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WSU booster creates Steve Gleason Recruiting Center with major gift

Steve Gleason at the Glenn Osterhout Football Recruit Room Dedication. (Shelly Hanks / WSU Athletic Communications)
Steve Gleason at the Glenn Osterhout Football Recruit Room Dedication. (Shelly Hanks / WSU Athletic Communications)

Prominent Washington State booster Glenn Osterhout donated $250,000 to rename the football operation building’s penthouse recruiting center after Steve Gleason, the former Cougars football player and current ALS champion.

Gleason and his family joined Osterhout on Wednesday to christen the fifth-floor room, which is on the top floor of Washington State’s football operations building and overlooks Martin Stadium.

All the WSU football coaches attended the event, which was organized by former WSU quarterback Jason Gesser and associate director of athletics Bill Stevens.

“I am stoked to be a small part of this, thanks so much for including me,” said Gleason in a press release. “We need to thank Glenn Osterhout for providing the funding for the room and facility. Finally, I’d like to thank my man Jason Gesser for coordinating this. Pullman has been a big part of my development. I have amazing memories from my time here and I am excited I could be here in person today. Thanks again for including me. Go Cougs!”

Before Gleason became the foremost advocate for ALS awareness and research, he was a four-year starter for the Cougars and a prominent player for the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.

After Gleason was diagnosed with ALS at 34 he founded Team Gleason, an organization that has brought a great deal of attention to the previously little understood neuromuscular disease.

The documentary “Gleason,” which is in theaters now, earned rave reviews at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival.

Osterhout, who owns a wealth management firm in Bellevue, is a longtime financial supporter of WSU athletics and is the chairman and founder of CougsFirst, a non-profit that encourages alumni to buy goods and services from businesses owned by WSU graduates.

Osterhout said that he made the decision to make the gift a year ago, and wanted to contribute to the recruiting room so that future generations of WSU football players would be aware of Gleason and his impact far beyond the football field.

“He embodies what a Washington State Cougar is all about: tough-minded, hard worker,” Osterhout said. “If you talk to the guys who played with him, he brought it every day in the weight room and the practice field. He was relentless, smart and I think that’s the kind of young student-athlete who we want to come to WSU and be a part of the program.”

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