Caleb Porter, portrait
Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer

Portland Timbers' Caleb Porter receives Sportsperson of the Year Award at Oregon Sports Award

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter was awarded the Slats Gill Award for Sportsperson of the Year as part of the Oregon Sports Awards, it was announced Sunday evening at the Oregon Sports Awards show held in Beaverton, Ore.

The Sportsperson of the Year, an award named after legendary Oregon State University coach and administrator Slats Gill, is given to an outstanding coach, administrator or organization from an Oregon-based team at any level of competition during the calendar year.

Under Porter, the Timbers assembled one of the biggest turnaround seasons in MLS history in 2013. In his first year as the club's head coach, Porter helped guide the Timbers to a 23-point improvement in points and an MLS-record 43-goal improvement in goal differential over the team’s 2012 totals. The 2013 MLS Coach of the Year, Porter’s winning percentage (.632) in 2013 ranks among the best in league history for first-year MLS head coaches, and the Timbers’ 15-game unbeaten streak during the 2013 regular season set the mark for the longest by an MLS head coach in his first full season at the helm.

Among Porter’s achievements, Portland finished as the top seed in the Western Conference and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since joining the league in 2011. By defeating rival Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Semifinal, the Timbers became just the fifth club in MLS history to reach the conference championship in their MLS Cup Playoff debut. With a first-place finish in the Western Conference during the 2013 regular season, the Timbers qualified for the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League. Additionally, the Timbers made their deepest run in club history in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2013, reaching the semifinals of the tournament.

In 2013, the Timbers ranked third in MLS in goals scored and conceded the second-fewest goals at 33, giving the club a league-best, plus-21 goal differential. The club also led the league with 15 shutouts, tied for third-most in a single season in MLS history. During the regular season, the Timbers assembled one of the longest unbeaten streaks in MLS history at 15 games, and also put together a league-best, nine-match unbeaten run on the road.

With the honor, Porter, one of three finalists for the Sportsperson of the Year award, became the fourth soccer-related figure to receive the award since it was founded in 1957. The others are Timbers Owner and President Merritt Paulson (2011), legendary NASL Timbers player and Portland soccer icon Clive Charles (1995, 2002) and NASL Timbers head coach Vic Crowe (1975).

Slats Gill Award/Sportsperson of the Year Winners:
2013: Caleb Porter – soccer
2012: Chip Kelly – football; Erik Spoelstra – basketball
2011: Merritt Paulson – soccer
2010: Chip Kelly – football
2009: Chip Kelly – football
2008: Mike Riley – football
2007: Pat Casey – baseball
2006: Pat Casey – baseball
2005: Pat Casey – baseball
2004: Danny Miles – basketball
2003: Ernie Kent – basketball
2002: Clive Charles – soccer
2001: Mike Bellotti – football
1996: Brad Smith – basketball
1995: Clive Charles – soccer
1994: Rich Brooks – football
1993: Gordie James – basketball
1992: Rick Adelman – basketball
1991: Ad Rutschman – football
1990: Rick Adelman – basketball
1989: Rich Brooks – football
1988: Pokey Allen – football
1987: Pokey Allen – football
1986: Ad Rutschman – football
1985: Jeff Mozzochi – volleyball
1984: Ad Rutschman – football
1983: Ken Hodge – hockey
1982: Ad Rutschman – football
1981: Ralph Miller – basketball
1980: Ralph Miller – basketball
1979: Rich Brooks – football
1978: Ad Rutschman – football
1977: Jack Ramsey – basketball
1976: Darrel “Mouse” Davis – football
1975: Vic Crowe – soccer
1974: Laurence (Doc) Savage – football
1973: Jack Dunn – baseball
1972: Dale Thomas – wrestling
1971: Bill Bowerman – track and field
1970: Harry Glickman – basketball
1969: Dick McCLain – baseball
1968: John Allen – football
1967: Dee Andros – football
1966: Paul Valenti – basketball
1965: Hal Laycoe – hockey
1964: John Lipon – baseball
1963: Joe Huston – football
1962: Bill Bowerman – track and field
1961: Paul Durham – football
1960: Ted Ogdahl – football
1959: Fred Spiegelberg – football
1958: Tom DeSylvia – football
1957: Len Casanova & Tommy Prothro – football

About the Oregon Sports Awards
Originally the Hayward Banquet of Champions, the Oregon Sports Awards began in 1948 to honor Oregon’s outstanding professional and amateur athletes, teams, coaches and administrators from many levels and a wide range of sports. In 2001, Nike, the Portland Tribune and Oregon-based sports marketing and entertainment agency SportsOne revived the event under its current name to include a stage-show, additional award categories and a new venue—the state-of-the-art, 770-seat Stanford Theatre at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.