Dee Andros (1924-2003)

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Dee Andros, former Oregon State athletic director and football coach, died early Wednesday at his Corvallis home. He was 79.

Andros suffered from severe diabetes and had had several strokes, said Hal Cowan, Oregon State's sports information director.

Andros was an Oklahoma native who was a lineman on University of Oklahoma teams coached by Hall of Famer Bud Wilkinson. Andros went on to be an assistant coach under Wilkinson.

He was nicknamed the Great Pumpkin for his trademark girth and bright orange jacket and was synonymous with Oregon State football for decades. Later in life, when he lost weight following open-heart surgery, he joked that he was now better known as "The Little Squash."

"It's a tremendous loss," said Cowan, who was Andros' first hire in 1975 as athletic director. "He's a great ambassador for Oregon sports, he's touched a lot of people past and present. I don't think there's any name more associated with Oregon State football than Andros'."

Andros was OSU's athletic director from 1975 until his retirement in 1985 and coached the Beavers from 1965 to 1975.

Andros coached the Beavers in 11 Civil War games, winning nine of them. He never lost his Oklahoma accent and his rousing pre-game speeches stirred a generation of Beavers to heroics on the field against the rival Ducks. He was also credited with masterminding a dynamic campaign that pushed OSU's annual fund-raising from $100,000 to $1 million.

Andros was inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Hall of Fame at San Diego and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Andros was also a veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star, and spent more than a month under fire on Iwo Jima, one of the last major battles of World War II. He was a witness to the famed moment when six soldiers raised the flag on Iwo Jima.

Among Beavers fans, Andros is best known for the legendary 1967 season, in which the Beavers defeated the University of Southern California Trojans in a game that earned the Oregon State team the nickname of the "Giant Killers."

OSU wound up going 7-2-1 that year, and even before the Trojans came to town, they had beaten second-ranked Purdue and tied highly ranked UCLA.

The Trojans were the first No. 1 ranked team ever to play in the state of Oregon, and their team starred O.J. Simpson, who was just a year away from his Heisman Trophy winning season.

The Beavers were able to contain Simpson and kick a clutch field goal in the second quarter B enough to win the game, 3-0.

"The whole game I didn't think that field goal would hold up," Andros said in an interview with The Oregonian years later. "The conditions didn't bother O.J. a bit, and it was just a well-played defensive game by both teams."

It was USC's only loss of the year. The Trojans went on to win the national championship by beating Indiana in the Rose Bowl.

AP-WS-10-22-03 1502EDT (c) 2003 by the Associated Press