Seven outstanding individuals and two national championship teams were honored on Friday night at the 8th Fullerton College Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner.
The dinner was another huge campus success with folks from all over the country packing Fullerton College's North Gym (the Hornets Nest).
This year's group of exceptional inductees were Robert Ferguson, Gail Freudenberg-Loomis, Kristin Jacobs-Nagel, Jim Kruse, Dave Murphy, Ted Owens, Chris Smith, the 1965 Championship Football Team, and the 1967 Championship Football Team. Hall of Fame broadcaster Ed Arnold (KTLA and KOCE TV) served as the Mater of Ceremonies and Hall of Fame Athletic Trainer Bill Chambers did an amazing job speaking on behalf of both championship football teams.
"It's nights like tonight that make you proud to be a Hornet. The tradition and history at Fullerton College always brings all of us back together no matter the years and miles in between", Fullerton College Athletic Director Scott Giles.
A special thank you to all who helped make the event such a success, especially the Hornet student athletes who helped serve dinner.
Below are the biographies of the 2019 inductees:
ROBERT FERGUSON (Football Athlete / Service 1949-1951 & 1957-2002) - Bob competed in both football and track & field while at Fullerton College where he was a four-time letterman. In 1949 as a freshman on the Hornet football team, Ferguson led the team in scoring, rushing, and was selected 2nd Team All-Eastern Conference. In 1950, he was the team co-captain and led the team in scoring, rushing, was selected First Team All Eastern Conference, and selected to National Champion Long Beach City Colleges All-Opponent Team. Bob ended his FJC football career with no less than 10 individual school records including most points scored (career) and rushing yards (career) in addition to a host of punting records (two remain today). Ferguson's most notable record is a 109-yard kickoff return against San Bernardino in 1950 that will stand in the archives forever.
In 1950, while on the track & field squad, Bob was the team's leading point getter competing in multiple events including the long jump, high jump, pole vault, sprints, and relays, even though he missed the first five weeks of the season with an injury. In 1951 as a sophomore trackster, Ferguson was the co-captain and was again the team's leading point getter. Bob finished the season as the Eastern Conference Champion in the long jump and was the runner-up in the pole vault. He was second in the California State Championships in the Pole Vault setting a new FJC Record of 13 ft. Bob finished fourth in the long jump and had another 4th place finish as a member of the mile relay team. Ferguson wrapped up his FJC career with the second-ever Art Nunn Memorial Award given to the Most Inspirational Athlete.
After being heavily recruited, Bob chose to continue his education at George Pepperdine College where he continued participating in football and track & field earning six more letters in the two sports. In 1953, Ferguson won the NAIA pole vault championship establishing a new national record of 13'9 3/4 in addition to setting a school record in the long jump.
In 1953, Bob was selected among a group of athletes from USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford having never played Rugby, to represent the United States that summer playing seven Rugby games in France against the French Rugby League teams.
After graduation from Pepperdine, Ferguson continued his education at the University of Southern California where he obtained his Degree in Physical Therapy. In 1957, Bob returned to Fullerton where he opened his Physical Therapy office on Harbor Boulevard where he continued to practice for 45 years before retiring in 2002. During those early years in business, Bob helped in the training room at Fullerton College, until Bill Chambers was hired by Hal Sherbeck in 1962.
Bob continued to help with the Hornet football team doing physicals every year until he retired. He was a member of the Fullerton Quarterback Club for years and served as its President.
For many years, Ferguson's physical therapy staff donated their time to the local high schools throughout North Orange County helping with the medical needs of their athletes. In 2007, Bob & his wife (Irene) of 68 years were both inducted into the Fullerton Union High School's "Wall of Fame". They continue to reside in their hometown of Fullerton and have four children, ten grandchildren, and fifteen great grandchildren.
GAIL FREUDENBERG-LOOMIS (Softball Athlete 1973-1975) - Gail grew up in Placentia attending Valencia High School where she played basketball, volleyball, field hockey, ran track and played varsity softball all four years. Gail was honored as the "Girl Athlete of the Year" her senior year of high school in 1973. She played softball year round for the Placentia Chargers, from 1971 to 1974, in the Southern California Women's Softball League.
