Franklin High School has a long and storied athletic tradition, but here’s the question: Who is the most significant athletic figure in the institution’s history?
By David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman
At the suggestion of Kenny Alhadeff, the only individual in Washington state history to win a Breeders’ Cup race (Margo’s Gift, Monmouth Park, 2007) and a Tony Award (Memphis, Best Musical, 2010), Wayback Machine today will begin a series of periodic looks at Seattle-area high schools in order to identify the most significant athletic figure in each institution’s history.
That individual could be an athlete, coach, administrator, mover-and-shaker at large, or even a sports journalist (slap forehead here). The only qualifier: the school must have a half dozen or more distinguished sports graduates.
Spokane’s Gonzaga Prep certainly qualifies, counting among its alums a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in former NFL coach Ray Flaherty, and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame in John Stockton. Garfield, having graduated Olympic gold medal skier Debbie Armstrong and basketball star Brandon Roy, among a plethora, is another.
But today: Franklin High, Seattle’s second purpose-built high school following Seattle (or Broadway) High School, razed in 1974, making Franklin the oldest operating high school in the city.
Franklin opened its doors in September 1912. Designed by architect Edgar Blair in a neo-Classical style and constructed of reinforced concrete, the school first was sited on 2.2 acres. The campus eventually grew to 10.6 acres in 1925 and to 12.7 in 1942.
Franklin has dispatched an amazing array of individuals into the world, including Nobel Prize winner George Herbert Hitchings (medicine), former state governor Gary Locke, comedian John Keister, prominent journalists Royal Brougham and Emmett Watson, and jazz musician Kenny G.
John Edmondson Prim (1898-61) was the first African-American to serve as deputy prosecuting attorney for King County (1943-51), the first African-American judge in the state and one of the founders of the Seattle Urban League.
Renowned architect Victor Steinbrueck contributed to the design of the Space Needle and helped preserve many of Seattle’s historical landmarks, including the Pike Place Market.
Dr. William Hutchinson founded the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the aforementioned Kenny Alhadeff, whose family once owned and operated Longacres, is prominent in musical theater, and Scott Oki played a prominent role in Microsoft’s rapid domestic growth in the 1980s.
The Seattle School Board nearly tore down Franklin in 1986, but wiser heads on the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board intervened, preventing demolition. The good news for Quakers basketball fans: Jason Terry came along a decade later and led Franklin to back-to-back state championships.
Franklin teams and individuals have excelled in many sports, but boys basketball has traditionally been Franklin’s dominant and most prominent program, the Quakers winning state titles in 1954, 1994-95, 2003, 2006 and 2009.
The following, listed alphabetically, constitute the most decorated of Franklin alums whose careers were largely, if not entirely, sports-based. At the end of this Wayback Machine, we’d like you to submit your choice for the most prominent and then leave a comment explaining your reasoning.
Mario Bailey (football): After making All-State as a receiver at Franklin (he also starred in basketball), Bailey enjoyed a record-breaking career for the Washington Huskies from 1989 to 1991, and played a key role on Washington’s co-national champions as a senior. Bailey still holds Husky records for touchdowns in a season (18) and career (30) and for many years shared the mark for touchdowns in a game (3).
Drafted by the Houston Oilers, Bailey didn’t have much of an NFL career, but during his tenure with the Frankfurt Galaxy (1995-00), Bailey became NFL Europe’s all-time leading receiver. He also played in the XFL with the Orlando Rage and in the Arena League with the Detroit Fury.
Royal Brougham (journalist): After giving Franklin its “Quaker” nickname in 1920, Brougham joined the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as a copy boy/cub reporter. For the next 68 years, Brougham ruled as one of the most celebrated, controversial and powerful journalists in the city, sports or otherwise.
He counted among his friends Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, Babe Didrickson, Jesse Owens and Bobby Jones, frequently bringing them and stars of their ilk to Seattle to participate in his ventures.
“People forget that Royal was once one of the most powerful men in the state,” Franklin grad Emmett Watson quoted a former Brougham colleague as saying following Brougham’s death in 1978. “Not just in sports, in any field. He used this power judiciously.
