Arrow-right Camera
Sports >  Area sports

Locally: Former Washington State and NFL kicker Jason Hanson set for induction into College Football Hall of Fame

UPDATED: Sun., March 22, 2020

Former Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson appears at halftime during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 29, 2019, in Detroit. (Paul Sancya / AP)
Former Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson appears at halftime during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 29, 2019, in Detroit. (Paul Sancya / AP)
From staff and news services

Surreal is the word Jason Hanson used to describe his journey from walk-on kicker at Washington State to stepping onto the big stage in New York City.

The former Mead High School standout and WSU All-American has been named to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 and will be among 18 inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame on Dec. 8 at the New York Hilton.

“It’s kind of surreal to look back at what happened at Washington State and how much fun it was walking on there to now being in something so selective as the College Football Hall of Fame,” Hanson is quoted in the WSU release announcing his selection.

“It’s so special it’s almost overwhelming. It’s really cool.”

Hanson will become the fifth player and ninth Cougar overall inducted into the shrine. He’ll join players Glen “Turk” Edwards, Mel Hein, Rueben Mayes and Mike Utley, and coaches William “Lone Star” Dietz, Forest Evashevski, Dennis Erickson and Orin “Babe” Hollingbery.

“Jason Hanson epitomizes all that is good in college athletics,” WSU director of athletics Pat Chun said in the release. “Jason has earned this wonderful accomplishment.

“Congratulations to Jason and the Hanson family.”

Hanson was a four-time All-Pac-10 selection and a two-time first-team All-American, earning unanimous honors in 1989 as a kicker. As a senior in 1991, he was an All-American at punter and kicker. He holds numerous NCAA, conference and school records, including longest field goal without a tee (62 yards) and career field goals of 40 yards or more (39).

He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round in 1992 and played his entire 21-year career with the Lions, an NFL-record 333 games with the same team. He earned Pro Bowl honors twice. Upon his retirement, he held the NFL record for career 50-yard kicks (52) and continues to be the fourth-leading scorer in NFL history with 2,150 points.

He was named to the Pac-12 All-Century Team and the Detroit Lions’ 75th Season All-Time Team, as well as being inducted into the Lions’ Ring of Honor and WSU Athletics, State of Washington Sports, State of Michigan Sports and Inland Empire Sports halls of fame.

A three-time Academic All-American, he was inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame in 2018, the first WSU student-athlete to receive the honor. His senior season he was named a NFF Scholar-Athlete, one of only five in WSU history.

The second kicker to be inducted into the hall following Georgia’s Kevin Butler in 2001 is joined in the Class of 2020 by players Lomas Brown (Florida), Keith Byars (Ohio State), Eric Crouch (Nebraska), Eric Dickerson (SMU), Glenn Dorsey (LSU), Jumbo Elliott (Michigan), E.J. Henderson (Maryland), E.J. Junior (Alabama), Steve McNair (Alcorn State), Cade McNown (UCLA), Leslie O’Neal (Oklahoma State), Anthony Poindexter (Virginia), David Pollack (Georgia), Bob Stein (Minnesota), Michael Westbrook (Colorado), Elmo Wright (Houston) and coaches Dick Sheridan (Furman, N.C. State) and Andy Talley (St. Lawrence, N.Y.; Villanova).

College scene

Justin Martin, the 3-point scoring sensation from Spokane, has been named a 2019-20 NAIA Division II men’s basketball second-team All-American.

The Lewis and Clark graduate, a senior at Multnomah University in Portland, averaged 34.5 ppg to win his second Division II scoring championship. He scored a Division II single-game record 74 points on Jan. 11 and shot 43.9% from the field, 37.7% on 3s and 84.2% on free throws.

He averaged 31.8 ppg to win the 2018-19 title. Both figures are more than six points a game higher than the Division I scoring leaders.

The transfer from Wenatchee Valley College, where he played his first two collegiate seasons, received honorable mention on the 2018-19 NAIA Division II All-America team.

