Joey August


Summarizing Joey August’s life in sports: excelled as a boxer, coach, trainer, official and sponsor. Boxing in the 1930’s, August won several AAU championships and then a Pacific Coast collegiate title at the University of Idaho where his brother, Louis, was the boxing coach.

He was the Intermountain representative at the 1936 Olympic Trials in Chicago. From the late 1940s through the 1960s he was a referee in the State of Washington, working in Eastern Washington locations such as Spokane, Walla Walla, and the Tri-Cities. He was also the coach of the Gonzaga University boxing team when it was co-national champion in 1950.

He coached winning boxing teams here for a dozen seasons – his 1950 club shared the NCAA championship. As a trainer, August gave his time and talents to multitudes of athletes at every level, ranging from the Spokane Indians of Ferris Field days to State B Basketball Tournament players. August gained national recognition as a boxing official and was invited to officiate at the 1960 Olympic Games. As a pro, he won 14 or 15 lightweight bouts.

As to his unflagging sponsorship of area athletics, August minimized that over the years, stating he was just putting something back into his hometown. But a local writer once observed, “Joey was putting back long before he ever started taking out.”

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