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image of Claude 'Skeet'  O'Connell

Claude 'Skeet' O'Connell

Claude 'Skeet' O'Connell

Clark College
Class of 1989

Claude “Skeet” Wilson O’Connell was born in Concrete, Wash. on Jan. 8, 1916. After graduating from high school in Odell, Ore., O’Connell received a bachelor’s degree in education from Western Oregon State University and a master’s degree from Washington State University.

His teaching career began in 1941 in Vancouver Public Schools. In 1946, he joined the staff of Clark College when it reopened after World War II. He served as Director of Athletics and Physical Education at Clark for 41 years, coaching basketball, baseball and golf.

O'Connell's basketball teams won four Washington State Junior College Athletic Association (WSJCAC) championships in 1947, 1953, 1955 and 1956. His 1956 baseball team won the WSJCAC title in 1956 and were runner up several times. He took the reins of the men's golf team in 1975 and won 3 NWAACC titles in 1978, 1981 and 1982.

In 1960, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Intercollegiate Athletic Association, District II. In 1981 and 1982, he was named Coach of the Year by the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges (NWAACC).

In 1989, he was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame. Additional honors include inductions into the Clark County Rotary Club Hall of Fame and the Randy Myers Foundation Hall of Fame.

Skeet and Stellamae O'ConnellIn 1986, the Clark College sports center was named in his honor. In 2009, the building was rededicated following a two-year renovation.

In 2012, O’Connell was inducted into the inaugural class of the Clark College Athletics Hall of Fame.

O’Connell passed away in July 2012.

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