Class of 1999

Former Teammates Reunited in Hall of Fame

Legendary Eastern Washington University football coach Dick Zornes and his former football teammate Mel Stanton headlined the third class of inductees in the Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame.

Stanton and Zornes were joined by track standout Ron Chadwick, NAIA Hall of Fame coach Ed Chissus, women's basketball player Maria Loos Lefler, and long-time Eastern supporter and contributor Patsy Utter.

Zornes, who retired in the spring of 1999 as Eastern's athletic director after spending 26 years as an Eastern player, coach and administrator, was unanimously selected in his first year eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Stanton, a graduate of Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, was a record-breaking running back on Eastern teams with Zornes from 1963-65.

Zornes, Stanton and the other four new members were inducted on Saturday, Sept. 25 prior to Eastern's football game versus Cal State Northridge at Woodward Stadium in Cheney. 


RON CHADWICK - Athlete/Track & Football

Selected as the outstanding performer at the 1954 NAIA Championships when he won the NAIA 120-yard high hurdles and 220-yard low hurdles titles. His times of 14.6 and 24.1 in the preliminaries equaled meet records, then he had wind-aided times of 14.3 and 23.8 in the finals. He also placed sixth in the high jump with a jump of 6-4. He averaged 24 points per meet that season, as Eastern extended its string of dual meets without a loss to 37. Formerly from Emmett, Idaho, he averaged 22 points per meet in 1953 as Eastern won its fifth-straight Evergreen Conference title. At the 1953 NAIA Championships, he placed fourth in both the 120 hurdles and the high jump. In the 1952 NAIA Championships, he placed third in the 220 hurdles and was fourth in the high jump. In all, he won six NAIA District 1 titles and placed in the top four a total of seven times at three NAIA Championships. Said sportswriter Bill Boni of his hurdling ability: "He skims over the barriers so easily that there hardly seem to be any obstacles in his way." He also lettered three seasons as a running back for Eastern's football team from 1951-53. To remain involved and associated with athletics, Chadwick went on to spend 40 years in the sporting goods industry.  

 

   

ED CHISSUS - Baseball & Football Coach, Football & Track Athlete

A 1941 graduate of Eastern who participated in football and track, as an Eastern coach he had nearly 300 baseball wins in 26 seasons and a 29-52-4 record in 10 seasons as football coach. In his final season as baseball coach in 1981, he was Pacific 10 Conference Northern Division Coach of the Year as Eastern set a school record for victories by finishing 32-20. He was NAIA District 1 Coach of the Year five times (1963, 1966, 1967, 1978 and 1980), and his teams won District 1 titles in 1963, 1966 and 1967 as well as five Evergreen Conference championships. In 1970 Chissus was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame. He was also honored in 1980 with a 25-Year Award presented by the American Association of Baseball Coaches. He served on the United States Baseball Federation Board of Directors and served on the NAIA Baseball Coaches Association executive board. As an Eastern athlete in the late 1930's, Chissus was a sprinter and hurdler on track teams coached by Red Reese. Chissus won a total of four Tri-Normal and Winco conference titles in the high and low hurdles, and ran a leg on the mile relay team with won four-straight conference titles. He also played football and boxed while he was at Eastern. A native of Birmingham, Mich., Chissus moved to the Yakima Valley at the age of 10. He graduated from Wapato High School and came to Cheney as a freshman in the fall of 1937. Before returning to Eastern to become football coach in 1953, he spent 10 years teaching and coaching at four different Yakima Valley High Schools and directed successful American Legion baseball teams. He passed away in 1987.  

 

MARIA LOOS LEFLER - Athlete/Basketball

Helping establish Eastern as a powerhouse in collegiate women's basketball, Loos scored 1,346 points (12.0 per game) with a school-record 1,407 rebounds (12.6) in 112 games from 1979-82. Eastern won 84 games in that span and appeared in the 1979 AIAW National Tournament. Loos, her teammates and head coach Bill Smithpeters laid the foundation for Eastern to earn membership in the Mountain West Conference starting in the 1982-83 school year. As a senior, she averaged 15.3 points and a remarkable 14.4 rebounds per game. She was an All-Northwest Women's Basketball League selection and was an all-tournament selection in both the Santa Clara Classic and the UC Irvine Christmas Tournament. She was also team captain twice and her team's most valuable player three times. Besides her career rebound record, she still holds Eastern records for most rebounds in a season (422) and game (27 versus U.S. International on Dec. 21, 1981). Loos, a 6-foot-2 post player, had a career high of 24 points against both Idaho and Boise State her senior season. A native of The Netherlands, Loos grew up in Royal City, Wash., and enrolled at Eastern in the fall of 1978. She earned her degree in recreation in 1982. Maria and her husband Rex have three boys.
 