After high school, Gail attended Fullerton College to play softball for FC Hall of Fame player and coach Colleen Riley. Gail played first base for the 1974 Hornets softball team with teammates from the Orange Lionettes, Fullerton Royals, and Placentia Chargers to name a few. The Hornet women won their league with an undefeated record 17-0 and went on to become the 1974 SCCIAC Tournament Champions (equivalent to winning the State title). Gail finished the season with a batting average of .488 and received Offensive Player of the Year honors.
During Gail's sophomore year in 1975 the Hornet softball team finished the season with a 20-6 record placing second in league-play. Again, they participated in the post-season in Ventura, and for a second year in a row Fullerton became the SCCIAC Tournament Champions. Gail finished the season with a batting average of .403 and was named the Most Valuable Player. Her career batting average stands at .446.
Gail then went on to join the Fullerton Royals softball team in 1975, coached by Margo Davis, another FC Hall of Fame coach. The Royals played in the Pacific Coast Women's Softball League, and by the end of the season Gail was drafted by the Southern California Gems, which was in the International Women's Professional Softball organization. Gail played for the Gems during the inaugural season in 1976 playing 120 games in the three-month season.
Gail finished her college education at Cal State Fullerton receiving a Bachelor Of Science degree in Physical Education in 1980. She then earned a Teaching Credential and an Adapted Physical Education Credential in 1981. Gail was fulfilling a lifelong dream of teaching Physical Education when she was hired by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools in 1983 where she taught Adapted Physical Education for 35 years. During these wonderful years Gail married Barry Loomis and went on to raise a daughter Jaclyn, a son Dean, and recent addition to the family, a son in-law Tim Anderson.
KRISTIN JACOBS-NAGEL (Softball Athlete 1987-1989) - The numbers show that Kristin Jacobs-Nagel is one of the best pitchers to ever play at Fullerton College. During the 1988-89 seasons, Kristin dominated batters with a career .046 ERA. She owns the Hornet pitching record for most career wins at 55 and sits at 2nd and 3rd all-time for most wins in a season at 28 and 27. She also owns the record for most strikeouts in a season at 268 (1988) and has the career strikeout record at 453. In all, Jacobs-Nagel is still the all-time leader in ten statistical categories.
Kristin grew up in Portland, Oregon where she played softball at Central Catholic High School. She was a multi-sport athlete earning varsity letters in basketball (2) and softball (4). Jacobs-Nagel starred on the varsity squad as a freshman and shinned on the diamond earning All-State, All-League, and Team MVP honors. She repeated those incredible honors her sophomore, junior and senior years. She led her team to 3 Metro League titles (1984, 1985, 1986), and won the Central Conference in 1987. Kristin was also the AAA Player of the Year (1984), and a Metro All-Star Game selection (1987). She was inducted into Central Catholic's Hall of Fame in 2000.
After spending two years Fullerton College playing for FC Hall of Famer Margo Davis, Jacobs-Nagel went back home to study and play at Portland State University on a full-ride scholarship (1990-91). She was the Vikings ace pitcher for two seasons where she led the team to a third-place national finish in 1991. Kristin was named a first team NCAA Division II All-American, and helped the Vikings make two playoff appearances while accumulating an 84-23 overall record. Jacobs-Nagel had 26 shutouts in 53 starts and her career record was 45-14. She set a PSU record for wins in 1991 going 24-6. Jacobs finished her career with six no-hitters. She was inducted into Portland State's Hall of Fame in 2006.
Graduating from Portland State, Kristin began working in Education and coaching High School softball and basketball. She is currently a teacher at Gresham High School in Oregon. Her husband, Todd, has been a high school football, basketball, and baseball coach and is currently the Athletic Director at Gresham High School. They have two children, Abby and Jake and two puppies, Trout and Kole.
Kristin Jacobs (Player, 1988-89), career-pitching leader in wins (55-11), winning percentage (.833), and strikeouts (453).
