Football has been a vital part in Pacific’s history since 1891. Back when the football players wore caps instead of helmets and played on sometimes mud fields, football has changed quite drastically in the 124 years that it has been around at Pacific.
With the recently built Hanson Stadium, Stanich and Phillips Scoreboard and the turf field, the Boxers have excellent facilities to be able to show off their talents.
During Homecoming 2015 alumni who graduated from Pacific in 1965 will be inducted into the Golden Guard that celebrates their 50th anniversary of their graduation.
For those alumni football was very different from where it is today. There were only about 20 members on the team compared to the 98 that are on the roster for the 2015 season.
Although tailgating is new to Pacific and was only introduced after football returned, during past homecoming celebrations there was the tradition of the bonfire where the freshman class, who would wear beanies to mark their freshman status, would build a large triangle shaped burn pile and guard it from rival Linfield College.
If they succeeded in keeping Linfield students from dismantling the bonfire, the freshmen were allowed to take off their beanies.
And the bonfire would then be lit to celebrate Homecoming. In the year 1965, the school mascot was not the Boxer as it is now, but it was Benny the badger.
The Badgers were known for their strength and prowess and famous football coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the inventor of the T-formation was a Badger football coach.
Also in the early 1960’s the Dallas Cowboys decided to hold their summer training at the Pacific University facilities.
Despite its well known history, in 1991 after a fatal head injury during a game, a 2:1 majority vote by the faculty and then University President Robert Duvall’s approval, football was no longer played at Pacific University. It went on a 21 year hiatus until it was brought back for the 2012 season with the new Coach Keith Buckley.
Although many alumni were hurt by the removal of football, when it was brought back it helped to reunite old friends.For Bob Iboshi ’65 he hadn’t attended any football games since he graduated until football returned to campus.
Since then he has been an active member in the football alumni community and gets together with other football alumni every year.
“We get together with old players every year and this year new players stopped by and we were very impressed with their character,” said Iboshi. Of the new team, Iboshi said, “Coach Buckley has done a good job with the team.
They are all dedicated, have good character, smart and that is really good for Pacific. [He has] developed a character building program.”
With the many changes the football has seen through the years, it has evolved to be one of Pacific’s sources of pride and will do so for many upcoming seasons.