C. Hec Edmunson


One of the first great athletes at the University of Idaho, Edmundson competed on the track for the Vandals and launched the team onto the national stage when he and two other athletes traveled to the Lewis and Clark Exposition Games against the top schools in the Northwest.

Newspapers wrote that Edmundson “impressed with his graceful form and unfaltering determination.” He represented the United States at the Olympic Games in London in 1908 and in Stockholm in 1912 to become the first Idahoan to compete in the Olympic Games. After his athletic success, Edmundson came back to Idaho as a coach for both track and basketball. It was the play of his basketball teams that led to Idaho’s “Vandals” nickname, when sports writers said they played defense with such intensity and ferocity that they “vandalized” their opponents. He later went on to coach basketball and track & field at the University of Washington, where their basketball arena now bears his name.

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