EUGENE, Ore. -- One of the most successful players both on the field and in the classroom in Pac-10 history, Bill Musgrave has been selected to receive the 2012 Leo Harris Award. And one of the most beloved employees at the Casanova Center, Jimmy Dollar, will be named a honorary Order of the O member. Both honors will be bestowed at a ceremony on campus Friday night, and both will be recognized during Oregon's football game versus Arizona on Saturday night.
Much of Oregon's success over the last quarter century can be linked to the high-flying teams quarterbacked by Musgrave, the strong-winged gunslinger from Grand Junction, Colo.
He started all four years, but Musgrave's junior season in 1989 that culminated in a 27-24 Independence Bowl victory over Tulsa marked the dawn of the current golden era of Oregon football. It was the Ducks' first bowl appearance in 26 years, and more notably, set Oregon on a course that has seen the football team appear in 18 bowl games since then, missing the postseason just four times.
As a senior in 1990, Musgrave led Oregon back to a bowl game, this time to the Freedom Bowl, becoming the first signal caller to lead the Ducks to consecutive postseason appearances.
His career numbers are astonishing. The three-year team captain established 15 school passing records and his 60 touchdown passes and more than 8,000 passing yards made him only the second player in Pac-10 history - joining John Elway - to eclipse those numbers.
Displaying a remarkable poise and uncanny aura, the Ducks' career passing (8,343) and total offense (8,140) leader flaunted a 25-10 record in games he started and finished from 1987 through 1990, in addition to sporting a 57.4 career completion percentage.
The 1990 first-team all-conference quarterback was named the GTE Academic All-American of the Year in addition to being honored with a Scholar-Athlete Award by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. He was drafted in the 4th round of the NFL Draft by Dallas in 1991.
Musgrave later was a member of the San Francisco 49ers club that won Super Bowl XXIX over San Diego following the 1994 season and also played from 1995-96 with Denver as a backup to Elway. He is currently in his second season as offensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, making this his 20th NFL campaign overall as both a player and coach.
Musgrave's rise to fame began as Colorado High School Athlete of the Year for 1985-86, as well as being the recipient of the Denver Post's Gold Helmet Award as the prep football player of the year. He was inducted into the state of Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the University of Oregon Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Leo Harris Award is presented to an alumnus letterman who has been out of college for at least 20 years and who has demonstrated continued service and leadership to the university. Harris was the University of Oregon's first Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. The recipient is chosen by the Athletic Director in consultation with the administration.
Jimmy Dollar epitomizes what an Order of the O honorary member is about. The award is presented to a person who has never lettered at the University of Oregon, but has made extraordinary contributions to the Athletic Department, and "Jimmy" was extraordinary for 35 years, first around McArthur Court and later the Casanova Center.
An avid Duck fan growing up in Reedsport, Ore., Dollar was a basketball manager for Reedsport High. After his family moved to Eugene, he was hired in the Athletics Department as a part-time employee in 1974; three years later, former Oregon Director of Athletics Norv Ritchey promoted him to a full-time position.
He was the heart and soul of the equipment room. Always the first to arrive at work, Dollar took great pride in getting the operation ready for the student-athletes and his fellow employees. His duties included laundry detail, mail courier and delivering current events and the latest information accumulated by the Sports Information office.
His love and knowledge of every Oregon sports team was exceeded by no one. Though he retired to Salem two years ago, his support for the Green and Yellow - and disdain for Oregon State - is unwavering. He may be most appreciated for his enduring support of the Ducks and their coaches during the good times and, even more importantly, when times got tough.
Dollar's passion for the Athletic Department and its sports teams is unsurpassed. He may not have been physically capable of becoming a varsity athlete at the University of Oregon, but his dedication and commitment to making Oregon Athletics what it is today will be forever remembered.
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