Mar 07, 2017

Remembering Don Staples: "The Voice of the Bruins"

A Winning Tradition

  • NCAA D-III National Champions (2009)
  • Three NCAA "Final Four" appearances (2009, 2012, 2015)
  • Six NCAA "Elite 8" appearances (2005, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015)
  • Nine NCAA "Sweet 16" appearances (2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • 14 NCAA National Tournament appearances in 18 years (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • 12 Northwest Conference Championships (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018)
  • 25 straight winning seasons (1994-2018)
  • 14 Top 25 national rankings (2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Three NCAA Division III National Coaches of the Year
  • Six NCAA Division III Region Coaches of the Year
  • 11 Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 20 All-Americans
  • One Academic All-American
  • Three Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Finalists (Justine Benner - 2015, Keisha Gordon - 2012, Katy Campbell - 2008)
  • One Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Winner (Kristen Shielee - 2009)
  • One George Fox Pasero Team of the Year (2009)
  • One Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award (Scott Rueck - 2009 finalist)

Don Staples, a Newberg School District administrator, called more than 300 home games over the last 17 years

NEWBERG, Ore. -- Longtime George Fox women's basketball public address announcer Don Staples passed away at home on Tuesday, Feb. 28, after a battle with cancer.

Services for Staples will be held Saturday, March 11, at 10:30 a.m. in Bauman Auditorium at George Fox University.

Staples, 54, had been a part of the George Fox women's basketball program since 1999. For the past 17 years, he was the voice of the Bruins as his professional, but energetic voice filled Miller Gymnasium every game day. In 2012, Staples was named George Fox University's Volunteer of the Year, and he logged more than 300 games for the Bruins in his career.

Though Staples was well known for his voice in Wheeler Sports Center, many knew him as a friend and dedicated educator who worked for 17 years in the Newberg School District.

Staples graduated from George Fox in 1986, and in 1992 he served a three-year term on the Alumni Association Board, including one year as president. He joined the Newberg School District as an assistant principal and academic intervention teacher at Mabel Rush Elementary in 1999 after a 12-year career in the Yamhill-Carlton School District.

"Don was one of those people who just made everything better by his presence," said Director of Athletics Craig Taylor. "Whether watching him grow through his undergraduate years at George Fox, or seeing him as a supportive parent of his son, Nolan, through his collegiate tennis career, or watching him flourish in his role as the voice of the George Fox women's basketball team – it was always a privilege to be around him. In his role as the public address announcer, he worked tirelessly to prepare for every contest."

"Our teams always felt his support in the way he interacted with them," added Taylor. "His care and concern went well beyond who they were as basketball players. Don's care and respect extended well beyond our team on game days. While he was always excited to see the passionate support for our team, it was also very important to him that visitors felt respected as well. Don's quiet, positive, gentle and passionate spirit will be missed by all in his Bruin athletics family."

"Don was such an incredible and caring person," said head coach Michael Meek. "Over these 17 years, and the years I've been a part of, the women's basketball program was so important to him. More importantly, he was such an important part of us. Staples will be missed, but he leaves behind a phenomenal legacy. He had such a great heart for the team, for the athletes and for the George Fox community."