clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Beaver Nation Loses Bill "Earthquake" Enyart

All of Beaver Nation suffered a big loss today, with the passing of Bill "Earthquake" Enyart. Enyart was 67, and lost a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Enyart was one of the best known members of the "Giant Killers", the Beavers' fullback (in an era when a big, bruising fullback was a feature weapon) from 1966 thru 1968. He was all-Pac-8 in both 1967, when Oregon St. went 7-2-1, with victories over No. 1 USC and No. 2 at the time Purdue, and a tie vs. No. 2 UCLA, and in 1968, when he was also named as a first-team All-American. Enyart was also a 2 time academic All-American.

Enyart was born April 28, 1947 in Pawhuska, OK, but his family moved to Medford, OR, where Enyart led the Black Tornado to a state championship.

Bill Enyart

At Oregon St., Enyart ran for 2,155 yards, the seventh-most ever by a Beaver, and he still holds the single game rushing records for yards and carries, running 50 times for 299 yards to lead the Beavers to a win at Utah on Sept. 28, 1968, scoring 4 touchdowns, which ties for most rushing touchdowns in a game at Oregon St.

The Beavers were without injured starting quarterback Steve Preece, and that was the game in which Coach Dee Andros explained he wasn't concerned about having "Earthquake" carry the ball that often because "The ball ain't all that heavy!"

"Bill was maybe the TOUGHEST guy I ever played with; and maybe the most competitive, in any sport," Preece said. "He wanted the ball, the chance, the opportunity, the responsibility, in every situation on the field."

Enyart was drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the 27th pick in the NFL draft, and played 2 years there before an injury ended his career while with the Oakland Raiders in 1971.

Enyart is the only other Oregon St. Beaver in the College Football Hall of Fame besides Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker, after being inducted in 2011. He was named to the Oregon State Hall of Fame in 1991.

Enyart retired to Bend, OR, and is survived by his mother, Betty Enyart-Harty; children Ben and Eliza; sisters Marcia Shuch and Jodi Hines; and his former wife, JoAnn Grant.


Enyart will be remembered at a ceremony on Sat., April 11 in Reser Stadium at 3 PM, and the public is invited.

RIP "Earthquake", and thanks for being a great Beaver to the end.