The Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) Athletic Department recently announced its second year of the SPS Athletic Hall of Fame (AHoF) honoring outstanding SPS high school student-athletes, coaches, administrators and athletic community members.
For the second induction class, AHoF committee members researched and reviewed 139 years of SPS athletics and selected 14 names. These distinguished inductees are remarkable because of their athletic prowess and their leadership on and off the field/court. This year’s class represents many of the district’s 10 high schools and former high school, Lincoln.
This year’s inductees are:
Debbie Armstrong (Garfield ‛81) – Armstrong played basketball, volleyball, tennis and soccer for the Lady Bulldogs, where she earned most valuable player honors for soccer. She also went on to win the 1980 National Junior Title in the Giant Slalom. In addition, she was a member of three International Ski Federation (FIS) World Championship teams and two Olympic teams. She won a gold medal in the Giant Slalom at the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics, and was the national women’s giant slalom champion in 1987. She was inducted into US National Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.
Mario Bailey (Franklin ‛88) – Bailey was named first-team All-Metro wide receiver and first-team All-Metro basketball player as a senior for the Quakers. He later was named a first-team consensus All-American wide receiver for the University of Washington, as he helped lead Huskies to 12-0 record and co-national championship in 1991. He also earned conference co-offensive player of the year honors, and set Husky and Pac-10 record with 18 receiving touchdowns. Bailey was drafted into NFL by Houston Oilers and continued his football career internationally with NFL Europe, Canadian Football League (CFL), XFL, and Arena Football League (AFL), and NFL Europe, where he became all-time reception leader with NFL Europe. He was inducted into Husky Hall of Fame in 2014.
Don Coryell (Lincoln ‛43) – Coryell played tennis for the Lynx, and was named All-City football honorable mention as quarterback. He lettered as defensive back for the University of Washington. He served as the head football coach of San Diego State University for 12 years, and later coached 14 seasons in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers and St. Louis Cardinals. Known as the Innovator of modern passing game used in football today – often nicknamed “Air Coryell” or “Coryell offense” — Coryell earned 1974 NFL Coach of the Year and 1979 AFC Coach of the Year Honors. He was the first coach to win 100 games in college and professional football, and was inducted into the College Football and Chargers Halls of Fame.
Jamal Crawford (Rainier Beach ‛99) – Crawford was a two two-time All-State basketball guard, who led the Vikings to the 1998 state championship. He averaged 22.6 points per game as a senior and was named Parade Magazine’s 1999 All-American. Crawford, who currently plays with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, is a three-time recipient of NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year award, and has scored 50 points or more in a game for three professional teams. Crawford’s Jersey (number 23) has been retired by Rainier Beach, and the school’s basketball gym (Crawford Court) is named in his honor.
Tara Davis (Rainier Beach ‛90) – Davis was a four-year starter as an All-Metro basketball, soccer and track athlete. She led the Lady Vikings to the state basketball tournament for four consecutive seasons, won four individual track state titles for Rainier Beach and two group track state titles, led Rainier Beach to its only Metro League soccer title as a defender, and was named a Converse All-American her senior year. Davis played for the University of Washington on a basketball scholarship, and joined the track team senior year and won a Pac-10 title in long jump. She was a member of Seattle’s first women’s professional basketball franchise, the Seattle Reign, on its inaugural team, and moved to the New England Blizzard before playing internationally in Israel. She also is the first African-American woman to serve as an Assistant Director of Athletics for Seattle Public School District.
Corey Dillon (Franklin ‛93) – Dillon was an All-Metro running back, who was named Metro League Player of the Year in 1992. In addition, He was named Parade Magazine’s All-America running back. He was also an All-Metro outfielder selected by San Diego Padres in 1993 draft. Dillon earned College Sports Magazine’s Junior College Offensive Back of the Year award and played one football season for the University of Washington. He had a stellar 10-year NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots, and earned four Pro Bowl selections He is currently ranked 20th in the NFL’s all-time rushing list and was inducted into Dixie College Hall of Fame.
Carl Ervin (Cleveland ‛76) – Ervin was named a two-time All-State and All-Metro first-team point guard, who led Cleveland to two back-to-back state championships. He was a four-year starter for Seattle University and was named All Conference and team captain senior year. Ervin was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in 1980 and played two seasons with the Alberta Dusters of the Continental Basketball Association (CBA). Her served as an assistant basketball coach for Seattle University for 10 years, and was inducted into the Seattle University Hall of Fame.