JIM KRUSE (Water Polo Athlete 1970-72) - An All-CIF water polo player, Jim Kruse graduated from Fullerton Union High School in 1970 and joined the Fullerton College aquatics program led by hall of fame coach Ernie Polte. During the 1970 and 1971 seasons, Kruse made an immediate impact on the Hornet water polo team earning All-American, SoCal, and conference honors both years. Scoring 186 career goals, Jim was the all-time scoring leader, until the record was broken in 1992. He is currently the fourth highest scorer in Fullerton's storied water polo history. During the 1970 State Water Polo Championship tournament, Kruse scored 7 goals against College of the Sequoias putting the Hornets in the Championship game against DeAnza College. Although FJC lost the title game, Kruse was the goal leader in the State Tournament. In the spring of 1972, Jim was honored with the Art Nunn Memorial Award for Athlete of the Year at FJC. According to Hall of Fame Coach Ernie Polte "Jim was a once in a lifetime player- our franchise player. He had a rocket arm and terrified goalkeepers". Kruse reluctantly joined the FJC swim team after Polte told him it would make him a better player. He competed in the breaststroke and relay events.
Jim was recruited by Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, but chose to go to U.C. Irvine under another legendary coach in Ted Newland. Kruse soon flourished at UCI becoming the team captain and earning NCAA All-American honors during the 1972 and 1973 seasons. He still owns the record for scoring the most goals in the NCAA Tournament at 31 (1972).
Fullerton College came calling once again as Jim served as the Hornet's co-head coach along with Polte during the 1974 water polo season. Fullerton won state that season going undefeated with a freshman named Rhett Price (FC's current head coach).
After graduating college, Jim went on to play on the United States National Team. A bona fide world-class athlete, Kruse was a member of the 1973 US World University Games (Moscow, USSR) and was the leading scorer for Team USA winning a Bronze Medal. He was on the 1974 U.S. National Team, the 1974 U.S. National Team (Italian and Hungarian Series) in which they took third in the Tungsram Cup Tournament in Budapest, Hungary. Jim was the leading scorer for U.S. Team. In 1975, Kruse helped the U.S. Team in the New Zealand Cup (Bronze Medal), the 1975 Adriatic Cup in Budva, Yugoslavia (Bronze Medal), the 1975 Pan American Games (Silver Medal), and the 1975 World Championships (8th place) in Cali Colombia where he was the leading scorer. In 1976, Jim made the U.S. Olympic Team, but the team did not qualify. Jim played for the United States in the 1977 European Cup at Krefeld Germany where they won the Gold Medal with Jim once again leading the team in scoring. He was also named to All-Tournament team. He retired from the game in 1978 avoiding another Olympic heartbreak as President Jimmy Carter's boycott of the 1980 Olympics solidified Kruse's decision. In all, Kruse was a three-time AAU All-American.
Kruse went on to become a television commentator for the next five Olympic Games with ABC and NBC Sports (Los Angeles 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000) bringing live professional water polo coverage to viewers all over the world. He has also been involved with numerous college and international broadcasts, including Prime Ticket, ESPN, Fox, and Turner Broadcasting.
Success in one field brings success in other fields. While Jim was broadcasting Olympic events, he shifted his energies into Commercial Real Estate and the World Market where he made a name for himself.
A leader and a champion, Kruse was inducted into the U.C. Irvine Hall of Fame in 1986 and the LA Times Daily Pilot in 2001.
Interesting Fun Fact: Both of Jim Kruse's Team USA coaches, Monte Nitzkowski and Bill Barnett, were standout water polo players for the Hornets and are in the Fullerton College Athletic Hall of Fame.
DAVE MURPHY (Track & Field Athlete 1966-1968) - Local student-athlete Dave Murphy graduated from Sunny Hills high School in 1966 where he was already recognized as a Scholastic Coach All-American Shotputter. Murphy had the third longest throw of all time in the United States with a twelve-pound shot locking down a record of 67'2". He also set the California high school state record with a sixteen-pound shot at 57'10.1/4", a record that remained unbroken for fifty-one years.
After his days at Sunny Hills, Murphy went on to attend Fullerton College where he was coached by FC Hall of Famer Dr. Robert Ward. It did not take long for Dave to make a name for himself as a college freshman as he beat out the competition becoming the State Champion in the Shotput. Murphy remained active during his sophomore year setting the school Shotput record at 60'1.1/4", a feat that has yet to be surpassed. Dave also became the Student Commissioner of Athletics. He was responsible for organizing all of the intramural sports on campus. In the spring of 1968, Murphy was honored as a "Man of Distinction", one of the college's highest awards.
