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Top coaches gather for a shot at Gill Award

Five highly successful coaches are in the running for the Slats Gill Award, to be presented at the 53rd annual Oregon Sports Awards on Jan. 30 at the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Campus in Beaverton.

The Gill award goes to the outstanding coach or administrator of an Oregon-based team or to an athletic organization.

Finalists for their achievements in 2004 are George Fox baseball coach Pat Bailey; Lincoln High football coach Bill Griffin; Linfield football coach Jay Locey; Benson High track coach Leon McKenzie; and Oregon Institute of Technology men's basketball coach Danny Miles. All five coached national, state or league championship teams.

Recent Gill winners have been Oregon Duck coach Ernie Kent (2003), the late University of Portland soccer coach Clive Charles (2002) and Duck football coach Mike Bellotti (2001).

The awards show, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., will be televised live by KATU (2) and carried by simulcast on the Fan (1080 AM).

The Fan also will broadcast two hours of pre-event coverage, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Awards will go to athletes, coaches, teams, administrators and organizations in 14 categories Ñ including pro, amateur, small college, high school and Special Olympics. Winners will come from nearly 75 finalists selected by a statewide panel.

More than 20 sports celebrities are scheduled to help Master of Ceremonies Bill Schonely present the awards.

Tickets are $50 and include beverages and hors d'oeuvres before the show, along with dessert and coffee afterward.

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. For ticket information, call 503-721-7477, ext. 13.

The event is sponsored by Nike, the Portland Tribune, KATU, Standard TV & Appliance, Les Schwab Tire Centers, the Portland Trail Blazers and SportsOne Inc.

Ñ Tribune staff