RAY DAUGHTERS – Coach (Swimming)
A wire-service reporter once joked in print that Ray Daughters was such a talented coach that he probably could teach fish how to swim better. Daughters is credited with coaching swimmers who set 30 world records, 301 U.S. records and 64 national championships. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1971.
One of his most famous swimmers was Helene Madison of Seattle, who won three gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Los Angeles. The 1936 Games were the first of four consecutive Olympics where Daughters coached U.S. athletes. Later, he was the team manager for the 1960 Olympics in Rome.
Daughters, a graduate of Queen Anne High School, not only coached elite athletes such as Madison and Jack Medica but taught thousands of other swimmers, from advanced to beginners, at the Crystal Pool on Second Avenue and then at the Washington Athletic Club from 1930-1964.
STEVE EMTMAN – Football
Steve Emtman is considered by some evaluators as one of the best defensive linemen ever to play college football. The Washington Husky was a consensus All-American in 1991 when he won the Outland Trophy, the Lombardi Award and was UPI lineman of the year. Emtman played a big role in Washington winning the Rose Bowl to cap the 1990 and 1991 seasons. The undefeated Huskies were national co-champions for the 1991 season and Emtman was co-MVP in the Huskies’ 34-14 Rose Bowl win over Michigan. Emtman finished fourth in the Heisman voting for the 1991 season and was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
The nearly unblockable Emtman was the No. 1 player taken in the 1992 draft when Indianapolis selected him. The Cheney High School grad was plagued by injuries in his six-year NFL career with the Colts, Dolphins and Redskins.
GARY PAYTON – Basketball
Former Seattle SuperSonic Gary Payton is the only point guard ever to win the NBA’s defensive player of the year award. He played for the Sonics for 12 1/2 seasons and is the all-time team leader in points, assists and steals. He was a nine-time all-star and two-time all-NBA selection.
Nicknamed “The Glove” because of his defensive pressure, Payton was known for his toughness and durability. He was a member of U.S. gold medal Olympic teams in 1996 and 2000.
Payton was the No. 2 overall selection in the 1990 draft after starring at Oregon State, where the Oakland native was Pac-10 player of the year in 1990. After leaving the Sonics, Payton played for Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Boston and won an NBA championship ring with Miami in 2006. He retired in 2007 and was voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
BOB WALSH – Administrator
Bob Walsh thought big and made things happen. As a result, the Puget Sound area became the site for national and world events. Walsh arrived in Seattle in 1973 as Bill Russell’s choice to be assistant general manager of the Sonics. After his Sonics years, Walsh became a sports agent then moved on to become a sports promoter.
His first major achievement was bringing the 1984 Final Four to the Kingdome. The Final Four returned in 1989 and 1994. Among other events, Walsh also brought the 1987 NBA All-Star game to Seattle and the women’s Final Four to Tacoma in 1988 and 1989.
In 1990, Walsh worked with cable TV mogul Ted Turner and brought the Goodwill Games to Seattle and Tacoma. The Games attracted athletes from 54 nations who competed in 23 sports. The Games’ legacy includes the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.