“Justin is the hardest-working player I have ever coached in my 27 years of coaching,” Multnomah’s Curt Bickley said. “The results have been fabulous.

“He is the perfect player for the (free-flowing) style of basketball we play at Multnomah. His fame is now nationwide, but he has stayed grounded through it all.”

And he was more than a scorer. Double- and triple-teamed much of the time, and with the Lions’ offense running through him, he got his teammates involved and averaged 5.0 assists a game this season, third best in the CCC.

Martin, selected to compete in the NABC 3-point shooting contest during the NAIA national championships this weekend in Kansas City, Kansas, that were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, finished his two years at Multnomah with 302 3-pointers in 55 games. Twice he had 15 in a game.

The two-time All-Cascade Collegiate Conference first-team selection scored 2,785 career points (1,823 at Multnomah, 962 at Wenatchee) and had two games of more than 70 points (74 and 71, 1-2 on the NAIA Division II list), two of more than 50 points and 17 of more than 40 at Multnomah.

Martin would like to play professionally. He got a taste of competition overseas in the spring of 2019 during the Multnomah basketball team’s 10-game trip to Taiwan.

Max McCullough, an Eastern Oregon junior guard from Post Falls who missed the 2018-19 season with an injury, received honorable mention on the 2019-20 NAIA Division II All-America team. He was a third-team All-American in 2017-18.

McCullough was first-team All-Cascade College Conference after he started all 31 games for the Mountaineers and averaged a team-leading 35.6 minutes a game. He also had team-leading figures of 19.6 ppg, which ranked third in the conference, and 125 assists.

• The honors keep coming for Whitworth senior guard Ben College, who was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches Division III third-team All-American on the heels of conference, regional and other national honors.

College, the Northwest Conference Player of the Year and scoring champion, was named first-team All-West Region by the NABC and D3hoops.com and is a 2020 Jostens Trophy finalist and on the Top 25 watch list for the 2020 Bevo Francis award.

He’s also a 2020 CoSIDA third-team Academic All-American with a 3.62 GPA spring semester.

College, second-team all-region by D3hoops.com in 2019, averaged 22.9 ppg and also led the NWC (and was second in the nation) in free-throw percentage (91.6). He is the third player in Whitworth history to surpass 1,800 career points, finishing with 1,863, second all time.

• Whitworth’s first-year head coach, Damion Jablonski, who guided the Pirates to a 23-6 record, a share of the NWC regular-season championship and into the Round of 16 in the NCAA Division III tournament, was named D3hoops.com West Region Coach of the Year.

An eight-year assistant before being elevated to head coach, he became the first Pirates men’s coach to end the year with a victory in the postseason after Whitworth won its first- and second-round games before the tournament was canceled by the coronavirus outbreak.

• Forward Mason Peatling, an Eastern Washington graduate student with a 4.0 GPA in business administration, was named to the Division I Men’s Basketball Academic All-America first team by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

The Big Sky MVP after leading the Eagles to the conference championship while averaging a double-double (18.5 pps, 10.4 rpg), he received his undergraduate degree in finance with a 3.89 GPA.

Shamrock Campbell, a Carroll College sophomore guard from Ferris, received a couple of honors when 2019-20 Frontier Conference men’s basketball honors were passed out.

Campbell, who started all 33 games and led the Fighting Saints in minutes played (36.4 average) and averaged 10.3 points, was named to the All-Frontier honorable mention list and was the school’s Champions of Character recipient.

Trystan Bradley, a Lewis-Clark State junior from Lewiston, was second-team all-conference.

Malachi Flynn, a junior who played his first two years at Washington State before transferring to San Diego State, received an armload of honors in his first season of eligibility with the Aztecs.

The Mountain West Conference Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, who averaged 17.6 points, 5.1 assists and 4.4 rebounds, was named to five All-America teams, including two first-team honors.

