'Howard Rock West' Remembers Legendary Coach

Late SOU Raiders Football Coach Craig Howard holding the 2014 NAIA National Championship trophy. (Al Case)

Craig Howard's influence lives on at Southern Oregon University, and this week a memorial plaque was introduced to honor his memory at Raider Stadium.

Howard Rock West arrived Wednesday, and will sit outside the Raider locker room at the south end of the stadium. Fans can view it at Saturday's 1 p.m. game against Carroll, which will be SOU's first at home since Howard passed away in January. A moment of silence will be observed before kickoff.

"Coach Howard created a culture and legacy for our football program built around the values of character, strength and honor," SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre said. "He had a great impact on the lives of so many young men here at SOU. We will always love, honor and respect him for that."

Howard, a product of Grants Pass, took over a down-on-its-luck program in 2011 and transformed it into a national champion by 2014. His career record of 50-23 with the Raiders gives him the top winning percentage (.685) in school history.

"Coach Howard's legacy will be forever remembered with this memorial," said his successor, Charlie Hall. "The impact he had on his players and this community will last a lifetime. Because of Coach Howard, there are better men, teachers, fathers, coaches and people in the world today."

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