“And that is how he was able to raise enormous sums of money for charities, servicemen’s recreations; how he could cajole and shame the citizens of Seattle into desegregating lily-white golf courses and bowling alleys. His power translated into a better break for Japanese after World War II. He demanded ‘living memorials’ in the form of playfields to remember military dead, instead of statues of some guy sitting on an iron horse.”
Seattle’s “First Citizen” in 1946, Brougham created the Man (now Star) of the Year awards program in 1935. A street in the SoDo district near CenturyLink and Safeco Field bears his name.
Bruno Boin (basketball):The 6-foot-8 Boin directed Franklin to a state title in 1954 and then played for the Huskies from 1956-57 and in 1959. Boin made third-team All-America, All-Pacific Coast Conference second-team and All-District 8 first team in 1959.
Boin twice captained the Huskies while averaging 17.1 points and 10.5 rebounds in three varsity seasons. Selected by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1959 NBA draft, Boin opted not to play professionally due to back problems.
The Huskies inducted Boin in their Hall of Fame in 1992. He is also a member of the school’s All-Century Team.
Aaron Brooks (basketball): As a high school senior, Brooks averaged 24.3 points, 7.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists and capped his prep career by leading Franklin to the 2003 4A State Championship.
In a memorable title game featuring two future college stars, the McDonald’s All-America selection scored 38 points in leading Franklin to a 67-55 win over Mead (Adam Morrison scored 37 in the loss).
After a four-year career at the University of Oregon (2003-07), Brooks went to the Houston Rockets with the 26th overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. He averaged 11.6 points and 3.4 assists in five pro seasons with the Rockets, Suns and Kings. His top honor came in 2009 when he was selected the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
Corey Dillon (football): A Parade All-America and Best In The West choice while at Franklin, Dillon played one year (1995) at Dixie State College in Utah before enrolling at Washington in 1996, when he set school single-season records for yards (1,695) and touchdowns (24).
In the first quarter of a Nov. 16 game against San Jose State, Dillon rushed for an NCAA record 222 yards and set another national mark with 309 all-purpose yards – all in the first quarter.
In his NFL career with Cincinnati and New England (1997-03), Dillon ran for 11,241 yards and 82 touchdowns and made four Pro Bowls. On Oct. 22, 2000, Dillon set an NFL record for most rushing yards in a game (278 against the Denver Broncos), breaking Walter Payton’s single-game mark of 275 yards set Nov. 20, 1977 (Dillon’s record has since been broken).
James Hasty (football): After starring at Franklin, Hasty accepted a scholarship to Washington State, where he was a decorated cornerback. A third-round pick (74th overall) by the New York Jets in 1988, Hasty also played for the Kansas City Chiefs (1995-00) and Oakland Raiders (2001). He made two Pro Bowls and was named first-team All-Pro in 1997.
Fred Hutchinson (baseball): A star pitcher for the Quakers, Hutchinson sealed his local celebrity in 1938 when he went 25-7 for Emil Sick’s Seattle Rainiers, most famously winning his 19th game on his 19th birthday (Aug. 12) in front of 16,000 fans at Sicks’ Stadium.
Hutchinson toiled for the Detroit Tigers for 10 years, winning 95 games, and pitched in the 1951 All-Star Game. He later managed the Tigers (1952-54), St. Louis Cardinals (1956-58) and Cincinnati Reds (1959-64), and had two stints as manager of the Rainiers, whom he led to a Pacific Coast League championship in 1955.
The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is named in his honor, as is the Hutch Award, created in 1965 to salute Hutchinson’s “courage, inspiration and determination” in his battle with cancer.
Bruce Jarvis (football): Capping a football career that took him from Franklin to the Washington Huskies and ultimately to the Buffalo Bills, Jarvis was an original member of “The Electric Company,” the center for an NFL offensive line so christened because it opened up huge holes for O.J. Simpson.
Along with guards Joe DeLamielleure and Reggie McKenzie and tackles Donnie Green and Dave Foley, Jarvis was a key in “turning on the Juice” and escorting Simpson to a then NFL-record 2,003 rushing yards over 14 games in 1973.
