Behind-the-scenes producer is lifelong Beaver believer

So you think you are a die-hard Beavers fan?  Beat this:  Malisa Hollis hasn’t missed a home football game in 29 years.  And she’s only two games shy of making all the basketball games as well.

“My grandparents started taking me to OSU football games when I was 6 months old, and to OSU basketball games when I was 9 months old,” Hollis said.  “I come from a sports family and I love it!”

Malisa Hollis produces the TV show “Beavers All Access” for Fox Sports Net.

Malisa Hollis produces the TV show “Beavers All Access” for Fox Sports Net.

Her passion for sports is evident, and as the coordinator of video production for OSU’s athletic department, it couldn’t be a better fit.   Since graduating from OSU in 2001, Hollis mixes together team highlight tapes, fundraising tapes and produces the TV show “Beavers All Access” for Fox Sports Net.

Co-worker Jeff Taylor says, “She’s an encyclopedia for OSU athletics.”

“She is very knowledgeable technically and her creative editing skills are phenomenal,” said intern Matt Riley.

“Malisa is really a special, special person for Athletics and probably taken for granted sometimes just because of her commitment to her job,” said Steve Fenk, assistant athletic director. “She goes beyond the call of duty every day. She is an extremely talented producer, works under incredible deadlines and often works through the night. Even when exhausted she still has a smile and is willing to help in any way.”

Hollis’ life-long love affair with Beaver sports began with her grandparents, Bert and Shirley Babb, who have deep roots at OSU. Bert’s father, Graydon Babb, played baseball for the Beavers, and Bert himself was going to pitch for OSU but a serious car accident derailed that plan.

Malisa with Ralph Miller

Malisa Hollis with family friend, Ralph Miller.

The Babbs not only have season tickets to Beaver football games, but also men’s and women’s basketball, gymnastics, wrestling and baseball.

Hollis’ grandparents were good friends with Ralph and Jean Miller.  “I’d be with my grandparents in the summer time, and I remember being around coaches all the time.  A lot of people see Ralph Miller as cranky, but he was gentle and grandfatherly to me.  He never treated me like a tag-a-long.”  (Hollis and Miller share the same birthday–March 9.)

Hollis’ heart, though, is reserved for Gary Payton.  Even though she was only 10 years old, Hollis remembers sitting next to Payton on the bus on the way to a practice before the 1989 NCAA Tournament.  “He was my absolute idol; I had a huge crush on him,” she recalls. “It was really cool.”

But it’s the football games Hollis recalls the best.

The biggest game to her is the 1998 Civil War game.  “We hadn’t had a winning football season in 28 years,” said Hollis.  “Oregon was heavily favored, and we had taken a beating by their fans for years.  After OSU won in the second overtime on a Ken Simonton touchdown, people were tearing up turf and tearing down goal posts.  It was intense, emotional and as much energy as you’ve ever seen.  It didn’t matter if we lost any after that– 44-41 said it all.”

In 1999, Hollis recalls the Beaver’s ending a 20-year losing streak to California.  “Grown men were rushing on the field crying.  So many times we couldn’t win and now it was over,” said Hollis.  The 2006 win over USC also stands out in Hollis’ mind.  “We beat the number one team in the country.”

Asked if she plans on making all the home football games the next 29 years, Hollis replied, “I hope so. I’d love to be able to do that.”

~ by Jeanne Silsby

Video

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2006 baseball champs

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2007 baseball champs

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Ken Simonton breaks the streak

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Beavers break USC’s win streak in 2000

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Beavers win the Sun Bowl in 2006

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’98 Civil War win

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Gary Payton in Beaver orange

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