BY SPNW Staff 01:44PM 08/10/2013

Steve Emtman, Bob Walsh Voted To State HOF

Steve Emtman and Bob Walsh will be inducted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame Aug. 24 prior to the Angels-Mariners game at Safeco Field.

Steve Emtman won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1991. He will enter the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame Aug. 24 along with Seattle promoter Bob Walsh. / State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame

Former University of Washington defensive lineman Steve Emtman, the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award winner who helped lead the Huskies to the 1991 co-national championship, and sports promoter Bob Walsh have been voted into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies are Aug. 24 at Safeco Field prior to the Angels-Mariners game.

Considered the greatest defensive lineman in UW history, and one of the best in college football annals, Emtman was a two-time All-America selection and the 1991 United Press International Lineman of the Year when the Huskies were voted No. 1 in the USA Today/Coaches poll.


Bob Walsh

The Cheney, WA., native, virtually unblockable in college, subsequently became the first Husky selected No. 1 overall in the National Football League draft. He played parts of six seasons with Indianapolis, Miami and Washington before injuries ended his career.      

Walsh arrived in Seattle in 1973 as Bill Russell’s choice to serve as assistant general manager of the Sonics. After Russell left the franchise, Walsh worked in athletic representation (he was the agent for Steve Largent and Jim Zorn), and then moved into events production.

Starting in the early 1980s, Walsh and his company, Bob Walsh and Associates, brought to Seattle dozens of national and international sporting events, including the 1987 NBA All-Star Game and three NCAA Final Fours, held in the Kingdome in 1984, 1989 and 1995.

Walsh is perhaps best known as procurer and promoter of his signature achievement, the 1990 Goodwill Games, an Olympics-style competition held in Seattle and Tacoma.

Disclosure: Walsh is a member of the board of directors of Sportspress Northwest.

The Goodwill Games attracted athletes from 54 nations who competed in 23 sports. The Games’ legacy includes the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.

The Washington Sports Hall of Fame was started by sportscaster Clay Huntington of Tacoma in 1960. The entries of Emtman and Walsh will bring the total of inductees to 181. The Hall is in the Tacoma Dome.


  • jafabian

    Washington state could really use someone like Bob Walsh right now. There are so many national and international events that would do well in the Evergreen State but simply never happen. Even with the Kingdome gone there are still venues that could hose NCAA semi-finals and with a good pitch the Tacoma Dome might be able to host a Final Four. Golf tournaments, boxing events, track and field, so much potential. If British Columbia can host an Olympics I’d like to think that so could Washington state. But there doesn’t seem to be anyone willing to take up the torch that Walsh carried.

    • steverudman

      Fact of the matter is, there are people who are willing, but THEY DON’T KNOW HOW IT’S DONE. It takes political skill and all kinds of inside connections to draw the kind of events you mention, and no one presently aside from Bob has that. It also takes money to bid on these events and nobody wants to spend. Bob had an organization that could make these events happen, but the City of Seattle, especially, stripped him of his ability to operate. As a consequence, the events go elsewhere.

      • jafabian

        I think the fact that Seattle no longer hosts high profile sporting events played a role, a small one but still, in the NBA being willing to move the Sonics to OKC.