BOB HOUBREGS – Basketball
One of the University of Washington’s all-time basketball greats, Bob Houbregs achieved consensus first-team All-American recognition in 1953 when he led the Huskies to their only Final Four appearance. He averaged 25.6 points per game that season and scored 1,774 points in his four-year career as a Husky, both UW records. His career points record lasted for 34 years until Christian Welp broke it. Welp has four seasons. Houbregs had only three seasons since freshmen weren’t eligible in his era. He was the first Husky to have his number (25) retired. His 45 points against Seattle U. in the 1953 NCAA tournament set a single-game NCAA tournament record. The 6-foot-7 center scored more than 40 three times that season. Houbregs was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1987.
Houbregs attended Queen Anne High in Seattle and became an early expert at the hook shot changing the way the center position was played. He competed for five seasons in the NBA and later became a top NBA front office official. He was at one time, the Seattle SuperSonics general manager.
A more extensive bio can be read here at HistoryLink.org.
HARLAND SVARE – Football
A product of North Kitsap High and Washington State University, Harland Svare was a standout linebacker through eight NFL seasons, two with the Rams and six with the New York Giants, including the 1956 NFL championship. Svare started 79 of his 89 career games. He was second-team all-Pro in 1958 when the Giants again reached the NFL championship game, losing to the Baltimore Colts in “the greatest game every played”.
When Tom Landry left the Giants to become the first coach of the Dallas Cowboys, Svare took over as the Giants defensive coach while he was still playing. He became the Rams head coach during the 1962 season at age 31. He later was head coach and general manager of the San Diego Chargers.
From his WSU Hall of Fame bio: “A three-sport standout at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo, Svare was outstanding offensively and defensively for the Cougars in the 1950-52 era and in one season – 1952 – caught two of the longest passes in WSU history, 84 yards versus Idaho and 76 yards against California.”
EARL TORGESON – Baseball
When Earl Torgeson returned from the U.S. Army after World War II, the Snohomish High grad joined the Seattle Rainiers. A year later, he started a 15-year Major League career. Playing for the Boston Braves in 1950, Torgeson led the National League in runs with 120. In an era where the stolen base was not common, Torgeson was known for his speed. Unusual for a first baseman, he stole 20 bases in 1951.
He was a regular starter at first base for the first nine years of his career, then a role player off the bench and eventually a Major League coach. He had a lifetime .265 batting average with 149 home runs, 740 RBI for five teams from 1947 to 1961. He has seven hits in 18 at-bats in the 1948 World Series for the Boston Braves and played in the 1959 World Series for the Chicago White Sox.
JOHN HEINRICK – Coach
Never a physical giant as a player, John Heinrick found his niche in coaching football, basketball and baseball in high school and college ranks and enjoyed a 51-year career as a coach and athletic director at Bellarmine Prep, Stadium High and the College of Puget Sound. As a result, it came as no surprise when he was chosen to membership in the Helms National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.
He is the most successful coach in UPS Logger history. Heinrick had an 88-46-11 football record, winning or sharing five Evergreen Conference titles in 17 years. He coached basketball from 1945-59, winning 187 games and twice advancing to the NAIA Tournament in Kansas City.