PULLMAN, Wash. — Six former and current Cougars were inducted into the Washington State University Athletic Hall of Fame during ceremonies set for February 15 at the Compton Union Building on the Pullman campus.
Scheduled for induction are the “Voice of the Cougars” Bob Robertson, long-time track and field coach and USA Olympic coach in 2000 John Chaplin, plus four former athletes. They are placekicker Jason Hanson, quarterback Drew Bledsoe, pitcher/slugger John Olerud, and middleblocker Sara Silvernail.
The addition of six new members brings to 99 the number of Cougar greats inducted since the charter class of 1978. Silvernail, Robertson and Olerud have confirmed they will be attending the induction, while Hanson will not be able to attend because of a prior commitment. Both Bledsoe and Chaplin are attempting to clear their calendar and attend the dinner.
The 2001-02 inductees are:
Drew Bledsoe – An All-American quarterback, playing for the Cougars 1990-92…lead WSU to its 1992 Copper Bowl victory over Utah; has been with the New England Patriots since being drafted in 1993;
John Chaplin – A record-setting sprinter at WSU 1960-63, he returned in 1968 as cross country coach and in 1973 was named track and field head coach…one of the most successful WSU coaches all-time…head coach of the USA track and field team at 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia;
Jason Hanson – Earned All-America honors for three years on the field and in the classroom, playing in 1988-91…has been with the Detroit Lions since being drafted in the spring of 1992;
John Olerud – College baseball’s national player of the year in 1988, then battled back from a brain hemorrhage to be drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1989 season…now a key member of the Seattle Mariner’s record-setting team of 2001…never played a day in the minor leagues;
Bob Robertson – Began broadcasting Cougar football in 1964…after three years away from the program, returned in 1972 and has been the voice of Cougar football since then…also broadcast WSU men’s basketball games until 1993;
Sarah Silvernail – The two-time All-American is the most honored volleyball player in Cougar history…as a senior she was named player of the year in the Pacific-10 Conference…she has played professionally in the USPV League and is currently playing in Switzerland.