Skip to main content

Willamette University Athletics Department records

Identifier: WUA056

Scope and Contents

The Athletics Department records contain the rosters, statistics, news releases and media guides for Willamette University’s athletic teams. Also included are programs for events such as the Willamette Relays, Trackfest, Homecoming, and the John Lewis Classic. Documents also contain histories of athletic teams and information on coaches such as Ted Ogdahl, Geoff Petrie, Charles Bowles, and Spec Keene. A significant portion of these records are Willamette University athletics team photographs. These include team and individual photographs as well as action shots during practice and competition. Photographs range from the 1910s to the 2000s, with one photograph of the 1895 football team. These records also contain digital photographs which are available in the Archives digital storage space.

Also included are the formative documents and programs for Willamette University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.


  • 1895-2014


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

These records are open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Historical Note

The Willamette University Department of Athletics consists of Willamette’s athletics teams, facilities, events and support organizations such as the Bearcat Club and the Bearcat Athletic Fund. Their mission is to “enhance the overall learning environment for scholar-athletes.” Part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III since 1998, the Athletics Department oversees twenty sports played in the fall, winter, or spring: baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s rowing, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s track and field, and volleyball. The mascot is Blitz the Bearcat, formerly Barney the Bearcat.

Athletics have been part of the Willamette community since 1894 with the formation of the Willamette football team. The school colors of cardinal red and gold were selected in 1895. A new gymnasium was built in 1895 and C.R. “Brick” Morse was the first paid football coach in the same year. Faculty and staff were often members of varsity athletics teams. In 1926, Willamette joined Whitman College, Pacific University, the University of Puget Sound, Linfield College, and the College of Idaho to charter the Northwest Conference. Prior to joining the NCAA in 1998, Willamette was part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The Willamette University Athletic Hall of Fame began in 1991 to recognize the athletes, coaches, teams and individuals who have made significant contributions to the Bearcat athletic program. Hall of Fame inductees have included athletes such as Harold Hauk ‘30 and Holly Brown ’76 and coaches such as Charles Bowles and Gordie James.


24 Linear Feet (15 boxes, 9 oversize boxes)


The Athletics Department records contain the rosters, statistics, and news releases for Willamette University’s athletic teams. Also included are media guides, programs, and photographs for each sport. Records also document Willamette University’s Athletic Hall of Fame.


Records are arranged into four series: I. Athletics Teams, II. Hall of Fame, III: Photographs, and IV: Memorabilia. Series I is further arranged into two subseries A. Athletics Information, and B. Programs and Media Guides. Files maintain original order where it could be determined. Otherwise, files are arranged chronologically and/or by sport.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library


Additions to these records are expected.

Related Materials

Related materials include the Pearl Harbor Game collection, the Harold Hauk collection, and various campus life scrapbooks.
Guide to the Willamette University Athletics Department records, 1895-2014
Finding aid processed by Ashley Toutain.
© 2014
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States