I was sitting in the office of then Southern Oregon University Sports Information Director Rich Rosenthal when he planted a seed.
"You should write a book."
Me? Write a book? At the time, I was gathering tidbits of historical information for Rich to put in the annual media guides he produced. From the time Rich arrived in 1994, he was putting together award-winning programs. The problem was, there was not a lot of historical information on the football program. When I approached Rich about some credit hours and he sent me out to collect this data, I don't think either of us knew how much I would actually gather. Nor did we know how great the story was.
The football program in its current state began in 1927. There was a break between 1938 to 1945, and again in 2020, and there was football at the old Southern Oregon State Normal School between 1896 to 1909, but for all intents and purposes, in October 2027, the program will turn 100. If we wanted to get technical, SOU is celebrating 150 years this year even though the school in its current state was built in 1926, I could say the 100th anniversary was in 1996. Ironically, that was my last year playing football at SOU. The fact is, I am documenting the entire history because there was a football program for 13 years. Heck, they even played the University of Oregon in 1899 and 1900 and the Ducks list those games in their media guide. Shouldn't I?
Hours of research and interviews granted me access to unbelievable stories. I consider myself an SOU football guru, which meant it was my duty to tell the story. When I began the writing process in April 2020, it seemed surreal. When it was finally ready to go in to the publisher in August 2022, I could not believe it. And of course when the book came in the mail and I held it, 25 years of work manifested itself in 394 pages. Writing a book is no joke. It's no joke. Authors will tell you that it requires not just patience, but drive. I had to get up every day, clear my head, get my notes and then get motivated. The book pretty much wrote itself, but it still required someone to type in the words.
I consider this book as one of my greatest accomplishments. Ever since Rich made that suggested in his office two decades ago, I have always pondered the idea. It was an honor to tell the story.
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