Jarvis had a four-year career in the NFL (1971-74) after entering the league as a third-round draft choice.
Trent Johnson (basketball): After graduating in 1974, Johnson played four years at Boise State and got his first coaching job at Boise High in 1980. From 1986-99, he served as an assistant at Utah (1986-89), Washington (1989-92), Rice (1992-96) and Stanford (1996-99) before taking the head job at Nevada.
Johnson led the Wolfpack to a pair of upset wins in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, subsequently led Stanford to three NCAA T0urnament appearances, and was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2008. Johnson became the first African American to coach a men’s sports team at LSU in 2008 and, after four years with the Tigers, moved to Texas Christian. His overall record is 237-205.
Ronald & Cynthia Kauffman (figure skating): Brother and sister won four consecutive U.S. Figure Skating Championships from 1966-69, captured two North American Championships (1967, 1969) competed in two Olympic Games (1964, 1968) and were inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1995.
The Kauffmans also competed in six World Championships, where they won three consecutive bronze medals from 1966-68. The Kauffmans were the first pair to perform a throw Axel jump.
James McCurdy, 1941 (football): A football star at Franklin, McCurdy enrolled at the University of Washington, where he became an All-Coast guard and such a prominent contributor to Washington’s 1944 Rose Bowl team that the Post-Intelligencer made him its 1944 Man of the Year.
After graduation, McCurdy became chairman of Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Co., purchased by Lockheed in 1959. While working at Lockheed, McCurdy served as president of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, and the Rainier Club. After twenty-seven years with Lockheed, he retired as chairman of the board.
Terry Metcalf (football): The Franklin running back attended Long Beach State University, entered the NFL as a third-round draft choice by the Cardinals in 1973, and had a six-year career during which he made three Pro Bowl squads (1974, 1975, 1977).
Pro Football Weekly named Metcalf first-team All-Pro in 1975, after he set a then-league record for combined yards with 2,462 and became the first player in league history to average at least 30 yards on kickoff returns and 10 on punt returns (Joshua Cribbs of Cleveland did not become the second player to match that statistical feat until 2007).
For the first four years of Metcalf’s career, which later included stints with the Toronto Argonauts (1978-80) of the Canadian Football League and Washington Redskins (1981), he played under Seattle native Don Coryell.
Metcalf’s son, Eric, although not a Franklin graduate (attended O’Dea), also had a notable athletic career. After starring at Texas in football and track and field (long jumped 27-8¼ to win the USA Outdoor title in 1988), Eric played in the NFL from 1989-02 with Cleveland, Atlanta, San Diego, Arizona, Carolina, Washington and Green Bay. He made three Pro Bowls and scored 55 career touchdowns.
Rick Noji (track): At Franklin, Noji developed into one of the best high school track and field athletes in state history. In 1984, competing in the Metro League Championships, Noji established the state high jump record at 7-4½, still the record.
In the 1985 state meet, Noji won the high jump at 7-0, the long jump at 23-1¼ and the 200 meters in 21.52. Noji made All-America six times while competing for the University of Washington, won a Pac-10 title, finished second in the NCAA Indoor Championships and third in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Noji holds the University of Washington high jump record at 7-6 and was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1999.
During his international career, Noji competed in three World Championships (1991, 1993 and 1995) and four U.S. Olympic Trials (1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996). When Noji established his personal best of 7-7 in 1992, he soared 23 inches above his 5-foot-8 height, the No. 2 all-time mark for height-over-head ratio.
Aaron Pierce (football): After graduating from Franklin, Pierce started at tight end for two years for the Washington Huskies and became one of the key operatives on the UW’s co-national championship team in 1991. Selected in the third round of the 1992 NFL draft by the New York Giants, he played seven seasons encompassing 82 games.
Ron Santo, 1958 (baseball): A one-time Sicks’ Stadium batboy, Santo grew up in the shadow of the ballpark and went on to play in the major leagues for 15 seasons, all but the last with the Chicago Cubs.