Sienna Swannack, a Carroll College sophomore from Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and Gracey Meyer, a Montana Western freshman from Moscow, received honorable mention on the All-Frontier Conference women’s basketball team.

Swannack was third on the Fighting Saints in scoring (9.4 ppg) and second in minutes played (27.9 average), and Meyer averaged 9.6 ppg for the Bulldogs.

Cameron Cady, a sophomore from Lewiston, received the University of Providence Champions of Character award.

• Eastern Washington sophomore center Bella Cravens, who led the Big Sky Conference in rebounding with an 8.5 average, received honorable mention on the 2019-20 All-Big Sky Women’s Basketball Team. She averaged 10.4 points and her 1.7 blocked shots a game ranked fourth in the league.

• Idaho junior Natalie Klinker earned the first Big Sky Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week award of her career after shooting 10 of 11 from the field and averaging 11.5 points while and 9.5 rebounds in Vandals wins in the final two games of the regular season.

• Freshman Jenna Dick and sophomore Kim Aiken Jr. are the Eastern Washington Scholar-Athletes for the month of February after impressive performances on the basketball court.

Dick, who has a 3.56 GPA, started all 10 games in the month, twice turning in 40-minute efforts, and averaged 12.2 ppg. The 3-point sharpshooter had a career-high 28 points against Sacramento State in which she was 8 for 8 behind the arc, and finished her freshman campaign with 70 3-pointers, most by a freshman and fourth in program history.

Aiken, a political science major with a 3.35 GPA, averaged 9.9 ppg and 8.7 rpg in February. He averaged nearly a double-double (13.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg) for the season and earned third team All-Big Sky Conference. He led the Big Sky with 8.2 defensive rebounds per game (which is among the national leaders), and in steals (1.74) and was top five in scoring and 3-pointers (2.3).

Daniel Roy, a Stanford sophomore from Gonzaga Prep, placed second in the men’s 200-yard breaststroke at the Pac-12 Swimming & Diving Championships March 7 in Federal Way, Washington, clocking 1 minute, 53.06 seconds behind the 1:49.85 of winner Reece Whitley, a California sophomore.

It qualified Roy for a repeat trip to the NCAA Championships, where he placed 12th in the 200 breast as a freshman to earn All-America honors, but they were canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hannah Pukis, a redshirt freshman setter at Washington State, was one of 28 players chosen for the U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Volleyball Team-Anaheim following tryouts in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The team will train side by side with the U.S. Women’s National Team in Anaheim, California, June 21-27 during final preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

• Washington State sophomore Kyle Manzardo became the first Cougar since 2016 to be named Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Week when he was honored for the week ending March 8.

The first baseman hit .556 (10 of 18) with nine RBIs, 11 runs scored, two doubles and two home runs with a 1.000 slugging percentage during a four-game sweep of Niagara in Pullman.

• Redshirt freshman catcher Stephen Lund of Gonzaga was named the West Coast Conference Baseball Position Player of the Week after he went 4 for 6 with three doubles, six RBIs and a run scored in a 15-3 win over Washington State on March 10.

• The Gonzaga duo of senior Kate Ketels and sophomore Vlada Medvedcova received the final West Coast Conference’s Women’s Tennis Doubles Team of the Week honor for the shortened 2020 season after they won the doubles point that was decisive for the Bulldogs’ 4-3 victory over Florida Gulf Coast.

• Gonzaga also picked up the final WCC Men’s Tennis Doubles Team of the Week for 2020 when senior Sam Feit and freshman Matthew Hollingworth were honored for a 6-4 win at No. 1 in the Bulldogs’ 4-2 victory at Fresno State.

• Eastern Washington senior Madalyn Ardueser, who shot a 2-under-par 70 to lead the field of 72 in the only round played in the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational in Farmington, Utah, on March 12 before it was canceled by the coronavirus outbreak, received her third Big Sky Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week honor of the season and her career.

