As a sixth-grader in 1956, Rick Redman played offensive guard for Our Lady of Lourdes School.
Which technically should have raised a pair of red flags. The team, after all, was composed of seventh- and eighth-graders who weighed less than 135 pounds. Redman made the weight limit but was a year too young.
He also attended another school, not Our Lady of Lourdes.
“I guess it was a little illegal,” Redman told The Times in 1962. “But there wasn’t any tackle football [at his school], and I couldn’t wait to play.”
Once he started, Redman starred at multiple spots.
One of the most decorated players in Husky history, Redman died Friday at 79, UW announced Sunday.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rick Redman, with his passing, through this difficult time,” Kalen DeBoer said Monday, to begin the UW coach’s weekly news conference. “We’re thinking about you. He was obviously more than just an All-American, did so much for this university. He was a contributor in so many ways. So our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rick.”
Born March 7, 1943, in Portland, Redman was a three-sport athlete at Bishop Blanchet High in Seattle and a high-school All-American as a senior in 1960. Despite measuring just 5-11 and 215 pounds, he rotated successfully between offensive guard, linebacker and punter for Washington from 1962 to 1964 — earning consensus first-team All-America honors in his junior and senior seasons.
“Punting is the easiest thing I do,” Redman, who averaged 38 yards per punt, told The Times in 1962. “Anybody with a big foot ought to be able to kick a ball.”
Redman — who appeared to do everything easily — led the Huskies to a conference championship and a Rose Bowl berth in 1963. He was selected in both the NFL draft (Philadelphia Eagles) and AFL draft (San Diego Chargers) in 1965, before signing with San Diego and making the AFL All-Star team as a linebacker in 1967. Following a nine-year stint with San Diego, he played for the Portland Storm in the inaugural season of the World Football League in 1974.
Following his football career, Redman returned to Seattle and began a career in commercial construction. An inductee into the Husky Hall of Fame in 1982 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995, he joined his stepfather’s company — Sellen Construction — and later retired as CEO after 35 years. He also belonged to the Tyee Club’s “Champions Circle,” a group of donors who have given more than $1 million to UW Athletics.
At Sellen Construction, Redman contributed to the construction or renovation of Alaska Airlines Arena and Conibear Shellhouse, Foster School of Business’ PACCAR Hall and UW Medicine’s Research Campus in South Lake Union.
One of the most versatile performers in Husky history couldn’t wait to play.
But Redman’s legacy in Seattle transcends the conclusion of his college career.
“We are heartbroken to hear the news of Rick’s passing,” UW athletic director Jen Cohen said in a statement Sunday. “Rick was a true icon both on and off the field who cared deeply about his Husky family. He gave back to the UW in several thoughtful ways after his Hall of Fame playing career. Rick was a dear friend to me and will be missed by so many. My deepest condolences to his family, former teammates and all who knew him.”