SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University football Head Coach Mark Speckman will be inducted into the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame on June 21. Speckman, who grew up in Belmont, Calif., just south of San Francisco, is one of 10 individuals being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2007 will give the Hall of Fame a total of 192 members, including the inaugural class in 1989.
Speckman has achieved a record of 48-41 (.539) in nine seasons as Willamettes head coach. He guided the Bearcats to NCAA playoff berths in 1999 and 2004, as Willamette earned a 7-4 record each season. He joined the WU coaching staff in 1995 as the offensive coordinator and helped the Bearcats reach the NAIA playoffs in 1996 and 1997. Willamette advanced to the NAIA Championship game in 1997 and finished the year with a 13-1 overall record. Including his three years as an assistant coach, Willamette has registered a 78-46-1 record (.622) since Speckman joined the team.
He has been involved with nine winning seasons for the Bearcats and has helped WU record seven or more wins six times. WU won Northwest Conference titles when he was an assistant in 1995, 1996 and 1997, then added another NWC championship in his second year as head coach in 1999.
Prior to arriving at Willamette, Speckman had a successful tenure as the head football coach at Merced High School in California from 1986 through 1993. His teams at Merced recorded back-to-back 14-0 seasons in 1989 and 1990, after going 13-1 in 1988. The 1990 team was voted #1 in California, #5 in the nation by ESPN and #10 in the country by USA Today. In addition to his coaching duties, Speckman also taught classes at the high school level.
Speckman has overcome significant adversity in achieving success as a player and a coach. He was born without any hands, but his parents encouraged him to be as active as other children. He found that sports gave him opportunities for greater interaction, while allowing others to notice his skills and abilities. He was a talented football player in high school, as he began to experience success in athletics.
After graduating from high school, Speckman played football at Menlo College in Atherton, Calif, which was a junior college at the time. He played his final two seasons at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. As a player at Azusa Pacific, he was named Honorable Mention All-America in the NAIA after completing an outstanding collegiate career at linebacker.
He is regarded as one of the foremost authorities on The Fly offense. The Fly includes motion by the flanker across the formation before almost every snap. The flanker takes a handoff, blocks for a running play or becomes a receiver. It is an offense built on deception and quality blocking, where the ball may go in a number of directions on any given play.
As a result of his experience with running The Fly, Speckman is in demand to speak at camps and coaching clinics about how to execute the offense or prepare to defend against it. Coaches from the high school level through all levels of college football attend coaching clinics at Willamette to learn more about The Fly.
Speckman also is a popular speaker with educational and business organizations. He has delivered numerous speeches to school boards, teachers and business groups regarding personal motivation and achieving ones goals. He has been brought in as a guest speaker at the meetings of several major corporations. He also has a great sense of humor that keeps friends, fellow coaches and even his players laughing.
Speckman and his wife, Sue, are the parents of three children: Lisa, Tim and Julie. The Speckman family lives in Salem.