PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State Athletics announced the naming of the Gray W Jack Thompson Legends Lounge, inside the Cougar Football Complex, Monday afternoon. Thompson, the Hall of Fame quarterback at Washington State University, was on hand as the room was named in his honor.
“I’m still trying to process the gravity and scope of this great honor,” said Thompson. “To have great Cougar friends like Glenn Osterhout, Greg Rankich and others step in to name the Gray W Legends Lounge after me is extremely humbling. This is truly selfless giving and I could not be more thankful! GO COUGS!”
The naming opportunity came via a generous gift from Glenn Osterhout, Greg Rankich and a third, anonymous donor. The trio contributed $500,000 with the vision of recognizing one of the most prominent figures in Cougar Football history.
“Naming the Gray W Legends Lounge in the Cougar Football Complex for Jack Thompson is an honor and a privilege,” said Osterhout. “Jack Thompson’s leadership, bold vision and loyalty exemplify what a Washington State Cougar is all about. Our hope is that in naming the Gray W Lounge, it will inspire others to consider naming opportunities in the Cougar Football Complex, Baseball Clubhouse and Indoor Practice facility.”
This is the second naming opportunity Osterhout, a 1983 graduate who is a certified financial planner in Bellevue, has been involved with in the past six months. Earlier this summer he provided the gift to name the Steve Gleason Recruit Suite on the top floor of the Cougar Football Complex.
“Jack Thompson is at the forefront of great Cougars, and to have others provide such a wonderful gift to recognize him is tremendous,” said Washington State Interim Director of Athletics John Johnson. “The Jack Thompson Legends Lounge is visited by our student-athletes every day and it is fitting to have Jack’s name associated with this great facility moving forward.”
Added Rankich, “It’s with great pleasure to be involved in honoring a WSU Cougar football legend, WSU ambassador and friend, Jack Thompson. His success on the field is only surpassed by his tireless effort and support he makes to ensure WSU continues to be a world-class university.”
Thompson, affectionately known as “The Throwin’ Samoan,” quarterbacked WSU from 1975-78, earning First-Team All-America honors as a senior while also earning First-Team All-Pacific-8/10 Conference honors as a sophomore and senior. He became the most prolific single-season passer in WSU and conference history, setting six league and Cougar records. By the end of his career, Thompson had thrown for 7,818 yards and 53 touchdowns. His 7,818 yards was a three-year NCAA record and in all he set six WSU career marks and an equal number of Pac-8/10 standards. He generated 7,698 yards in total offense during his career, the third highest total in NCAA history. He also was the first junior in NCAA history to top the 5,000-yard mark in passing.
Following the 1978 season, Thompson was selected with the No. 3 pick in the 1979 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and spent five seasons in the NFL. He is one of two Cougar football players to have his jersey retired (Mel Hein) at WSU and in 2013, was one of the seven inductees named the inaugural Polynesian Football Hall of Fame class.