Tim Stokes

Tim Stokes – SLHS Class of 1968 Football Athlete

Tim Stokes, #76 for the Green Packers against 49ers.

Tim Stokes, #76 for the Green Packers against 49ers.

The Stokes Family name is a fixture in the East Bay Area annals for decades.

John Stokes was an administrator in the Oakland Public School system; Myra (Hickling) was a member of the San Leandro High School Class of 1938, and her sons, Jack and Tim were SLHS class members in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Athletics was the name of the game in the Stokes household. Jack was a standout in basketball, swimming, and in football, earned All-League and All-County honors.  He went on to be a starting defensive end at Chico State (Calif.).

Tim, on the other hand was on his own path toward greatness. At a young age, being competitive and part of a team was already in his DNA.  The six-year-old joined his first team, the San Leandro Beavers AAU Swim Club from 1956-1962.  His first coaching job remained in the water, becoming a swim instructor (1962-1973) at Farrelly Pool where he guided his teams to a pair of city championships, however more importantly taught 3,000-4,000 people to swim.

At San Leandro High School, he was a three-year standout (1966, 1967, 1968) in track and field (shot put), basketball, and football. Stokes became a two-year varsity starter in basketball, however it was on the gridiron where he would continue to shine for years to come.

SCAN0146During his senior year, Stokes was named All-League and All-County (Alameda), in addition to playing in the 1967 All-Star Shiners All-Star Game. He was also part of a solid offensive line with teammates Tom Barentson (Cal) and Mike Talbot (Washington State).  The trio received something unheard of in 1968, a Division I college scholarship.  Not bad from a team that went 6-3 on the season.

From there, Stokes would take his talent to the University of Oregon where he would later earn a Bachelor of Science degree in General Social Science (1972). In 1969, he played on the UO freshman team, then for the next three years played left tackle on the varsity from 1970, 1971, 1972, as a three-year starter. A true ironman, Stokes would only miss four practices during his gridiron days with the Ducks.

His standout play at the line of scrimmage resulted in the accumulation of numerous individual and team school records with Oregon. He helped the Ducks lead the Pac-8 Conference in rushing his junior year and blocked for a running back named Bobby Moore (later known as Ahmad Rashad) to a conference-best 1,211 yards. He also helped Rashad rush to a then-school record 249 yards in a home win over Utah. Moore had six games over 100 rushing yards in that season alone.  Entering the 2016 season, the 249 yards ranks seventh on the UO list.

Stokes would help Moore engineer four more 100-plus rushing games during his sophomore season, and once for Don Reynolds in 1972. With Stokes anchoring the line, UO running backs rushed over 100 yards on 11 different occasions (Ducks went 7-3-1).

During his sophomore campaign, he was part of the Ducks most improbable and greatest win in school history, as UO rallied on the road to beat No. 15 UCLA, 41-40 with three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the game. As a senior, he helped UO’s upset win over No. 6 Stanford, 15-13.

His senior season in 1972, Stokes was named to the pre-season The Sporting News All-American pre-season team and the Playboy Magazine All-American Players to Watch.  Possessing the work ethic and humble demeanor that made him content to allow others to receive the greater share of the attention, the overdue credit finally came his way his senior year being named All-Pacific Coast and selected to play in the Blue-Grey, Hula Bowl and Coaches All-America All-Star games.

The opportunity to play at the next level came in the 1973 NFL Draft where Stokes was chosen in the third round (60th player taken) by the Los Angeles Rams.

He spent the next 10 years playing in 105 games (73 starts) at left tackle battling in professional football’s trenches with four teams, Los Angeles Rams (1973: injured reserve, 1974), Washington Redskins (1975-1977), Green Bay Packers (1978-1982), and the New York Giants (1981).

He started all of his 33 games played in Washington and started 39 of 63 games in Green Bay. Stokes started in three playoff games, while playing in five overall that saw him reach the NFC Championship with the Rams in 1974.  Also quite interesting, Stokes started and played for two different teams in one season in 1981 (Green Bay and NYG).

Throughout his football career from high school, college, and to the professional ranks, Stokes was coached, played with, and against a number of football standout individuals and hall of famers.

At San Leandro he was coached by John “Biff” Crawley, Ed Collins, Woody Daley, Cas Munoz, and Ben Shorum. At Oregon, he was under the tutelage of Ron Stratten and played with Dan Fouts and Ahmad Rashad, just to name a few. In the NFL, he was coached by Chuck Knox, George Allen, and Bart Starr, and on the field, played with many greats in Lynn Dickey, Pat Fisher, Chris Hanburger, Kenny Houston, Billy Kilmer, James Lofton, Tom Mack, Merlin Olsen, John Riggins, Joe Theismann, and Jack Youngblood.

Stokes is married to the former Jody Eisenlohr, also an UO graduate where the couple has resided in Eugene since 1972. The couple has three children, all college graduates, a daughter, Bailey (B.S., Oregon State; M.A., Washington State); and sons, John (B.A., Oregon); and David (B.A., Idaho).

After his playing days were over, Stokes returned to the Eugene-Springfield area to remain active in the sport as a coach at the high school and youth levels for close to three decades.

In the fall of 2015, Stokes was inducted in the South Eugene High School Hall of Fame (Meritorious Service) for his longtime fundraising and volunteer football coaching of youth teams that fed into South’s program. Also in 2015, Stokes was inducted in the 24th University of Oregon Hall of Fame Class.  He was general manager at KQUK radio from 1984-87 and today, is the president of Metal Products Company in Springfield since 1987.