Former Southern Oregon University Athletic Director Monty Cartwright, a 2010 SOU Sports Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Monday evening in Portland. Cartwright, one of the Raider athletic department’s most influential figures, was 74.
Cartwright, a native of Delano, Calif., first arrived in Ashland in 1984 and served as SOU’s head track and field coach from 1985-98, overseeing 43 NAIA All-America performances and seven national champions. He became the Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports in 1995 and held the post for six years.
During that time, SOU added three women’s sports and contributions to the student-athlete scholarship fund nearly quadrupled. Success followed for the Raiders, as the 1996-97 women’s basketball team advanced to the NAIA Division II semifinals, the football team twice appeared in the NAIA quarterfinals and the wrestling team captured the 2001 NAIA championship.
“Monty was an inspiration and mentor to so many of us in Raider Athletics and the department of Health and Physical Education,” SOU Director of Athletics Matt Sayre said. “He was a coach and educator in the best sense of those words.
“He embodied the best values of the profession he loved and cared deeply about the people he hired, coached and worked with,” Sayre said. “Monty showed us what wisdom, courage and character looked like every day of his life. I will always be grateful to him for that example.”
Cartwright was a professor in the Department of Health and Physical Education for 22 years. A 1967 graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, he earned a master’s degree in Physical Education from Idaho State University in 1972. Prior to SOU, he spent 10 years as the track and cross country coach at the College of the Canyons in Valencia, Calif., and two years as the head track coach at Montana State University. At SOU, he was also the head cross country coach for eight years.
His enthusiasm for life only grew stronger after he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s mantle cell lymphoma at 58. He was a master track All-American, and in 2011 self-published his first book: “Aging, Health and the Athletic Mind Attitude: A game plan for aging and health challenges.”
He remained an avid writer and poet until his death.
“He was just so motivating and inspirational,” said Sally Jones, another member of the 2010 SOU Hall of Fame class and close friend. “His students, colleagues, friends and family all loved him very much. He touched so many people.”
He is survived by his wife, Juliana, SOU’s former nursing program director, and their three daughters: Dawn, Dyan and Michelle.
Plans for a memorial service will be announced later.
This story is reposted from souraiders.com.