A former Decatur High School football star was one of five former student-athletes inducted into the Western Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame last Saturday.
Jason Stiles was among the quintet that upped the hall’s membership to 145 over the 116-year history of athletics at Western. Other inductees were Anne Cooper, women’s basketball; Alison Haukaas, softball; Joni Slagle, women’s basketball; and Katja Trygg, women’s golf.
A four-year starter at quarterback for the Vikings from 1992 to 1995, Stiles was a first-team choice to WWU’s All-Century Football Team (1900-1999). He had a 30-9 record while directing the offense and finished as the school’s career leader in yards passing (7,854) and touchdown passes (67).
“Jason was the consummate team leader, exactly what you look for in your quarterback, as he played the game with both passion and determination, two qualities that have allowed him to achieve great personal success after graduation,” Stiles’ head coach at Western, Rob Smith, said in a media release.
An honorable mention NAIA All-American as a senior in 1995, Stiles led WWU to its first undefeated regular season since 1938, the school’s first No.1 ranking in the final national poll, first place in the Columbia Football Association-Mount Rainier League (5-0) and the opening round of the NAIA Division II national playoffs, finishing 9-1.
The Vikings broke or tied 43 school records that season, including most wins, and scored 50 points each in three games, tying a school record. WWU ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense (37.0), seventh in passing offense (277.7) and eighth in total offense (453.9).
Stiles, who passed for 2,297 yards and 17 touchdowns, completing 61 percent of his attempts (161-of-264), was a first-team all-CFA pick and NAIA National Player of the Week.
As a freshman in 1992, Stiles helped the Vikings to their first national playoff appearance in program history. That season a Stiles pass that resulted in an incredible catch by wide receiver Chris Moore won national acclaim and was voted ESPN College Play of the Year at the first ESPY Awards show.
Stiles ranked ninth nationally in passing (249.8) as a sophomore. WWU began that season 6-1, the school’s best start since 1958.
As a junior in 1994, Stiles passed for 1,964 yards in directing the Vikings (8-3) to the national quarterfinals. They began the playoffs with an opening-round win at No.1-ranked Linfield.
Stiles graduated from Western in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies. He had a three-year professional football career, playing in Germany in 1996 for the Wolfsburg Blue Wings, while also being the offensive coordinator, and being a part-time starter for two seasons in the Arena Football League for the Portland Forest Dragons. In his first start for Portland, Stiles threw five touchdown passes against Anaheim and later competed against two-time Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner.
Stiles has been a color commentator in football and basketball at Root Sports Northwest since 2006. He has covered college football, arena football and high school football. Stiles also spent nine years handling color for WWU football radio broadcasts.
Stiles was the Athlete of the Year in 1990-91 at Decatur, competing in football, basketball and baseball for the Gators. He led the state in passing in 1990, totaling 3,200 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior and senior. Stiles also earned all-league honors twice and was team captain for two years.
Stiles, who is employed as a regional sales manager for a medical device company, resides in Snoqualmie with his wife, Andrea, daughter, Jordan, and son, Colt.