Willamette's "Spec"


The guiding hand behind this - the 20th annual state high school basketball tournament - is a tall, quiet man that all tourney fans know, Willamette university's Roy "Spec" Keene.

"Spec" is director of the tournament - the man who receives no credit for what is done, and all the blame for whatever goes wrong.

But the name of Keene stands for much more than just that on the campus, in the capital city, and up and down the coast. "Spec" is the Bearcats' "fair-haired" boy - the man that made its athletic teams among the west's best.

The ex-Oregon State college star took over the coaching reigns at Willamette in 1926, when the Bearcat athletic rating was at rock bottom.

Today, after 13 years, his record runs like this - in football, six Pacific Northwest conference championships, including the present unbroken string of five straight; in basketball, six conference championships; in baseball, two conference championships and two straight state intercollegiate championships.

The brilliancy of Mentor Keene's record is even better shown by the games won and lost. In football, his conference elevens have piled up 47 wins against only 13 defeats. In all games, Bearcat teams coached by "Spec" have won 64 victories, compared to 39 defeats, 19 of which have come at the hands of Pacific Coast conference elevens.

In basketball, Keene's conference quintets have copped 80 decisions to only 24 for rivals. In baseball the record is 75 wins and 38 losses.

His players have won places on All-American, little All-American, All-Pacific Coast, All-Northwest conference and all-national all-star collegiate teams.

Truly "Spec" Keene is the one most responsible for the greatest string of athletic achievements in the history of Willamette, the west's oldest university.



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