Jay Day to Receive Tom Oswald Memorial Award at Banquet

REMINDER: The annual Eastern Washington University Football Awards Banquet will take place Sunday, Feb. 24 at 5 p.m. at the Pence Union Building Multipurpose Room on the EWU campus in Cheney, Wash. The deadline to make reservations is Feb. 22 and no walk-ups will be accepted. Cost is $25 per person, and the event includes dinner and video productions and highlights from the 2012 season. Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 509-359-2463.


Former Eastern football player is now a member of the EWU Police Department and began his coaching career at Cheney High School under Oswald

Former Eastern Washington University football player Jay Day has been selected by the EWU Football program to receive the Tom Oswald Memorial Award at Sunday’s (Feb. 24) EWU Football Awards Banquet at the Pence Union Building.

Day lettered as a defensive back for Eastern in 1992 and 1995 after graduating in 1991 from Clover Park High School in Tacoma, Wash. He began his high school coaching career under Oswald, and is currently an officer for the EWU Police Department.

The Tom Oswald Memorial Award was created in 2007 in the memory of former Cheney High School coach Tom Oswald, who succumbed to cancer on Aug. 4, 2006. Recipients are selected by the Eastern coaching staff for following Oswald's creed of "Doing the Right Thing" for youth.

“Jay is a perfect recipient for this honor,” said Eastern head football coach Beau Baldwin. “What he does for this community and University is commendable, and we couldn’t be prouder of him as a former football player here working with youth. And the fact he coached under Tom makes it that much more meaningful.”

Day played in 10 games and had eight tackles as a freshman redshirt cornerback and special teams standout for Eastern in 1992. The Eagles finished the season 7-4 after winning the Big Sky Conference title and advancing to the first round of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs (then known as I-AA). After spending two years working and starting a family, he returned to EWU in 1995 and finished with 19 tackles and a pair of passes broken up as a free safety.

Day received his Eastern degree in therapeutic recreation, and worked in that profession until he was hired by the EWU Police Department in October 2008. He graduated from the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy in June 2009, and since then has helped serve as the athletic department liaison with campus police. He has aided EWU in an overall effort to break down barriers between college students and public safety officials.

“Officer Day has been a tremendous asset to our department and continues to build positive relationships with our students and the EWU community,” said Chief T.L. Walters of the EWU Police Department. “He has mentored countless students in our Cadet Program and is looked upon as a leader amongst his peers. Jay is a reflection of the creed “Doing the Right Thing” for youth, and we are proud to call him one of our own.”

He began coaching at Cheney High School in 1998 under Oswald, who retired in 2002. Day remains the school’s defensive coordinator under another former Eagle, Jason Williams (1993-94).

Day and his wife, Hope, reside in Cheney, with their three children – Xavier (college sophomore), Janessa (high school senior) and Sofia (age 9). All of his children are involved in sports, and his passion for the game of football is evident, both at CHS games on Fridays and EWU games on Saturday.

“Jay is an Eagle to the core and his passion for the game can be witnessed on Saturdays as he patrols the sidelines wearing a different uniform, responsible not for containment of a fleeting quarterback, but for excited IncREDible fans,” added Walters. “Jay always has one eye on the stands and one eye on the field as plays develop, eager to explain ‘blown coverage’ to anyone within earshot.”


Previous Winners of the Tom Oswald Memorial Award . . .

(years played at Eastern)
2012-13 – Jay Day (1992-95)
2011-12 – Not Awarded
2010-11 - Luke Fritz (1997-2000)
2009-10 - Rick Giampietri (1968-68)
2008-09 - Kyler Randall (2000-03)
2007-08 - Josh Martin (1997-2000)
2006-07 - Ryan Chicoine (1998)

The first Oswald Award was presented to former EWU punter Ryan Chicoine and his wife Amy for adopting three foster children. Chicoine played in 1998 for EWU after graduating from Lakeside High School in Nine Mile Falls, Wash., in 1996. The 2007-08 winner was former Eastern defensive lineman Josh Martin, who played for Eastern from 1997-2000 and went on to work at the Excelsior Youth Center in Spokane. Former Eagle wide receiver Kyler Randall (2000-01-02-03) was the 2008-09 recipient for his efforts in Honduras working for the Peace Corp.

In 2009-10, the award went to Central Valley High School football coach Rick Giampietri (1968-69), who also coached wrestling for 35 years and golf for 20, as well as softball and track and field. The award presented in the 2010-11 school year was given to nine-year Canadian Football League player Luke Fritz (1997-2000), who was the winner of a $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Project grant to support the Winnipeg Harvest Hunger for Hope program, which supplies infant formula to thousands of babies in Manitoba who would otherwise go hungry. The winner in 2012-13 was Jay Day, a long-time assistant football coach at Cheney High School and eventually an officer in the EWU Police Department.


More on Tom Oswald . . .

Former Cheney High School head football coach Tom Oswald passed away on Aug. 4, 2006, after a battle with cancer. He won 165 games in 25 years in Cheney.

Oswald graduated from Cheney High School in 1967, then played at Spokane Falls Community College before transferring to Oregon State University. He played for Dee Andros, who directed the Beavers to records of 6-5 (1970) and 5-6 (1971) while Oswald was there.

After a year as a graduate assistant coach at Oregon State, he spent two seasons as a coach in Grant's Pass, Ore., where he met his wife, Susan. After one year as a graduate assistant at Illinois and two seasons as head coach at Kennewick, Wash., High School, Oswald returned to Cheney as head coach in 1977 and eventually retired in 2002.

He compiled a 167-90-7 career record in 27 seasons as a high school coach. His Cheney teams made the playoffs a dozen times and played in state championship games in 1988 and 1989. Among the players he coached were Steve Emtman, a first-round NFL draft choice in 1992, and veteran NFL offensive lineman Rick DeMulling.

One of his favorite sayings and keys to his success was: "Kids don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Eastern and then-EWU head football coach Paul Wulff dedicated its game against Oregon State on Aug. 31, 2006, in the memory of the OSU graduate. Oswald's son Drew, who lettered for EWU in 2004 and still lives in Cheney, served as an honorary captain for the Eagles. Eastern wore stickers on their helmets that season with the initials "T.O."

Oswald and Wulff worked together at many Eastern summer football camps over the years. In 2004, when Drew was playing for the Eagles, Tom attended nearly every Eastern game and practice despite regular cancer treatments. Wulff asked him to give the weekly Friday night pre-game speech to the team the night before Eastern knocked off No. 1 ranked and top-seeded Southern Illinois in the 2004 NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs. Current Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin was offensive coordinator for that 2004 squad.

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