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Meet the Huskies' No. 1 Football Fan, Now and 30 Years Ago

Dave Rost has maintained a deep-rooted, six-decade connection to his favorite UW team.
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On an overly sentimental weekend for Husky football, the University of Washington will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its national championship team by sending some of those unforgettable players out for the opening coin toss and dressing the current gladiators in throwback uniforms.

Oh yeah, they'll gladly show Dave Rost to his choice seats under cover, to his perfect vantage spot for watching Saturday's UW-UCLA game. 

Rost?

Surely, you know this man.

Rost, 67, is the Huskies' ultimate fan.

When the 1991 Husky team was running the table on its perfect 12-0 season, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer asked the school to produce its most loyal football follower for a feature story and it came up with Rost. The newspaper playfully labeled him "A Dawg-goner."

Twenty-five years later, ESPN Game Day arrived in Seattle and made a similar request of the UW, and once more the local university offered Rost. He joined the crew on campus well before the sun came up to share his story.

Now celebrating 132 football seasons, the Husky athletic department decided this week to feature a fan in a promotional video who exhibited all of the traits of the team's ultimate football loyalist. Let's see, who could possibly fill this request?

You guessed it: Rost, front and center. 

The thing about this UW graduate, class of 1978, is he's always been low key and no attention-seeker. He just follows the Huskies.

You won't find him commenting on any of the fan sites. He doesn't grade the team like so many of you, outraged by its shortcomings, worried about the ever-changing details. He's just happy, win or lose, that he has so much to look forward to each fall.

Husky fan Dave Rost and athletic director Jen Cohen at Husky Stadium.

Husky fan Dave Rost and athletic director Jen Cohen share a UW moment. 

Rost was once a pretty fair football player himself, just up the street at Roosevelt High School. Ask the Shoreline Spartans about the defensive back's 26-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown plucked out of midair that provided the winning points in a 14-6 game in 1971. 

His family UW connection goes all the way back to 1881 when his great-grandmother graduated from the original school created before the Washington territory even achieved statehood. His grandparents had their own university connection. His late father was a huge fan. 

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Rost first received a serious taste of Husky football as a boy scout in the 1960s, helping show people to their seats before kickoff. He then grabbed a prime spot in the middle of an aisle to watch the game unfold, with others stepping over him. 

It was the beginning of a now six-decade relationship with his favorite college football team. It was a hobby. A social outing like no other. Part of every year for him. 

Dave Rost, at right, is considered one of the UW's most loyal fans.

Husky fan Dave Rost knows how to tailgate, sharing in what's known as "a snowshoe."

When it came time to pick a college, it was no choice at all — Rost was going to the UW. He joined a fraternity. He made friends with others like him who wanted to go to the games, but no one else was quite so devoted.

He graduated just months after attending Don James' first Rose Bowl game and the Huskies' 27-20 win over Michigan in Pasadena. 

For a favorite outing, Rost points to the "the Whammy in Miami," which describes the UW's glorious 38-20 upset of the Hurricanes in 1994 and the end of that school's 58-game home winning streak. He was in Florida that day soaking up every second of the milestone moment. 

Husky fan Dave Rost celebrates the UW upset win in Miami in 1994.

Dave Rost enjoys the Whammy in Miami upset in 1994. 

Visit his North Seattle home, and Rost will show you his new 84-inch TV purchased for watching the Husky road games that he doesn't attend, or rewatching the ones that he does. He's got all kinds of UW memorabilia on display throughout a downstairs room in which he calls his "fan cave."

Retired from a Seattle mechanical engineering firm, he urged his daughters Morgan and Melinda to become fifth-generation Husky fans well before they attended the school themselves. 

As the UW prepares to face UCLA this weekend at Husky Stadium, it should be noted that Rost holds a personal victory over this particular SoCal school — he stole one of its coeds, lowering the enrollment by one.

On a college break, he went off to Mexico by himself and while walking alone on a beach he ran smack into his future wife, Liza. It was romance stuff that you typically find only in a Hallmark movie. 

It wasn't long before Rost helped convince her to drop out of UCLA, enroll at the UW, and share in his fall sporting passion. He turned her into a purple-and-gold football loyalist, too, and, of course, his spouse. 

As for No. 1 Husky fan, it's no contest. 

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