Two ex-Seahawks, coach Mike Holmgren and RB Curt Warner, are among a class of eight elected to the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday. Also elected: Seahawks and Washington State coach Dennis Erickson, soccer goalkeeper Kasey Keller, Washington RB Joe Steele, Olympic skier Debbie Armstrong, pro basketball star Byron Beck and administrator Gary Wright.
“This is a second consecutive class that is bigger than usual,” said Marc Blau, executive director of the Hall of Fame. “The reason is simple – our statewide panel of voters felt that these inductees belong in the Hall and belong in it right now.”
Holmgren coached the Seahawks from 1999-08, won five division titles and took the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl following the 2005 season. He also had a long run run as head coach of the Green Bay Packers prior to joining the Seahawks.
An All-America selection at Penn State, Warner was Seattle’s first-round draft pick in 1983 and was the AFC’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, after rushing for 1,449 yards and 13 TDs. He played seven years, earning three Pro Bowl appearances. Warner, who scored 55 touchdowns, was inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor in 1994.
An Everett native, Erickson was coach of the year at three Pac-12 schools, Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona State, won two national championships at Miami, and coached the Seahawks (1995-98) and San Francisco 49ers. He has spent the past four years as an offensive assistant at Utah.
Keller graduated from North Thurston High School in Olympia and became one of the most successful U.S. soccer players in history. He was on four World Cup teams and played in the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga and in Spain’s La Liga.
Keller finished his career with the Seattle Sounders after earning 102 caps from international competitions.
Steele graduated from Bishop Blanchet High and set a number of rushing records for the Huskies in the late 1970s. He was a member of the 1978 UW team that upset Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
Armstrong, a multi-sport athlete at Garfield High School, was the upset winner in the giant slalom at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
Beck graduated from Kittitas High in 1963, played college basketball at the University of Denver and then played in both the ABA and NBA for the Denver Nuggets for 10 seasons.
Wright is so well-regarded that the press box at CenturyLink Field is named in his honor. Wright was a key member of the Seahawks organization for 32 years before becoming a senior vice-president with the Sounders in 2008. He still serves as a consultant to the soccer team.
Keller and Wright will be honored Aug. 20 during a Sounders game against Minnesota. Erickson will be recognized at the Washington State Cougars home opener Sept. 2 against Montana State. Warner, Holmgren, Armstrong, Steele and Beck will be inducted into the state HOF July 25 at Safeco Field prior to the Red Sox-Mariners game.