The best third baseman of his era, Santo made nine National League All-Star teams, won five Gold Gloves and hit 342 home runs. Santo also led the National League in walks four times, in on-base percentage twice and triples once. He is also the only third baseman in major league history to post eight consecutive seasons with at least 90 RBIs.
The first National League player to wear a batting helmet with ear flaps, Santo’s No. 10 is retired by the Cubs. He managed to achieve all this after being diagnosed with diabetes at 20. Santo entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012, slightly more than a year after his death.
Peyton Siva (basketball): Siva helped Franklin win the state 4A Championship as a freshman in 2006 (averaged 13.5 points) and the 3A championship as a senior in 2009 (18.1 points, 5.3 assists). The state’s unanimous Player of the Year in 2009, Siva played four years at the University of Louisville. He was Big East Tournament MVP in 2012 and was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2013 NBA draft.
Dewey Soriano (baseball): After starring in baseball and basketball at Franklin, Soriano embarked upon a long and successful minor league career as a pitcher, retiring in 1951. But it was as a baseball executive that Soriano distinguished himself.
Soriano owned (and played for) the Yakima Bears of the Western International League, served as general manager of the Seattle Rainiers (1955-59) under Emil Sick, had an nine-year run (1960-68) as president of the Pacific Coast League, and was part of a group that brought Seattle’s first major league franchise, the Pilots, to the city.
Along with brother Max and Cleveland industrialist William Daly, Soriano owned and operated (as president) the Pilots in their only season in Seattle, 1969. When the club failed to generate sufficient fans and revenue, it went bankrupt, leading its move to Milwaukee.
Despite that setback, Soriano was so well thought of in baseball circles that several major league owners, including Gabe Paul of the Cleveland Indians, nominated him to become commissioner of baseball.
After leaving baseball, Soriano served two terms as president of the Puget Sound Pilots.
Brice Taylor (football): Born without a left hand and orphaned at age five, Taylor attended the University of Southern California after his Franklin days and became the school’s first All-America in 1925 (he played on the offensive line).
After his playing career, Taylor coached at Southern University from 1928-31, leading the Jaguars to an undefeated season in 1931. Following his athletic career, Taylor became a minister.
Jason Terry (basketball): Terry led Franklin to back-to-back state championships in 1994-95 and then enrolled at the University of Arizona, where he figured prominently in the Wildcats’ 1997 NCAA title.
Two years later, 1999, Terry won the Pac-10’s Player of the Year award and made consensus All-America.
Selected 10th overall in the 1999 NBA draft by Atlanta, Terry has also played for Dallas and the Boston Celtics. Terry, whose No. 31 is retired by Franklin, was the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2009 – the same year fellow Franklin alum Aaron Brooks was selected the league’s Most Improved Player.
Terry played a prominent role for the 2011 league champion Dallas Mavericks and in a May 8 playoff game that year tied the NBA record by making nine 3-pointers.
Al Ulbrickson Sr., 1921 (rowing): An avid oarsman, Ulbrickson literally rowed across Lake Washington from Mercer Island to attend school each day at Franklin. He came from a family of modest means, and while he never expected to go to college, it was his Franklin teachers who encouraged him to attend the University of Washington.
Ulbrickson graduated from the UW in business administration and went on to coach the rowing team for 31 years. He led the Huskies to six national titles and swept all three (varsity, junior varsity, freshman) championship races three times.
Ulbrickson’s pinnacle moment occurred in 1958 when his varsity eight upset Russia’s famed Trud Club in the first American sports event broadcast from the Soviet Union.
Ulbrickson was Seattle’s Man of the Year in 1936, inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1979, and was named by the Seattle Times as one of Seattle’s top twenty-five coaches of the 20th century.
Tony Zackery (Football): Zackery became a three-year starter at cornerback for the Washington Huskies (1986-88) and also excelled in track and field as a long jumper (his 24-7¼ in 1986 is still the No. 10 mark in school history). Zackery played for the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots following his Husky career.
Many of the historic images published on Sportspress Northwest are provided by resident Northwest sports history aficionado David Eskenazi. Check out David’s Wayback Machine Archive. David can be reached at (206) 441-1900, or at firstname.lastname@example.org