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Paul Valenti Scrapbook and Thesis, 1957-1966

By Katy Roach, Chris Petersen

Collection Overview

Title: Paul Valenti Scrapbook and Thesis, 1957-1966

Predominant Dates: 1965-1966

ID: MSS Valenti

Primary Creator: Valenti, Paul Bartholomew

Extent: 0.4 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: This scrapbook was constructed in chronological order and remains as such.

Date Acquired: 00/00/1999

Languages of Materials: English [eng]

Abstract

The Paul Valenti Scrapbook and Thesis primarily documents the 1965-1966 Oregon State University basketball season, during which the team compiled a record of twenty-one victories and seven losses. Alumnus and former player Paul Valenti (1920-2014) coached the Beaver basketball team from 1964 to 1970. This scrapbook was compiled by his daughter, Vicki Valenti Jones. It is in fragile condition and a digital surrogate should be consulted as a primary source of access. This surrogate is available in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room, or remotely upon request.

Also included in the collection is Valenti's Master's Thesis, titled "History of Basketball at Oregon State College from 1928 through 1949." Valenti's Master of Science in Education was completed in 1957 at Oregon State College.

Scope and Content Notes

The Paul Valenti Scrapbook and Thesis consists of a scrapbook documenting the 1965-1966 Oregon State University basketball season and Valenti's thesis on the history of Oregon State basketball.

The unbound leaves of the scrapbook are arranged in chronological order, beginning with the first game of the season on December 1, 1965. There are over one hundred newspaper clippings detailing Beaver basketball wins and losses arranged on the pages of this scrapbook, as well as game programs, seven box score sheets, game tickets, a written play-by-play of the final regular season game against the University of Oregon on March 5, 1966, and a travel itinerary of the team’s trip to the Western Regional NCAA Playoffs. Also included in the scrapbook are several news articles about MVP and team captain Charlie White as well as Coach Paul Valenti, concluding with a program for the postseason award ceremony, which was held at the end of March 1966. The scrapbook was compiled by Valenti's daughter, Vicki, to commemorate the Beavers' fantastic season.

The scrapbook is in fragile condition and a digital surrogate should be consulted as a primary source of access. This surrogate is available in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room, or remotely upon request.

Valenti's Master's Thesis is a large, bound volume. The thesis is five hundred and twenty-six single-sided pages, studying the history of basketball at Oregon State College. Valenti wrote on each basketball game played between 1928 through 1949, detailing each event with fantastic detail. His thesis was presented in May of 1957, in order to obtain a Master of Science degree in Education from OSC.

The thesis has been digitized and is available online. Like the scrapbook, this digitized version should be consulted as a primary source of access.

Biographical / Historical Notes

Paul Valenti was born in San Francisco, California, in 1920, to Italian immigrants, and grew up in Mill Valley, California. He attended Tamalpais High School. A dedicated athlete, Valenti played basketball throughout college, and was recruited to play for the Oregon State Beavers under Coach Amory “Slats” Gill. Valenti played varsity basketball from 1939-1942. He joined the Navy in 1942, and served as a dental technician. Valenti became Coach Gill’s assistant coach in 1946. He completed a Master's in Education from Oregon State College in 1957, writing a thesis on the history of basketball at Oregon State College from 1928-1949.

When Coach Gill retired from coaching in 1964, Paul Valenti, his assistant coach of eighteen years, took over as head. During Valenti’s first season of coaching, he led Oregon State to sixteen wins and ten losses, coming in fourth in the Athletic Association of Western Universities (AAWU) conference. This was also the first season for Charlie White, the first African American player recruited on scholarship to the team, and the second African American to play for Oregon State basketball.

Valenti’s second season began with a win over the University of Portland on December 1, 1965. This was followed by a non-conference road trip to the University of Nebraska, the United States Naval Academy, and Villanova University--which resulted in three losses for the Beavers. Afterwards, as the season picked up, Oregon State went through multiple five-game win streaks, ending with a total of twenty-one wins and seven losses. The team came in first in the AAWU conference, beating John Wooden-led UCLA, which was the first time in years the Bruins didn't make the conference championship. Oregon State advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, defeating the Elvin Hayes-led University of Houston by three points. A day later, OSU saw their final five-game winning streak come to an end with a six-point loss (70-64) to the University of Utah, thus concluding their exciting journey to the Elite Eight of the 1966 NCAA basketball tournament.

Star players from the season were sophomore forward Loy Petersen, who averaged 12.8 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, and guard Charlie White, who averaged 11.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. In total, Petersen scored 359 points over the course of the season, and White scored 326.

In the seasons that followed, Valenti did not see as much success on the court. Valenti retired in 1970, after six seasons as head coach, fearing that his coaching style was too hard-nosed for new players. He remained at Oregon State until his retirement in 1982, holding the position of Assistant Athletic Director. He also coached the tennis team from 1971-1975. He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, and, eight years later, into the OSU Hall of Fame. Valenti passed away in September 2014, at the age of 94.



Author: Katy Roach

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 1 oversize box

Statement on Access:

Collection is open for research. The scrapbook is in fragile condition and a digital surrogate should be consulted as a primary source of access. This surrogate is available in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center Reading Room, or remotely upon request.

Valenti's thesis has been digitized and is available online. This surrogate should be consulted as the primary source of access.

Acquisition Note: The scrapbook was transferred to the University Archives in 1999 by George Edmonston, Oregon Stater Editor, on behalf of Valenti. The thesis was transferred to the Special Collections and Archives Research Center in 2015 by the OSU Alumni Association.

Related Materials:

An oral history interview with Paul Valenti is held in the Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Collection (OH 026) and is available online here. An earlier interview, conducted in 2011, is held in the Voices of Oregon State University Oral History Collection (OH 009). An oral history interview with MVP Charlie White is held in the Sesquicentennial Oral History Project (OH 26)

Photographs of Paul Valenti and his team are featured in many collections, components of which have been uploaded to Oregon Digital. A collection of photographs featuring Valenti is available here. Likewise available is a photograph of player Charlie White. The Tom Gabel Collection of Oregon State Athletics Photographs (P 336) houses a number of images documenting basketball at Oregon State, including several photos of Paul Valenti both in his playing and coaching careers, as well as an action shot of Loy Petersen from the 1965-66 season.

Additional materials related to Coach Valenti are contained in the Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection (MSS MC) which houses newspaper articles about Valenti and programs from his memorial service.

Preferred Citation: Paul Valenti Scrapbook and Thesis (MSS Valenti), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Creators

Valenti, Paul Bartholomew

People, Places, and Topics

Basketball--Oregon--Corvallis.
Basketball coaches
Gill, Amory T.
University History
White, Charlie, 1938-

Forms of Material

Scrapbooks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.