Five of the state's top coaches are finalists for the Slats Gill Award, to be presented during The Oregon Sports Awards show Feb. 24 at the Nike World Campus in Beaverton.

The finalists:

nÊTerry Baumgartner, coach of the Western Oregon baseball team that had a 41-20 record and placed fourth in the NAIA World Series.

nÊMike Bellotti, whose Oregon Ducks won the Pac-10 football title and finished No. 2 in the national rankings.

nÊClive Charles, coach of the University of Portland women's soccer team, which reached the NCAA Final Four and went 20-4.

nÊTom Smythe, who coached McNary High to the state football title.

nÊMike Williamson, who led the Portland Winter Hawks to the Western Hockey League's Western Conference title in his rookie season.

Charles won the Slats Gill Award in 1995, the next-to-last year of the Hayward Awards banquet, which ran for 49 years.

The Oregon Sports Awards, presented by the Portland Tribune and Nike, picks up where the Hayward event left off. The Oregon Sports Awards will be a 90-minute-plus stage show at Nike's Tiger Woods Center, emceed by Bill Schonely. More than a dozen athletes, coaches and other sports figures will be honored for their 2001 performances.

The Slats Gill Award, named after Oregon State's legendary basketball coach of 1929-64, goes to the outstanding coach or administrator from an Oregon-based team or organization at any level of competition.

Other previous Gill winners include Rich Brooks, Rick Adelman, Pokey Allen, Ad Rutschman, Ken Hodge, Ralph Miller, Jack Ramsay, Mouse Davis, Bill Bowerman, Harry Glickman, Dee Andros, Hal Laycoe, Len Casanova and Tommy Prothro.

The Gill is one of 14 awards to be presented Feb. 24. Others are the Bill Hayward Athletes of the Year for male and female amateurs, Harry Glickman Professional Athletes of the Year, Steve Prefontaine Award to an exemplary high school distance runner, Johnny Carpenter Prep Athletes of the Year, Special Olympics Athlete of the Year, George Pasero Team Award, Ad Rutschman Small College Athletes of the Year and two special merit awards. Event proceeds benefit Special Olympics.

For sponsorship information or tickets, contact Jim Etzel, 503-721-7477, Ext. 111, or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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