Hall of Fame Focus: Mark Stewart
Nov. 12, 2008
On Friday, Nov. 14 the University of Washington will officially induct the 2008 Husky Hall of Fame class. Husky linebacker Mark Stewart, is among the members of the class. Stewart was a first-team All-American at outside linebacker and set school records for sacks in a game (5) and fumbles caused in a season (5). Stewart recently talked with GoHuskies.com about the honor of entering the Husky Hall of Fame and reminisced about his time at Washington.
For information on tickets for the Husky Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 pm, please call 206.685.3739.
What does it mean to be a Husky Hall of Famer?
Mark Stewart: 'It's always been great to be a Husky; it's been an important part of my life. It's been nice to be in the community throughout my career and this is just another feather in the hat. It's something that my fans, friends, teammates, and family can come back to in order to celebrate my career, so it's nice to be recognized for something that I did, and it just adds to something that was a good experience in my life.'
What was your reaction when you found out that you got into the Hall of Fame?
MS: 'I was obviously happy about it, and even a little bit in awe because there are a lot of great Husky football players that have come through the program, like Warren Moon and Joe Steele, who have come through the program and made a great impact on Husky Football. To be a part of that is a little bit humbling.'
You grew up in California, came here for four years, and then left for the NFL, but yet you found yourself drawn back to Seattle. What kept you coming back to Washington?
MS: 'Going back to my recruiting trip, I kind of fell in love with the University of Washington, and Seattle. Even during school, I only went back home for one summer and was basically here for the rest of the time. So, from my recruiting trip I knew that I loved Washington and I've loved it ever since.'
What are you doing right now and where are you living?
MS: 'I'm a high school football coach at Meadowdale High School. I live in Everett, and I've been a coach and a teacher here for 9 years. I've taught five different classes, including a lot of science because of my chemistry degree.'
Are you excited to see anyone in particular at the ceremony?
MS: 'Blair Bush graduated just before me, but it's nice to be able to see him because I know him, and spent a lot of time with him doing workouts and in the NFL as well. Other than that, I've talked to some of my teammates and coaches and I'll hope to see them at the ceremony so that we can all enjoy the moment with ourselves and our family members.'
Thinking back on your Husky career, are there any moments that stand out to you?
MS: 'Making it to the Rose Bowl twice was a big deal. The second Rose Bowl, when we went out and beat Iowa as underdogs, was a real big moment. Beating USC up here was also a big moment. As well as the UCLA game, I think I had a few tackles in that one. Other than that it was just playing football with my teammates.'
Are you still close to the program following UW Football?
MS: 'Yes, I do still follow the program. As a high school coach, I've taken my players up to the games to watch, as well as talked to some of the coaches so that I can know how to coach my players better.'
What was it like being a professional football player and how did being a Husky prepare you for the NFL?
MS: 'It was nice being in the NFL; I was there for two years with a half-season in Canada. I think that my college career was better than my pro career. It was nice to be there to see that side of the game. As a young man I would have liked to have been there and stayed there longer as a cross between a defensive lineman and a linebacker. I didn't stay there as long as I would have liked, but it was still a good experience playing for the Vikings.'
You have the UW record for sacks in a game with five, do you tell your high school players about your college exploits?
MS: 'They know that I played out there, and they know that I was pretty good, but we spend more time on what they should be doing. Occasionally I'll tell a story about my playing days, but for the most part we talk about what they need to do to have success.'