The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Doug Oxsen Oral History Interviews

Two life history interviews conducted by Mike Dicianna.

July - December 2015


“Remembering Coach Ralph Miller”  July 7, 2015  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In his first interview, Oxsen describes his upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area, his decision to attend OSU, his memories of campus life in the early 1970s, and his experiences of fraternity life and classroom work in Pharmacy and Business. He likewise comments on the atmosphere on campus during the years of the Vietnam War, recalls a series of major musical acts who played in Corvallis, and highlights the role that Gill Coliseum played the culture of campus outside of athletics.

From there, Oxsen turns his attentions to his playing days at Oregon State, with a specific focus on what it was like to play for Coach Ralph Miller. Memories of Ralph Miller are the primary focus of the interview. In particular, Oxsen reflects on Miller's coaching philosophies, his personality at practice and in games, and his demeanor away from the court. At the conclusion of the interview, Oxsen also discusses the team's off-season conditioning program.

“Raising the Bar for OSU Athletics”  December 30, 2015  Location: Valley Library, Oregon State University.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

Interview #2 begins with Oxsen's broader memories of his basketball career at Oregon State. These memories include the quality of play in the Pac-8 during Oxsen's years as a competitor, the knee injury that he suffered during his freshman year, and the contrasts that he has observed between the culture of basketball during that era with what evolved later on. A major topic of conversation is Oxsen's recollections of playing against Bill Walton's UCLA Bruins and Oregon State's upset of UCLA in 1975, a win that broke UCLA's 49-game conference winning streak. He likewise comments on his interactions with Bill Walton in later years, as well as other noteworthy players against whom he competed.

The session then shifts its focus to Oxsen's life following his graduation from OSU. These reflections include a discussion of Oxsen's two years touring the world with the Athletes in Action Christian ministry; his brief stint playing professionally in England; and his private sector work with Universal Gym Equipment and the BikeE Corporation.

The remainder of the interview is chiefly devoted to Oxsen's return to OSU and his activities as a fundraiser with the OSU Foundation. Specifically, Oxsen details his involvement with the Raising Reser project as well as the construction of the Basketball Practice Facility, the launch of the Everyday Champions program, and the revival of track and field as an intercollegiate sport at Oregon State.

Oxsen's interview concludes with thoughts on future Athletics development projects at OSU, notes on family and hobbies, and words of advice for students of today.