Milbrett heads 2020 Sports Hall of Fame Class

The soccer standout helped turn women's soccer into a pro sport
By Cliff Pfenning,
Tiffeny Milbrett, right, helped the US win the 1999 World Cup.
AP photo

Longtime US National Soccer Team standout Tiffeny Milbrett headed the 2020 Induction Class of the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame, Sept. 26, in a virtual ceremony.

The event, held at the Multnomah Athletic Club, changed its format due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 2020 class - the 40th for the Hall of Fame, includes baseball’s John Jaha, football player Rockne Freitas, multi-sport athlete Craig Hanneman, and Tom Jernstedt for special contributions.

Brian Grant received the Commitment to Community Award. 

Milbrett helped lead the University of Portland onto the national stage under coach coach Clive Charles, graduating in 1995 with 103 goals and 40 assists. She then played professionally in Japan, Sweden and three professional leagues within the US, starting with the WUSA in 2001. That league, the first women’s pro league in the United States, followed the US National Team’s win in the World Cup in 1999.

Jaha, a graduate of David Douglas High, went straight into professional baseball upon being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984. He reached the Major Leagues in 1992 and played through 2001. He earned a spot on the American League All-Star Team in 1999 while a member of the Oakland Athletics, during a season in which he was voted the league’s Comeback Player of the Year. He hit 141 homers and drove in 490 runs during his career.

Hanneman played football at Oregon State and for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots for four seasons before a leg injury ended his career in 1975. He is thought to be the oldest person to have summited the tallest peaks on the seven continents.

Freitas, another OSU football alum, played 11 years in the NFL for Detroit and Tampa Bay, earning a Pro Bowl spot in 1972.

Jernstedt played football at the University of Oregon, but became known as the “Father of the Final Four” during a 38-year career with the NCAA. His efforts helped  turn the national basketball tournament into the annual spectacle it is - moving from 25 teams to 65 teams in that time.