His statue sits in front of Husky stadium. I pass by it every time I’d go to a Husky football, which in recent years, hasn’t been that easy.
But I suppose he was a fitting reminder of when I first arrived at the University of Washington. As a freshman in 1973, when $50 would get a student a whole season’s worth of football, I remembered being stunned by protesting students standing outside of Husky stadium with signs that said, “Fire Jim Owens”. It blew me away that people were THAT upset about their head football coach. I mean, complain about him in the sports section, call up a radio station after the game and criticize the play calls…but to stand out in front of that hallowed ground and openly call for his dismissal?
Well, after that season, he was fired…and replaced with some guy from Miami of Ohio called Don James.
Jim Owens gave a previous generation of Husky fans quite a thrill in the early 60s with 3 Rose Bowl appearances.
The last time he left us, better days were ahead. Let’s hope history repeats itself.
Thanks for all you did, coach.