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Don Durdan
Born September 21, 1920
Arcata, California
Died June 28, 1971(1971-06-28) (aged 50)
Corvallis, Oregon

Donald Edgar Durdan (September 21, 1920 – June 28, 1971) was a professional American football and basketball player.

Early lifeEdit

Durdan was born in Arcata, California and attended Eureka High School, where he played running back on the high school football team. In 1935, Durdan's team was not only undefeated, but they did not allow their opponents to score a single point.[1]

Durdan went on to Oregon State, where he started in baseball, basketball, and football, and was a member of Pacific Coast Conference championship teams in each sport. He was named an All-American in basketball in his senior year of 1943.[2]

Rose Bowl MVPEdit

In 1941, the Beavers football team won the Pacific Coast Conference and a berth in the 1942 Rose Bowl against the undefeated Duke Blue Devils. With the United States' entry into World War II, concern about a Japanese attack on the West Coast brought a relocation of the game to Duke's home stadium in Durham, North Carolina.[3] In spite of the fact that Duke was favored by two touchdowns, the Beavers pulled off a major upset, winning 20–16.[4] Durdan, who showed his all-around skill by rushing for 54 yards and a touchdown, passing, and punting, was named the game's most valuable player.[3] This remains the only Beavers' Rose Bowl victory.

Professional careerEdit

Durdan served in the United States Navy during World War II.[5] After the war, Durdan signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1946, where he played halfback as well as defensive back for one full season and part of a second in 1947.

In addition to playing professional football, Durdan also played professional basketball for the Portland Indians of the Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League. The league lasted just two seasons (1946–47 and 1947–48), but Durdan's Indians won the best-of-five league championship in 1948 over the rival Seattle Athletics.[6]


In 1946, Durdan married Maxine DeMoss, sister of Oregon golf champion Grace DeMoss (another DeMoss sister married Durdan's Rose Bowl teammate Quentin Greenough).[5][7] Following his sports career, Durdan became a funeral director in his wife's family's funeral home business in Corvallis, Oregon.[5] He died in Corvallis in 1971.[8] He was inducted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1981,[9] and in 1988, to both the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame.[10][11]


  1. "Pigg tops athletes of century". Times-Standard (Eureka, Calif.). January 2, 2000. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  2. "Best of OSU Archives". Oregon State University Archives. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Rose Bowl Timeline". Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Archived from the original on 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2007-11-05. 
  4. "Underdog Bites Duke". January 12, 1942.,9171,773048,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Our History". DeMoss and Durdan Funeral Home and Crematory. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  6. Kenyon, J. Michael. "Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League 1946-47 to 1947-48". Association for Professional Basketball Research. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  7. "Obituary: Raymond "Rick" Greenough". Corvallis Gazette-Times. October 20, 2004. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  8. "Donald Edgar Durdan". Find A Grave. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  9. "Hall of Fame Roll of Honor Members". Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 
  10. "Rose Bowl Hall of Fame". Pasadena Tournament of Roses. Archived from the original on 2008-03-11. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  11. "Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame". Oregon State Sports Information. Archived from the original on November 4, 2011. Retrieved May 24, 2011. 

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