Graduating from Fullerton College, Murphy accepted a full athletic scholarship to USC. During his time with the Trojans, Dave was the 1970 Pacific Conference Shotput Champion and a second place finisher in the Discus. In addition, he placed second in the NCAA Shotput finals and sixth in the Discus. This earned Murphy All-American honors for both events. He was later offered a spot on the University Games team.
Upon graduating from USC, Dave retired from competition choosing to work with youths coaching track & field and teaching for the Orange County Department of Education for 24 years.
Now retired from teaching, Murphy lives in the Orange County area and now plays and sings guitar professionally. He has three beautiful grown children (Logan, Madison, and Mason), and one handsome grandson (Slater). Dave still has a deep love for sports, exercise, and music.
TED OWENS (Baseball Athlete 1964-1966) - Ted grew up in the City of Fullerton and followed the path of his older athletic brothers, Jewel, Leon (Jack), David (Sonny), Alfred (Al), and Brigman (Brig), who all played and starred on local sports teams in the City of Fullerton. He and his younger brother Marvin would go to their brothers' games and shag balls and be the team's batboys. It really planted the seed and desire to play sports and compete. Players would play catch with Ted and Marvin and taught them the fundamentals of the game.
Ted's first baseball team was a local neighborhood park team called the Ducks, coached by none other than Mike Sgobba, the former Fullerton College baseball coach.
Fullerton always had good teams and won many championships. Fullerton had a local neighborhood traveling team, sponsored by the local LULAC organization. The team played throughout Orange County and Los Angeles County.
Ted graduated to playing in the City of Fullerton's larger more competitive league at Amerige Park. It was a league of about 500 kids that played fast pitch softball. Ted made the league all-star team as a 10-year old and received his first full uniform. The team played throughout the county.
Upon entering Fullerton High School, Ted made the Varsity team as a sophomore and made the All-Sunset League Team, hitting .420. He was a three-year varsity letterman and was selected to the All-Orange County Teams. Upon graduating from high school in 1964, Coach Sgobba asked Ted if he was going to play for him. Ted's first year at FC was average, but the second year was a major improvement, with Ted hitting .475 and winning the Eastern Conference Batting title, as well as making the All-Conference Team.
Ted then accepted a baseball scholarship to LA State (Cal State L.A.) and had two good years before signing a professional baseball contract with the Seattle Pilots, a new major league franchise in the American League. There he played two seasons and traveled to the states of Arizona, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. He also played in the Arizona Fall Instructional League in 1968, hitting .320. It was a great way to measure one's talent because there were a number of major league players and top prospects playing in order to develop their skill level.
Ted enjoyed his baseball playing days, with the opportunity to meet many people, travel the country, competing and testing his skills against some of the best baseball players in the country. It was fun and Ted was paid to play a sport he really enjoyed. Professional baseball paid for Ted's college education, earning his B.S. Degree in 1971, and a career in baseball gave him lifelong memorable experiences.
Ted worked in the Parks and Recreation field for thirty-four years, working for four different California cities, retiring in 2004. Ted also served on the City of Diamond Bar Recreation and Parks Commission for ten years before retiring from his commission in 2016. He continues to be a sports enthusiast lives in Diamond Bar, California, and has been married for 40 years to wife Lowanna (Clark) Owens. Ted and his wife take great pride in their three adult children, Nikia, Preston, and Danielle.
In January of 2018, Ted was inducted into the Fullerton College Hornet's 7th Annual Baseball Wall of Honor.
CHRIS SMITH (Basketball Athlete 1967-1969) - Chris Smith was born and raised in Fullerton, California and attended Fullerton Union High School where he starred as a multi-sport athlete. He earned varsity letters in baseball, track & field, and basketball. Despite being an all-league baseball player, it was on the basketball court where Chris truly excelled being selected as the 1967 Most Valuable Player in the Freeway league as well as being named to the Orange County All-Star Team.