 

MEL STANTON - Athlete/Football

A former standout at Lewis & Clark High School, Stanton rushed for school records of 1,238 yards and 21 touchdowns in 1965 to earn first team NAIA All-America and Associated Press Little All-America honors. His season total and average of 137.6 yards per game stood as school records for more than 30 years before they were broken by Rex Prescott in 1997. Stanton had 2,318 career rushing yards in three seasons (1963-65), including an Evergreen Conference record of 271 against College of Idaho on Oct. 16, 1965. That stood as a school record for more than 30 years until Prescott broke it with 272 versus Northern Arizona in 1997. His 21 touchdowns (an Evergreen Conference record) and 126 points in 1965 were school records. Eastern was 8-1 in 1965, with the lone loss by a 21-14 score to Whitworth. Eastern was 5-4 in 1964 and 3-6 in 1963 after a winless season in 1962 (0-8-1). Besides his All-America honor in 1965, he was a first team selection on the All-Evergreen Conference and All-NAIA District 1 squads. He was the lone Savage selected to the All-EvCo first team in 1963 when he rushed for 496 yards. Limited to 13 games in his first two seasons at Eastern because of injuries, he had 584 yards as a junior in 1964. "Playing at about 185 pounds, Stanton did not have abundant speed," wrote sportswriter Butch Brown in 1979. "But he was extremely adept at using his blocking, and his balance was unmatched. If a would-be tackler didn't take him down hard, he was gone for six." As a senior at Lewis & Clark in 1958, Stanton set the Spokane City scoring record with 85 points as he finished with 767 yards rushing (8.7 per carry) and 135 yards receiving. He was selected as the Inland Empire Sportswriters and Broadcasters Athlete of the Year for his efforts, however, a ban against awards to high school athletes by the Washington State High School Activities Association prevented him from accepting the honor in person. Stanton played his freshman season at Washington State before transferring to Eastern. He credited his eventual wife Dixie, who also attended Lewis & Clark, for luring him back into college after a two-year hiatus. "When I dropped out of Washington State I started going with Dixie (Carter) who was going to school out here," Stanton said in 1965. "After a couple of years, she talked me into going back to school and actually recruited me to Eastern." Stanton taught and coached in Monroe, Wash., before going overseas to teach. He taught physical education, coached, and served as athletic director at schools in Guam, Taiwan, Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. He also served as president of the Eastern Mediterranean Activities Council for six of those years in the United Arab Emirates. He and his wife Dixie returned to Wilmington, New York, where they helped their oldest daughter, Jill, and her family run Mel's Diner and the Four Seasons Motor Lodge. Stanton was one of the 12 running backs on Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team released in June 2008 by the EWU Athletic Department. The overall "100 for 100" squad consisted of 100 of the top players in school history to help commemorate the 100th year of football at Eastern. Players were honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference football game with Idaho State. 
   
 
 

PATSY UTTER - Contributer

Involved with the Eagle Athletic Association since its inception, Utter's support of Eastern Athletics was instrumental during the school's rise to NCAA Division I and the Big Sky Conference. Her gift of $790,000 to the EWU Foundation in 1993 in the memory of her grandfather and former Eastern board of trustee Charles P. Lund included a nearly $200,000 endowment given to the athletic department. "I've loved watching sports my whole life," she said in 1993. "I happen to think it should be part of the educational experience." She was also actively involved in the EWU Foundation and contributed greatly to Eastern's music department. And for most of her life she was active in politics and civic affairs, particularly with the democratic party. She also served on the Cheney Library Board of Directors, and was instrumental in having a new library built. She passed away in 1994, but her legacy will live on forever. "Patsy's generosity and dedication was admirable and intense," said former Speaker of the House Tom Foley. "She had many causes in which she was interested, and she took an active role in shaping her community. One of her deepest commitments was to the field of education, and in particular, to Eastern Washington University. Her spirit will remain in the city of Cheney and on the Eastern Washington University campus as a loyal supporter of neighbors, faculty and supporters." 

 

DICK ZORNES - Football Coach, Football Athlete & Contributer

Passionately involved for 26 years as a player, coach and administrator, the name Dick Zornes is synonymous with Eastern Football. From Eastern Washington State College to Eastern Washington University . . . from Savages to Eagles . . . from NAIA to NCAA Division I-AA . . . and from zero wins to national prominence, Zornes played with, coached and watched hundreds of football players in Cheney. Zornes began his playing career at Eastern in 1963 after graduating in 1962 from Hudson's Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash. He played four years as a strong safety and fullback, including in 1965 and 1966 when the team lost just one game each. He was a first team All-Evergreen Conference selection in 1965 and a second team pick in 1966. He also earned All-NAIA District 1 accolades as a junior. In 1962 Eastern was winless, and by 1967 the school was playing for a national championship. A student assistant coach on that squad, Zornes helped the Savages and head coach Dave Holmes win 11-straight games before losing to Fairmont State in the NAIA championship game. He would return in 1971 as a graduate assistant coach, then again in 1979 as head coach as the Eagles began their rise from NAIA to NCAA Division I-AA and membership in the Big Sky Conference. In 15 seasons at the helm, Zornes had an 89-66-2 record with a Big Sky Conference Championship in 1992 and NCAA Division I-AA Playoff berths in 1985 and 1992. His 1985 team beat Idaho in the I-AA Playoffs before finishing 9-3. In 1992 he was selected as the Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year, and in 1985 and 1992 he was the Inland Empire Coach of the Year as selected by the Spokane Sportswriters and Broadcasters. As an administrator, Eastern teams won 30 more games in five seasons with a Big Sky championship and a "Final Four" appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs in 1997. In his 26 years of affiliation with Eastern Football, the school was 158-112-3 for a winning percentage of 58.4 percent in that span of 273 games. Zornes was one of the 13 defensive backs on Eastern's "100 for 100" All-Time Football Team released in June 2008 by the EWU Athletic Department. The overall "100 for 100" squad consisted of 100 of the top players in school history to help commemorate the 100th year of football at Eastern. Players were honored on Eastern Athletics Hall of Fame Day on Sept. 27, 2008, in conjunction with EWU's Big Sky Conference football game with Idaho State.

 

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