Hall of Fame

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Mel Olson

Community Activist

Mel Olson grew up in White Center, always looking for ways to improve the Highline area. Olson was very involved in the community, helping develop the Boys and Girls Club, and Southwest Little League. Olson was a local youth football and baseball coach, doing whatever he could to give back to the youth in our community. Later on, he would go onto coach Semi-Pro Football in White Center, doing every task needed to help the organization grow, even physically lining the field before games.

In the 1980’s he was recognized by then Governor John Spellman, for his commitment to the community and was named Mr. Southwest Seattle. Today his legacy lives on, as the once known White Center Stadium is now named Mel Olson Stadium at Steve Cox Memorial Park. His efforts volunteering, and helping grow the community have made White Center a better place.

The Highline Bears would like to thank 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Mel Olson and his family for all the service he provided to his community.

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Steve Cox

Community Activist

Steve Cox grew up in the Shorewood neighborhood southwest of White Center. His parents were both teachers at local schools. Tall and athletic, Cox played basketball at Evergreen High School. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University, and later with a law degree from Willamette University in Salem, Ore.

Cox’s work in White Center was recognized when he won a Community Builder Award from the Seattle Neighborhood Group. As well as his police work, Cox also spoke in local schools, helped organize community festivals and maintained several rental properties in the area.

Steve Cox was killed in the line of duty in 2006. In commemoration of his life, the ball park, which is now home to the Highline Bears, was renovated in 2009 by community groups and dedicated in Steve Cox’s name. His efforts volunteering, protecting, and growing the community have made White Center a better place.

The Highline Bears would like to thank 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Steve Cox for all the service he provided to his community.

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Todd Coughlin

Co-Founder, Manager & Director of Community Relations

Born and raised in the White Center area, Todd Coughlin grew up watching his heroes at the old White Center Stadium on Friday and Saturday evenings. The stands would overflow with community members gathering to watch America’s pastime under the lights.

When the original stadium burned down, Coughlin was devastated, and baseball in his community was never the same.

Deep down Coughlin always wanted to see baseball return on Friday and Saturday evenings. When Justin Moser approached him with the idea of bringing a semi-pro baseball team to the area he didn’t even hesitate to get involved.

Coughlin became one of the founding organizers and was asked to manage the team. As manager he lead the Bears to a winning inaugural season with a record of 18-14, winning the teams first international tournament in Kelowna, Canada and helping set new league attendance records. Along the way, he dedicated himself to involving as many groups and members of the community as possible.

Todd Coughlin continues to stay dedicated to the Highline Bears and his community, helping as Director of Community relations and filling in any roles needed to help the organization flourish.

The Highline Bears would like to thank 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Todd Coughlin for all the service he provides to the organization and his community.

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Russ Pritchard

Co-Founder & President

2014-Russ Pritchard has focused his life supporting his community. Starting in 1965 he joined the North Highline Fire Department as a volunteer. In 1968 he was hired as a full time firefighter. By 1977 he was promoted to Fire Marshal, a position he held for 15 years before being named Fire Chief in 1994, where he remained until his retirement in 2009.

Pritchard has held an elected position for Water District 20 for over 15 years. He also served in the North Highline Unincorporated Council, which he helped establish in 1997, and served as a former president. He was a member of the White Center Chamber of Commerce, 20+ year member of the Exchange Club, and co-founder of the White Center Farmers Market. He was also on the initial board of directors for the White Center CDA.

From playing baseball in the old White Center Stadium as a kid, helping put out the fire when the stadium burned down in the 1970’s, to now bringing semi-pro baseball back to the community, Russ Pritchard is proud to be a co-founder and President of the Highline Bears.

The Highline Bears would like to thank 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Russ Pritchard for all of the service he provides to the organization and his community.