After graduating from high school, Chris did not have to go too far for his first years of college traveling across the street to Fullerton College. He quickly earned his spot as the starting point guard for the Hornets under head coach George "Moe" Radovich averaging 16 points per game. During the 1968-69 season, Smith's sophomore year, the Hornets had great success with Chris Scoring 561 points in 35 games listing him in the program's 500 Point Club. Fullerton went 20-0 in conference-play taking the conference championship. They also went all the way to the State Tournament where they finished third to the eventual champs, Pasadena City College team. The awards came piling in for Smith as he was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Year, 1st Team All-State, and 1st Team on the All-State Tournament Team. The Hornets ended the season with an impressive 31-4 overall record marking the fifth best finish in FJC basketball history. In the spring of 1969, Chris was recognized by Fullerton College winning the Art Nunn Award. He also received the Man of Distinction Award, the top award on campus.
After graduation, it was time for Chris to leave the city of Fullerton for a spell as he was recruited to the University of Washington where he played for legendary coach Tex Winter, innovator of the triangle offense. Smith would finish his senior year at San Diego State University earning the basketball team's Defensive Player of Year award.
Graduating from SDSU, Chris became Director of Basketball for Sportsworld managing the summer youth basketball camps for basketball legends John Wooden, Jerry West, Rick Barry, Bill Sharman, Harlem Globetrotters, Wes Unseld, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Dave Bing and many more. Smith helped start the first-ever Super Star Invitational High School Basketball Camp, which annually attracted the very top high school prospects in the Western United States to compete against each other in a week-long camp held in San Diego.
For Chris, the best of all the above was the honor of working with and getting to know Coach John Wooden, who became a lifelong family friend and mentor. He is the proud parent of Kymberlee and Geoffrey as well as six grandchildren (Logan, Olivia, Price, Sloan, Josef, and Rowen). Chris serves on Board of Directors for the Leon Owens Foundation and is Co-Chairman of the Fullerton Mayor's Prayer Breakfast Committee. He recently retired from the Mortgage Industry.
1965 FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - The first of four National Football Titles (1965, 1967, 1983, 2016) won by Fullerton College, the 1965 National Championship team played in the 20th annual Junior Rose Bowl game at Pasadena, California.
From 1946 through 1966 and again in 1976 and 1977, community college football crowned its national champion at the Junior Rose Bowl, a game that regularly attracted thousands of fans. Fullerton made its only Junior Rose Bowl appearance count as the Hornets capped a perfect season claiming their first national championship with a 20-15 victory over Henderson, Texas in front of a school-record 50,098 fans.
The Hornets trailed, 15-13, before Terry Amick's 1-yard plunge early in the fourth quarter gave the Hornets the decisive 20-15 edge. Henderson quarterback Ines Perez connected with Margene Adkins on touchdown passes of 54 and 22 yards, but Fullerton's duo of Dick Hough and Rich Leon was even more impressive. Hough completed 17-of-32 passes for 198 yards, while Leon hauled in a Junior Rose Bowl record 12 receptions for 159 yards (third in Junior Rose Bowl history).
The Hornet coaching staff of Hal Sherbeck, Marv Sampson, Jim Moore, Al Feola, and Rod Humenuik is regarded as one of the best in community college history. Keeping the Hornets healthy for their championship run were Bill Chambers (Athletic Trainer) and Dr. Philip McFarland (Team Doctor).
The following passage was taken from the 1965 FJC magazine, The Torch, as it best describes the day in colorful detail.
