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Then and Now: Gonzaga’s former football stadium

Football stadium used to be focal point

In the photo above, Gonzaga University’s football stadium dominates the east side of the campus. Before World War II, the university had a pretty good run as a football school. In 1920, the Jesuit school hired Gus Dorais, a legendary Notre Dame quarterback, to coach the team, especially to compete against Washington State College of Pullman. In 1922, a football stadium was built on campus. The 11,000 seats were at capacity for the WSC game. A sports writer is said to have written the Gonzaga men played like “bulldogs,” which eventually became the school’s mascot. The 1924 team sent four to the professional football league, including Houston Stockton, the grandfather of NBA great John Stockton and great-grandfather of David Stockton, current Gonzaga guard. When World War II started, football was put on hold. The last game was a 59-0 loss to Washington State in 1941. After the war, football was forgotten, and the stadium seating was demolished in 1949. Today, the Foley Center, a library, takes up much of the location of the old field. Web extra: Find historic photos and present-day comparisons at spokesman.com/then-and-now. Jesse Tinsley

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