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Brooks, four others set for induction.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Rich Brooks, who led the Oregon football team to the Pac-10 championship in 1994 and a berth in the Rose Bowl, will be inducted into the university's Athletics Hall of Fame on Nov. 2, the university announced Tuesday.

Brooks, now head coach at No. 8 Kentucky - which has a bye the first weekend of November - built the foundation for the Oregon football program's brightest era.

In addition to Brooks, inductees for Oregon's newest Hall of Fame class will be former runner Arne Kvalheim, women's basketball star Debbie Sporcich, football player Willie West and gymnastics standout James Yuhashi.

Tickets for the induction banquet are $60 each and may be reserved by calling the Duck Athletic Fund office at 346-4460; deadline for reservations is Friday. The Hall of Fame class will also be introduced at halftime of Oregon's football game against Arizona State on Nov. 3.

Brooks, who coached 18 seasons at Oregon and also served as director of athletics from 1992-94, led Oregon to 91 wins, then a school record that has since been surpassed by Brooks' recommended successor, coach Mike Bellotti, now in his 13th season.

After taking the Ducks to their first Rose Bowl in 37 seasons, Brooks left Oregon for the NFL, serving as head coach for the St. Louis Rams two seasons and reaching the Super Bowl as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons.

Kvalheim was an 11-time Norwegian national champion at 800, 1,500, 5,000 meters and cross country who also set Norwegian and Nordic records in the mile and 1,500. The 1968 Norwegian Olympian was one of the top collegiate distance runners in the world during the springs of 1968 and 1969, setting a collegiate record in the 2-mile run (8:33.2) as well as UO records in the 1,500 (3:38.5), 5,000 (8:29.68) and 3-mile run (13:14.6) in 1968.

Kvalheim also ran a leg on the 4-mile relay that set a world record (16:05.0) in 1968.

Sporcich was the first UO women's basketball player to lead the team in rebounding four consecutive years (1991-94). The 1994 first-team Pacific-10 Conference all-league choice and three-time team MVP (1992-94) completed her career as the program's fourth-best rebounder (868) and sixth-leading scorer (1,404). In her senior season, she led the Ducks in scoring (15.6 points per game) and rebounding (9.1) as the Ducks reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.

West led the Ducks in rushing (470 yards) and receiving (18 catches, 140 yards) in 1958 and was Oregon's scoring leader (48 points) as a senior in 1959. He ranked third in the Pacific Coast Conference in rushing and second in punt returns as a junior, and he earned first-team all-conference honors as a defensive back as a junior and all-coast honors as a senior.

The honorable mention All-American played a key role on Oregon's 1957 Rose Bowl squad. A fourth-round NFL draft choice, West had a nine-year professional football career. He was a second-team all-AFL selection and selected to the Pro Bowl in 1966.

Yuhashi was a two-time NCAA all-American in 1980 and 1981, and claimed the 1981 floor exercise national championship his senior season. The UO school record-holder in the floor exercise (9.90) and the vault (9.80) helped lead Oregon to its fourth consecutive Pac-10 championship in 1980 as the team eclipsed 12 or 13 school records that season. Yuhashi led Oregon to a two-year record of 27-2 as the Ducks finished third in the NCAA championships in 1980 and fifth in 1981.
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Title Annotation:Football Oregon
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Oct 17, 2007
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