even thinking the Beavers were the best team in the country that year.

Damon Stoudamire came back to Portland after his early NBA career. With the Blazers in turmoil his years here were up and down. The one consistent for Stoudamire was his competitive spirit. If anyone ever doubted his feelings about sports, the found out after he went to Memphis.

During a Memphis Grizzlies / Portland Trail Blazers game in his hometown, Stoudamire ripped a knee and left the court on a cart. Too many players look for reasons to stay down, but Stoudamire made it clear he wasn't leaving his playing career due to injury.

He came back like the gamer he is and played for to more teams before starting his coaching career.

As a coach, can you imagine anyone with more ups and downs, and more stick to it, than Damon Stoudamire while he explains the ups and downs of basketball to a team? Experience counts when you're trying to show a better way.
Leann Warren arrives at the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame at full speed in spite of a few "annoying knee injuries."

This runner showed up on the track radar at the end of the 1970's and kept tracking. Middle distance running put Leann in the spotlight, but character put her in the life light.

With enough all-American certificates to paper a trophy room, her post-competition life speaks loudest of all. Are you an athlete with lots of miles on your legs? Here's the good news. Leann Warren walk you through her total knee replacement, including picture.

We all heal at our own pace and if Leann takes longer, so can you. This is a woman who didn't take long to finish anything. The most important part of sports is the next game, the next race, the next training.

The future looks brighter than ever when people like the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2015 takes the floor. To all young athletes, call it the Sports Museum of Hope. Try your hardest and hope you've got what it takes.

Your best effort makes the biggest difference.

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.

 

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