“Pioneers of Change: Black Football Players at OSU from 1951-Present” Watch Video
Dave Mann was the first African American football player to compete at what was then known as Oregon State College. In Corvallis from 1951-1954, Mann enjoyed a three year career in the NFL with the Chicago Cardinals and played for an additional eleven seasons in the Canadian Football League. A member of the CFL Hall of Fame, Mann passed away in Toronto on May 22, 2012.
Earnel Durden succeeded Dave Mann at the halfback position for the OSC football team. A Beaver from 1956-1958, Durden followed up his playing days with a career in coaching, first collegiately and then at the professional level with the Los Angeles Rams, Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers.
Ken Simonton was a featured running back for OSU football from 1998-2001. One of the most iconic athletes in university history, Simonton completed his OSU career as the school's leading career rusher and remains a symbol of the program's return to prominence.
Dr. Michael Oriard, OSU Distinguished Professor Emeritus of American Literature and Culture, is a former NFL player and a historian of football. He is the author of many books on sports, including King Football: Sport and Spectacle in the Golden Age of Radio and Newsreels, Movies and Magazines, the Weekly and the Daily Press. (2003)
Herman L. Brame is an independent researcher and the author of Forgotten Ducks: The Story of Robinson and Williams. (2003)
Dr. Dwaine Plaza is a sociologist at OSU. His research interests include Caribbean Studies; migration and settlement; and race and ethnic relations.
Evan Bany is a student in sociology at Oregon State University.