Seventeenth Annual Marin County High School Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Banquet
Friday, November 6, 2004 Embassy Suites Hotel San Rafael
Marin Athletic Foundation Board of Directors
Glen E. Robinson, President Joe Ayoob Jeff Brusati Carney J. Campion Judith Colton William L. Cope Michael Daly Gary Frugoli John S. Graham Ned Griffith John Heilmann Marion Higgins Thomas Knopf Rick Lafranchi Vicki McDill Richard Nave Lori Saia-Odisio Robert E. Spain Natu Tuatagaloa
Sharon Adams Peter Arrigoni Sandy Boyd Mary Jane Burke Joan Capurro Eugene Clahan Kit Cole Dan Coleman Peggie Daly William Daniels Ken Donaldson Mario Ghilotti John Govi Jim King Walter Kosta Kenneth MacDonald Matt MacPhee Terrel Mason Marie McCarthy Peter Mitchell Jeff Pottorff Robert Teasdale Sharon Valentino Jamie Williams
Executive Director: Kasey Childs-Briare
Hall of Fame Banquet Committee Bill Brody Jeff Brusati Don Collins Mario Ghilotti George Lewis
Vicki McDill Hank Moroski Rich Nave Phil Roark Glen E. Robinson Susie Woodall
The purpose of the Marin Athletic Foundation is to support and insure a full range of quality sports programs for all students at MCAL high schools. MAF funding supports athletics at Branson, Drake, Marin Catholic, Novato, Redwood, San Marin, San Rafael, Tamalpais, Terra Linda and Tomales. Individual, business and organization donations are vital in MAFâ€™s fundraising efforts. Tax-decuctible contributions may be sent to: Marin Athletic Foundation P.O. Box 836 Nicasio, CA 94946 (415) 482-1246.
Program 6:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. Grand Entrance of Inductees
7:30 p.m. Dinner Welcome and Introductions Glen E. Robinson President, MAF Board of Directors Introduction of Inductees Don Collins, Master of Ceremonies Presentation of Plaques
2004 Inductees 20 Year Anniversary — Graduated 1984 or before Todd Brockman – Redwood – 1983 Craig Burnett – Sir Francis Drake – 1984 Gary Dellepere – Tomales – 1968 Dan Lucia – Tamalpais – 1976 Robyn MacSwain-Berry – Terra Linda – 1982 Natu Tuatagaloa – San Rafael – 1984
50 Year Anniversary — Graduated 1954 or before Simon Scott – Tamalpais
Coaches John Bechtold – Marin Catholic Bob Vassar – Terra Linda
Special Recognition George Lewis – Drake The Marin High School Athletic Hall of Fame, established by the Marin Athletic Foundation, recognizes and honors athletes who distinguished themselves in Marin County high school sports. It also gives recognition to coaches and others who made significant contributions to high school athletics in Marin County. The annual induction banquet is held in the fall.
Acknowledgments Marin Athletic Foundation gratefully acknowledges:
Major Sponsor Shapell Industries â€“ Dan Coleman, Rich & Dolly Nave
Special thanks to The Marin Athletic Foundation also extends special thanks to Geoff Lepper of the Marin Independent Journal for the program preparation and to the Marin County Office of Education and Burns Florist for their donation of the boutineers.
Todd Brockman Athlete — Redwood 1983 How good was Todd Brockman’s athletic career at Redwood? Impressive enough that as a senior, Brockman beat out Brad Muster — who went on to become arguably the best athlete Marin has produced since Sam Chapman — for the IJ’s Prep of the Year award. Of course, when you score 58 goals in 34 games over two seasons and go undefeated through an entire MCAL track season in not one or two but three events — the 100, 400, and 330 low hurdles — those are the kind of things that happen. Before leaving Redwood as the MCAL’s all-time leading career scorer in boys soccer, Brockman helped lead the Giants to a Northern California Tournament of Champions crown as a junior and a third-place finish as a senior. He went to Cal on a full soccer scholarship and was twice named firstteam All-Pac-10 before playing professionally for three years in Germany. Brockman went on to win the 1994 U.S. Open Cup with the Greek-American side based in San Francisco and captured 1996 and ’98 over-30 titles. Brockman and his wife Kirsten live in Kentfield with their daughters Caroline (5 years old) and twins Charlotte and Claire (1 1/2).