• Idaho junior Valeria Patino was the Big Sky Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week for the second time in her career after shooting a 5-over 221 and tying for seventh at the BYU at Entrada Classic in St. George, Utah, March 8-9. Her third-round 70 tied for third-best score of the tournament.

• Sophomore Lauren Burckel shaved 32-hundredths of a second off her prelim time, clocking 28.52 seconds for a second-place finish in the women’s 50-yard breaststroke and the best individual finish for Washington State at the College Swimming Coaches Association of America National Invitational last weekend in Cleveland.

• Following the lead of other area conferences in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the Northwest Conference President’s Council announced it will cancel all spring sports competition and NWAC Championship events.

Football

Brian Taylor, a native of Lewiston who has been College of Idaho’s wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator the past four seasons, has been promoted to offensive coordinator and will assume the role of quarterbacks coach. He was a four-year letterman at Pacific University.

Golf

Robert Bass used a 6-iron to score a hole-in-one on the 167-yard third hole at Trailhead Golf Club at Liberty Lake on March 6.

Hockey

Lukas Parik’s historic final game of the coronavirus-shortened 2019-20 Western Hockey League season earned the Spokane Chiefs’ netminder the WHL Eli Wilson Goaltending Goaltender of the Week award for the week ending March 15.

The Los Angeles Kings prospect made 36 saves in a 3-0 shutout of the B.C. Division champion Kamloops Blazers and scored the game’s final goal, becoming the ninth goalie in WHL history to score a goal and the only one to do it while recording a shutout.

It was Parik’s first shutout after seven one-goal games while compiling a 22-7-2-0 record. He won his last seven games and compiled a 2.73 GAA and .917 save percentage for the year.

The win over Kamloops was Spokane’s 10th in a row and boosted the Chiefs into 10th in the CHL Top 10 Rankings with a 41-18-4-1 record for 87 points and third place in the U.S. Division.

Postponements

Eastern Washington University’s 39th annual Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction fundraiser, which had been scheduled for April 18, and the Eagles’ annual Red-White Spring Football Scrimmage, set for April 24, have been postponed and will be rescheduled if possible.

The release from the EWU athletic department reads: “Once we have a better understanding about the pace of the COVID-19 pandemic, potential dates will be evaluated for both events.”

• The inaugural Big Sky Conference Hall of Fame induction ceremony, scheduled for March 14 in Boise that includes former Idaho football standout John Friesz from Coeur d’Alene and Jack Friel, the first Big Sky commissioner and a former Washington State men’s basketball coach, will be rescheduled.

• The Spokane Bike Swap, which had been set for April 18 at the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center, is rescheduling and looking for new dates. Organizers announced they are looking for a time in June.

Running

Bill Misner of Spokane reported that he has received three Masters Track & Field All-America Awards for performances dating to 2016.

Misner, 80, received one for a gold medal he won in the men’s 1,500 meters at the 2019 U.S. National Golden Age Games in Anchorage, Alaska, on June 9, 2019.

The other two were retroactive for gold medals he won in the 2016 U.S. National Golden Age Games in Detroit. He was ranked 15th in the country in the 75-79 age group 1,500.

From 1989, Misner has received 18 All-America honors based on performances in the top 5% in the U.S. and has won 12 USA National Masters Championship gold medals.

Volleyball

Brittany Tilleman, a former Lake City High School and North Idaho College star, who grew up in a volleyball family and was coach of the sophomore team and an assistant at Hellgate High School in Missoula in 2019, has been named the new head volleyball coach of the Knights.

As Brittany Gay – she’s married to former University of Montana football player Reggie Tilleman – the setter was the 2016 NWAC Eastern Region Most Valuable Player at NIC and an American Volleyball Coaches Association second-team All-American for two-year colleges.

Tilleman, 23, started playing in second grade in her native Eugene before the family moved to Coeur d’Alene.

Her mother coached at the club, high school and college levels, and Tillman coached at the club level during her college career at NIC and Montana. She graduated from Montana in 2019 and was named the team’s most inspirational player as a senior.

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.