Bruce Harrell (Garfield ‛76) – Harrell was named class valedictorian and football team captain as a senior. He received nine varsity letters, was a first-team All-Metro linebacker, and was the Bulldogs’ baseball and wrestling MVP. He was a starting linebacker for the University of Washington, a first-team Academic All-American and All-Pac-10 selection. He also led the Huskies in tackles as a senior, and won the Rose Bowl and Sun Bowl consecutively. Harrell has served as a Council member for the City of Seattle since 2007, received the 2008 UW Husky Legend award, and was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame as a college player.
George Irvine (Ballard ‛66) — Irvine played two years on Seattle’s All-City basketball team. He later became a three-year starter for University of Washington, was team captain, member of All-Pac-8 team, and leading scorer for Huskies as a junior and senior. He ranks fifth all-time points leader in UW history when he graduated, and his career scoring average still ranks seventh all-time. Irvine was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics, but joined the newly formed American Basketball Association (ABA) and had a 25-year career in the NBA as a coach, scout and executive.
Sheila Lambert (Chief Sealth ‛98) – Lambert was a two-time Metro League Player of the Year as a junior and senior, was named All-American by both USA Today and Parade Magazine, and set/tied eight state-tournament records. She was a two-time NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) first-team All-American, Player of the Year and Conference MVP. She also received the Big-12 Newcomer of the Year honors by both coaches and media while at Baylor University, was a two-time All-Big 12 first-team selection, and won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the best college player under 5’8”. Lambert played four seasons in the WNBA for the Charlotte Sting, Detroit Shock, and Houston Comets, and won a WNBA championship with the Detroit Shock. She is one of five Lady Bears to have their jersey (number 31) retired by Baylor University women’s basketball program.
Terry Metcalf (Franklin ‛69) – Metcalf was an All-Metro running back for Quakers junior and senior year, and earned two-time All-Metro honors in long jump, triple jump and high jump. In college, he was a two time All-Conference in both football and track freshman and sophomore year. He still holds the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC) record in long jump, and he led the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns while at Long Beach State University. Metcalf played six seasons in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskins. In 1975, he set and NFL record with 2,462 multi-purpose yards. He was the first established NFL star to continue career internationally with in the Canadian Football League (CFL), and was named a Five-time All-Pro (three years in the NFL and two years in the CFL).
Billy North (Garfield ‛66) – North played basketball for the Bulldogs and was an honorable-mention All-Metro selection as a second baseman. He played basketball two seasons at Central Washington State College (now Central Washington University), was a first-team NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) All-American in baseball as a junior, and was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 1969 major league draft. North played 11 seasons in MLB with the Chicago Cubs, Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. He was the first player in Oakland A’s history to serve as a designated hitter, recorded more putouts than any other professional outfielder from 1973 to1976, was the two-time American League leader in steals, and won two World Series championships with Oakland.
Sammy White (Lincoln ‛45) – White was a two-time first-team All-City catcher for the Lynx, and a first-team All-City basketball center as a senior, leading Lincoln to the state championship. He declined professional baseball offers after high school to attend the University of Washington, and was the Huskies’ leading hitter as a sophomore and junior. North led Washington to its first NCAA basketball tournament in 1948, and was selected to the All-West Team in 1949 by the National Association of Basketball coaches. He later declined professional basketball offer from the Minneapolis Lakers after college to continue his baseball career. He played with the Pacific Coast League’s Seattle Rainiers for three years, and had an 11-year career in the MLB with the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
Bill Wright (Franklin ‛54) – Wright was an All-City and All-State forward who led the Quakers to win their first state basketball title, and became Seattle’s Junior golf champion within a year of learning golf. He excelled in golf and basketball at Western Washington State College (now University). He won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Collegiate Individual Golf Championship in 1960, and was named NAIA All-American senior year. In his first United States Golf Association (USGA) competition, he became the First African American golfer to win a USGA title – the 1959 US Amateur Public Links Championship. North, a former member of the PGA Tour, Played in the 1966 US Open and qualified for five US Senior Opens. Wright was inducted into the Western Washington University, African American Golfers, PGA Southern California Section and Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s Halls of Fame.
The AHoF is dedicated to connecting and engaging the larger Seattle community with SPS athletics, to empower current students with a rich history, pride and local role models, and to encourage financial support of high school athletics.
The 2018 induction ceremony will take place on Feb. 15 at the Washington Athletic Club.