Monday, April 15, 2013

The passing of a giant of a man. Frosty Westering (1927 - 2013)

 As we unfortunately all know by now, the great Frosty Westering passed away at the age of 85 years old this past Friday.  The long-time former Pacific Lutheran University head coach guided the Lutes for 32 seasons (1972-2003) where Frosty and his Lutes accumulated a remarkable 261-70-5 record, captured four National Titles (3 – NAIA, 1 – NCAA), made four other title game appearances (1983, ’85, ’91, & ’94),  and never suffered a losing season under his guidance.   In 2005, Frosty was inducted into the College Hall of Fame for his remarkable accomplishments as a coach.  However, Frosty’s impact went beyond just the marks in the win column.  Frosty was a great man who impacted thousands of young peoples' lives in helping provide his players the tools to build a winning foundation for the rest of their days.

Linfield and PLU have locked up for epic football contests over the decades but the golden era of this long standing rivalry was in the 1980’s.  Linfield’s revered head coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Ad Rutschman and the Westering led Lutes combined for 5 consecutive NAIA Division II National Titles from 1982-1985 (82-Linfield, 83-PLU, 84-Linfield, 85-PLU, 86-Linfield).  What a wild time to be a small college football fan in the Pacific Northwest as two incredible leaders of men headed these two small college football powers as the ‘Cats and ‘Lutes ruled the NAIA.

Linfield and PLU are rivals on the field and you bet that each game Linfield and PLU do all they can to come out on top.  However, the respect that the Linfield football community has for Frosty Westering and his family is immeasurable.  Linfield head coach Joseph Smith, who competed against Frosty as a player and coach, passed along these thoughts about the passing of a giant of a man:

"Frosty is, in my opinion, part of America's greatest generation of coaches.  He was a rare true master coach and his knowledge of the game could fill volumes of books.  However, it is the legacy of the young men he influenced that is his greatest and most lasting influence.

The world is a better place because of Frosty.  He championed the phrase servant warrior.  Possessing a warrior spirit and rising to the occasion, but yet at the same time being a servant and giving of yourself to others.

The Linfield vs PLU games pitting Frosty vs Rutschman were truly legendary.  As iron sharpens iron, Frosty's teams made ours better, just as Linfield sharpened PLU.

We who knew him, even we who played against him, recognized his amazing character and the power of his personality and convictions.  To say he was a rare man, is an understatement.    I consider myself extremely fortunate to have crossed paths with a man such as Frosty Westering.

While we grieve with the Westering family and Pacific Lutheran, I know Frosty's impact will continue to shape the young men of our society for years to come."

-Linfield Head Coach Joseph Smith

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