By Kamiah Koch
Rob Visser, Viking Hall of Famer and All-Century basketball team member, was awarded one of the top honors presented by Western’s Athletics Department. Visser received the 2018 Lynda Goodrich Legacy Award from Lynda Goodrich herself at the 29th Annual Keybank Viking Night Dinner and Auction on Sept. 14.
Recipients of the Lynda Goodrich Legacy Award display “passion, strength, courage and leadership” in Western’s athletic community, according to the Western Athletics’ press release. Goodrich was Western’s Director of Athletics for nearly three decades, and embodied these qualities throughout her career before retiring in 2013. She was awarded the first Lynda Goodrich Legacy Award the same year.
“The award is a neat way to honor people that have done great things for us at the athletics department,” Communications Director for Western Athletics Jeff Evans said.
Past winners of the award are listed on the Western Sports webpage, including 2017 recipient Eileen Coughlin, former vice president of Western, and 2015 honoree Paul Madison, former director of sports information, who is now working as Western Athletics’ historian.
“It is quite an honor to be a part of the legacy Lynda has,” Madison said.
Visser said he continues to stay involved with Western Athletics through mentorship, attending practices, speaking at team meetings and being a dedicated season ticket-holder.
“I’m just trying to help support the school and keep everything going and going well,” Visser said. “They have been good to me. I am trying to pay them back.”
Visser has also been a major contributor to Western Athletics, annually sponsoring the men’s basketball awards and volunteering his time as a coach, according to the Western Athletics’ press release.
“This isn’t something I have ever aspired to do, but it’s a great honor to see,” Visser said. “If this inspires anyone to help the athletic department and the school, I hope it does.”
Visser entered the Western Hall of Fame in 2011 for men’s basketball, with a Converse All-American honorable mention in the 1975-76 season. He also earned a tryout with the NBA Portland Trail Blazers, according to Western’s Hall of Fame roster.
Visser completed his collegiate basketball career as a conference and district all-star before playing professionally for three years in Holland and competing in the 1977 FIBA World Cup, according the Western Athletic press release.
Visser has stayed local and is now the owner of Bellingham’s Price & Visser Millwork, Inc. as a master craftsman. He donated several items for Viking Night and has worked on numerous projects for Western.
Most recently, Visser completed the woodwork seen in the new Sam Carver Gymnasium entryway and Athletics Hall of Fame Room. Among all the projects Visser has constructed for Western, he is especially proud of converting some of the old flooring from the courts into special memorabilia the players can slap for luck before entering the courts.