Sixkiller to be 2018 Pac-12 Hall of Honor inductee

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/04/2018 12:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Sonny Sixkiller, a Cherokee born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, evades a defender during his time as the University of Washington Husky quarterback in the 1970s. Sixkiller will be UW's representative in the 2018 Pac-12 Hall of Honor class. UW ATHLETICS
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Sonny Sixkiller, an Oklahoma-born Cherokee, was the second University of Washington Husky to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. When his UW career was done, Sixkiller had 5,496 yards through the air and 35 touchdowns. UW ATHLETICS
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Sonny Sixkiller looks to hand off the ball during a University of Washington game in the 1970s. Following his UW career, Sixkiller spent two years in the WFL. He also earned a role alongside Burt Reynolds in the 1974 film “The Longest Yard.” UW ATHLETICS
SEATTLE – University of Washington Husky football legend and Sonny Sixkiller will be Washington’s representative in the 2018 Pac-12 Hall of Honor class on March 9, according to a UW announcement.

This is the first year the Pac-12 will include non-basketball players in the Hall of Honor, it states.

Sixkiller revolutionized the passing attack from his quarterback position and took the nation by storm when he burst on the scene for Washington football in 1970. Under Jim Owens, the Washington Huskies – and most college football teams for that matter – had a run-first mentality on offense. But after a 1-9 season in 1969 Owens was set to shake things up on offense and turned to Sixkiller.

Sixkiller – who was born in the Cherokee Nation capital of Tahlequah, Oklahoma – led Washington to an upset at Husky Stadium over Michigan State 42-16 in his first start on Sept. 19, 1970, to set off what would be an extraordinary three-year phenomenon on the football field.

In that game, Sixkiller gained 276 yards passing, which was the second most by a Washington quarterback at the time. It set the tone for a season in which Sixkiller would set nearly every single-season and single-game passing record.

He ended his first year as UW’s signal caller with 2,303 yards passing, completing 186 of 362 attempts. He found the end zone 15 times through the air and was the 1970 Touchdown Club of Ohio’s Sammy Baugh Trophy Winner.

In his next two seasons, Sixkiller led the Huskies to back-to-back 8-3 records and developed a cult following. He was the second Husky to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, had songs written about him and had a celebrity status normally reserved for movie stars.

When his Husky career was done, Sixkiller had 5,496 yards through the air and 35 touchdowns, marks that would sit atop the UW record book for 20-plus years and still rank among the school’s top 10 lists. Additionally, his 385 career completions sat atop the UW record books for a decade.

Following his UW career, Sixkiller spent two years in the WFL. He also earned a role alongside Burt Reynolds in the 1974 film “The Longest Yard.”

Sixkiller was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1985. Today, Sixkiller still has his hands in Husky Athletics and is an executive for IMG Sports, the official right’s holders for UW Athletics.

For a video on Sixkiller’s UW career, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErYby5kt7lY&feature=youtu.be.

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