A few old Cougs putting 'skin in the game'


SEVEN FORMER Cougar football players scored again for Ol' Wazzu last year, donating at least $5,000 and as much as $20,000 each to the Cougar Athletic Fund, according to WSU records. And another 11 old crimson gridders donated $2,500 each.

The "Big Seven" were Jack Thompson (1975-78), Mike Dreyer (1984-85), Dr. Ed Tingstad (1986-88), Mike Utley (1985-88), Ron Hawkins (1989-90), Dan Lynch (1981-84) and Chad Eaton (1992-94).


Utley and Tingstad also are "benefactors" of the Cougar Athletic Fund, meaning their lifetime giving to the department totals somewhere between $100,000 and $1 million. Tingstad, by the way, is an orthopedic surgeon who also serves as WSU's team physician.

The group of 11 former WSU footballers who donated between $2,500 and $4,999 each in 2013 consists of ...

Chuck Beckel (1952-54), Brett Carolan (1990-93), Ron Claudon (1979), Brian Danaher (2007-09), Dr. Don Ellingsen (1956-58), Collin Henderson (1999-2002), Jerry Henderson (1966-68), Marv Nelson (1957-59), Matt Kegel (2000-02), Bill Moos (1970-72) and Robbie Tobeck (1991-92). Coach Mike Leach also donated at this level.

Like Tingstad and Utley, Ellingsen's lifetime giving also puts him in the "benefactor" category for Cougar athletics. In addition to those three, six other former WSU football players rank as benefactors for their generous lifetime giving to athletics: Steve Boots (1965-67), Drew Bledsoe (1990-92), Dick Farman (1936-38), Ryan Leaf (1995-97), Les Orr (1939) and Mark Rypien (1982-85). Three other CAF benefactors who didn't play football at WSU but are well known for their work in the world of sports are Keith Jackson, John Chaplin and Craig Ehlo. Jackson donated at least $50,000 to the CAF in 2013 alone.

Of note: CF.C did not research CAF records for former ballplayers who donated less than $2,500 to athletics in 2013. And while we can't be sure we haven't missed someone who should be listed above, we scoured the CAF's 2013 list of donors and the all-time football lettermen's list multiple times in an effort to be as accurate as possible.


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