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Family, friends, coaches, teammates gather to honor Spencer Webb

spencer webb.jpg
Oregon Athletics

Family, friends, coaches and teammates gathered Thursday night to honor Spencer Webb, the 22-year-old Oregon football player who died last week after an accidental fall near Triangle Lake west of Eugene.

Coach Dan Lanning was one of the first to address the crowd. He began by acknowledging that “This is a terrible tragedy that no family member, friend, teammate should ever have to experience and my heart goes out to each and every one of you at the loss of Spencer."

Oregon Athletics
Oregon Football coach Dan Lanning addresses mourners at a celebration of life for Spencer Webb, Thursday, July 21, 2022.

Lanning continued by highlighting what others have said since Webb’s passing: that he was the kind of person who instantly felt like a friend. "At times I started to think about what I wanted to say and how I should prepare for this service and I thought to myself why do I deserve to be the guy that gets to get up here to talk about Spencer Webb. I've known Spencer for about seven months, but I can tell you that anyone who's truly known Spencer, it didn't matter if you knew him for a day or you knew him for 10 years, you felt like you knew him forever," said Lanning.

Lanning was emotional as he described how Webb exhibited the character "DNA traits" that exemplify Oregon players: connection, toughness, growth and sacrifice. Lanning said Webb most consistently displayed connection and described that everyone new to the program went through "the Spencer Webb orientation process." Lanning said “if you were going to meet someone, you had to meet Spencer first or else he would go find you.”

Lanning described how, from his very first day on the job, he encountered Spencer sitting on the couch in his office with a list of items to talk about, from his jersey number, to protocols for wearing hats and earrings in the building (joking to Lanning that it would be good for morale), to how much tight ends would get the ball.

Teammates Cam McCormick and Isaah Crocker each spoke about Webb's gregarious, larger than life personality, while his brother Cody and sister-in-law Alicia detailed the obstacles he overcame in his early years to find success on the football field.

McCormick described the team meeting they had the morning of Webb's accident. He said the focus of the meeting was on gratitude, a "get real" meeting. Players were asked to write notes to someone they were grateful for. McCormick received the card from Webb and after the meeting "we exchanged a hug in the locker room and told each other how grateful we were for one another and expressed the impact that we had on each other's lives. We felt the only thing that could make us closer was the blood running through our veins. At the time I had no idea this was my last conversation I would have with Spencer, nor did I know it was the last time I would see him. Looking back, I realize what a gift that exchange was between us."

Oregon Athletics
Oregon Football player Cam McCormick reflects on his final interaction with Spencer Webb during Webb's celebration of life on July 21, 2022

McCormick concluded his remarks by saying "Although I have tremendous pain in my heart, and I miss my brother every day, I will treasure all our moments together and will remember him always and forever. Spencer, if you are listening, please continue to shine a light down on all of us. We could sure use it."

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.