State Senate recognizes 99th anniversary of WSU football championship

State Senate recognizes 99th anniversary of WSU football championship
Washington State University head football coach Mike Leach and Sen. Michael Baumgartner came together in Olympia Friday to honor WSU's 1915-1916 national champion football team. (Courtesy: Washington State Legislature)
6TH LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT NEWS RELEASE -- Sen. Michael Baumgartner stood proudly in the Senate chamber today and extolled the finer characteristics of one of his alma mater’s most victorious sporting years via Senate Resolution 8715, sponsored by Baumgartner. In 1915, the then-Washington State College football team finished their season with a perfect record, defeated Brown College 14-0 to win the Tournament of Roses championship game (now the Rose Bowl) and allowed but a single opponent touchdown all year.

“The 1915-1916 WSC football team was the first West Coast team to go undefeated and win a Rose Bowl and a National Championship,” said Baumgartner, R-Spokane, “giving Washington State the oldest winning tradition on the West Coast.”

Baumgartner added that the national anticipation for the 1916 Tournament of Roses championship game helped cement America’s long-standing devotion to college football and put an end to previously-celebrated Tournament of Roses events in Pasadena such as ostrich races, polo matches and chariot races. Hollywood eventually made a movie about Cougar Quarterback Thomas Arthur “Bull” Durham, who also served the country in the United States Navy.

“It was great to have Coach Leach here today speaking to the Senate to help celebrate great cougar tradition. Go Cougs!” added Baumgartner.

Baumgartner graduated from WSU in 1999 with a degree in economics. While at WSU he was named a Foley Scholar and a Stephenson Scholar.