"After the absurd task of trying to find a parking slot, fans hurried to their seats ten, twenty, thirty minutes past the 1:00 p.m. kickoff time and collapsed to find the game hadn't begun yet. Lucky for them perhaps, but what the fans who were ingenious enough to finagle to the stadium in time to miss the traffic circus on Colorado... to say nothing of the football team. Up for the kickoff, finally, the concourse of 50,000 let out all of their pent up hostilities of mobilization in one wild uproar of screeches, air horns, trumpets, tubas, megaphones, and cymbals. Tenn. they settled down comfortably to teeter on the edge of their seats for the rest of the first half; the second half they stood up. When the posse of Cardinals ran to score a TD with but one minute and seven seconds passed in the game, Hornet Hoorayers took it on the cuff and excused it as an unfortunate mishap. But when the Texans scored a successive TD it began to look as if the Hornets' rosy hopes were going to be nipped in the bud. Something, it was clear, had to be done. The 100-piece Fullerton Marching Band blasted, excuse the unmusical term, some good old fashioned fighting strains into the galleries, and the pep squad kept their followers pumping out volley after volley of traditional FJC bluster. By the half, Fullerton had swung their way to a one-point lead with a 13-12 score on the boards. Amid confetti, streamers, and popping flash bulbs the band sparkled up the second half of the mid-game ceremonies with a salute to the Lone Star State, and a display of smart precision drills. But it was clear what business they were out there for when the drum major lifted his baton to the swelling crescendos of "This Land Is Mine" from "Exodus". And the look on the faces of the majority of 50,000 it was clear that they were in Fullerton country. As for the rest of the game, it may be described as a breath-taker, a seesaw contest, a real grabber. But in the end the Hornets climbed out on top of the pile with an exhausting 20-15 win. As the final gun sounded, Hornets swarmed over the bleachers onto the field. In a buzz of exhilaration the Hornets tore down the goal posts and swept the players off the field. When the whole thing was over, fans were unusually quite and worn out. But the spirit was in the right place. As the last Volkswagen pulled away from the stadium, a piece of prize goalpost was sticking out of the back window and on end was tacked a rose-studded blue and gold flag of Fullerton Junior College, national champs."
1967 FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS - The 1967 Football Hornets made history becoming the first team to win the California State Championship. FJC shocked the nation's No. 1 team Bakersfield College 14-13 to win the Southern California Title, and then went on to dismantle the best team in the north, American River College, 41-0.
The championship game was played at the newly built Anaheim Stadium (The Big A) before a crowd of 11,000 people. The victory over the Beavers marked the Hornets 40th game in their undefeated streak that lasted over four seasons, a feat that has yet to be mirrored by any other community college team.
The first quarter of the game was scoreless as the teams sized each other up, but Fullerton made its move in the second quarter when Al Amirault completed a pass to Gary Orcutt, who juked his defender and raced up field 24 yards for the score. From there, the eventual rout was on as touchdowns were scored by Bob Terrio (1-yard run), Mike White (70-yard pass from Amirault), White (3-yard run), Terrio (24-yard run), and John Ochoa (39-yard run). Ochoa was five for six on PAT attempts.
According to Hall of Fame writer Bob Lenard's coverage of the game, the Hornet defense stopped the American River offense before it could "gain any momentum" thanks to the help of FJC defenders Bill Van Leeuwen, Larry MacDuff, Gary Swanson, Pat Callahan, John Turek, Wyman Shanks, Mike Zuniga, Tony Pena, Bob Claycamp, Mike Mahoney, Jim Vernes, Ted Nelson, and Carl Sweet. The offensive line was also a big factor as Tom Demler, Terry Hudgins, Jeff Roop, Ray Ogas, Mark Woods, John de Fries, Greg Miller, and Greg Hendren executed the coach's plan on every play.
Gary Orcutt was named the game's "Most Valuable Player" accumulating 10 catches for 204 yards and a touchdown in only three quarters of work. Orcutt tied the school record for most touchdowns in a season (14) with 1965 Junior Rose Bowl MVP Rich Leon.
Under Hall of Fame coach Hal Sherbeck, the 1967 Hornets went 12-0 on the season winning the Eastern Conference title. Many accolades were given to the coaches and players for their successful season. Players Larry MacDuff and Gary Orcutt earned JC All-American honors. All-American Honorable Mention players were Bill Van Leeuwen and Pat Byrd. Receiving All-Conference honors were Ray Ogas, Bob Terrio, and Gary Orcutt on offense. On defense, Larry MacDuff, Wyman Shanks, Carl Sweet, Gary Swanson, Pat Byrd, and Bill Van Leeuwen were named. Coach Sherbeck was named "Coach of the Year" by the state. Freshman quarterback Jim Fassel filled in admirably for an injured Amirault during the season throwing for 310 yards in his first start against Orange Coast.
Fullerton College Hall of Famers Dr. Philip McFarland and Athletic Trainer Bill Chambers played valuable roles in keeping the Hornets on the field and in top condition. The Hornet coaching staff is arguably one of the best ever assembled at the community college level consisting of Hal Sherbeck, Marv Sampson, Al Feola, and Howard Black.