In 1972, a notice was put in The Register-Guard newspaper announcing a luncheon meeting on April 25 at the Eugene Hotel inviting women to come to hear the University of Oregon football coach Dick Enright explain the ins and outs of football. A small number was anticipated; but 350 women showed up! On a blackboard set up at the front of the room Coach Enright diagramed plays and explained football terminology. That meeting started what is now known as the Daisy Ducks.
Regular weekly meetings of the Daisy Ducks followed and the group was officially incorporated on October 24, 1972. Soon, coaches of other sports asked the Daisy Ducks to support their sports also, and Tuesday luncheon meetings were set up to feature guest speakers such as coaches from all the sports, players, administrators, members of the media, officials and many more. These speakers explain their sports or jobs.
Cookies started being baked and given to athletes, at first as dessert on training tables, later in goodie bags delivered and distributed to teams on their way to road games. Each year the Daisies baked and delivered over 25,600 cookies. In 2013, the cookie snacks were replaced with fruit and chex mix combinations given to the teams for their away games. In 2007, the football nutritionist asked the Daisies to provide Rice Krispies Treats for the football players at half-time for every home game. The number of these treats averages about 5,000 for the season.
That first year the Daisies also started publishing a newsletter summarizing Daisy meetings, providing information about upcoming events and including recipes for cookies. The newsletter was originally called the Quarterback Gazette and each issue was typed; then a hand-drawn Daisy Duck (with a daisy in her bill) was added to the upper-right-hand corner. The newsletter was then photocopied and mailed to the members. Since 2013, the current Daisy Duck Newsletter is emailed to the members.
In 1973, the Daisy Ducks used their own button machine to make their own name-tags and support buttons for every game. As a tradition, Daisies still wear name-tags at meetings, so that before you know it, “Everyone knows your name.” Any Daisy forgetting to wear a name-tag must put twenty-five cents into the Duckie Bank.
The first of many bus trips began in 1973-74 with basketball season. Now an annual bus trip is scheduled to attend an away football game.
In 1977-78, Sports Chairs were created for each sport, with the chair making sure teams receive emotional support, cookies and fruit before every away game. The tradition of snacks and fruit given by Sports Chairs for away games is since occurring. Chairs send birthday cards to all student-athletes. Many have said they especially enjoyed receiving them as a pleasant surprise when they were sometimes alone in their dorm rooms, homesick for home and family.
Since 1983-84, potluck dinners have been served for all sports so that student-athletes could enjoy a home-cooked meal. The attention and support are appreciated by those who attend.
From 1998 to 2012 Daisies presented plaques to each senior student-athlete. Each plaque was inscribed with the student’s name, sport and senior year along with the Daisy Duck logo. Also, inscribed was, “Thank you for contributing to the University of Oregon Athletic Program.”