Craig Burnett Athlete — Drake 1984 Former quarterback Craig Burnett thought if anyone from his Drake football days would be making a speech this week, it would be his top receiver, Jerry Zeiff. “He should be the one getting inducted, not me,” Burnett said. “He was a 6-foot-4 guy who could run like the wind. All I had to do was basically throw the ball downfield and he’d get it.” Despite having not played any organized football before enrolling at Drake, Burnett earned firstteam All-MCAL and All-Northern California accolades as a junior and senior. He was also an all-league performer in baseball and golf, but football took him to Santa Rosa Junior College (where he was a JC All-American) and the University of Wyoming (where he led the Cowboys to a Western Athletic Conference championship). After finishing at Wyoming, Burnett was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, who were in the last season of Tom Landry’s reign. “He was a lot closer to the players than what you used to see on TV,” said Burnett, who was one of the last rookies cut from training camp. Burnett, a Realtor with Pacific Union for 12 years, lives in Kentfield with his wife Kim and infant son Mitch.
Gary Dellepere Athlete — Tomales 1968 The trip from barnyard to banquet hall is now complete for three Tomales cousins — Ron Petroni (Hall of Fame Class of 1992), Larry Gondola (Class of ’97) and now Dellepere, who still remembers the endless hours that trio would spend in pursuit of almost any form of competition: “Our athletic field was playing catch against the barn door. ... That’s kind of special to me, not having the facilities kids have today, yet being able to excel at a high level.” Dellepere was a classic three-sport star, earning All-Empire kudos multiple times in football, basketball and baseball, but his proudest achievement — “the one thing I’ve cherished all my life” — was being named one of Marin County’s two National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame Scholar-Athletes as a senior. Dellepere, who played football and baseball for two years at College of Marin, went into coaching after graduating from Sonoma State. He began his his career at Tomales and is now in his 19th year at Santa Rosa High, where he serves as athletic director, junior varsity football coach and varsity baseball coach. “Athletics, for me, has just been my whole life,” said Dellepere, a Santa Rosa resident who is married with a grown son. “The success I’ve had as a teacher and as a person has been due to athletics.”
Dan Lucia Athlete — Tamalpais 1976 Dan Lucia knows better than most how one single play can change the path of an entire life. In the fall of 1974, Lucia was Tam’s junior quarterback as the Red-tailed Hawks went up against powerhouse Novato. But on Tam’s third play from scrimmage, Lucia kept the ball on a sweep and his left arm was broken in the ensuing pileup. The lingering damage from that injury — which required two surgeries to fix — forced Lucia to give up his job as catcher on the Tam baseball team and take up pitching. The right-hander began honing a fastball that would earn him first-team All-MCAL status as a senior and, after a year at College of Marin, lead to his being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 1977 amateur draft. Lucia went on to play five seasons in the Braves organization, rooming at one point with future Giants closer Steve Bedrosian. “I didn’t sign for a lot of money, but it was a great experience,” said Lucia, who was selected in the 18th round. “... Sports is what taught me the way to live my life and conduct myself, both socially and in the business world.” Lucia, vice president of sales at Boggeri Sales and Marketing, lives in Novato with his wife, Carrie, and two daughters.
Robyn MacSwain Berry Athlete — Terra Linda 1982 At 6 and 4 years old, respectively, Beatrix and Kent Berry aren’t too young for their mom, the former Robyn MacSwain, to announce her athletic preference: “They like soccer, and soccer seems very enjoyable to me. Running is hard, painful, lonely and challenging. You have to have a certain mentality for it.” She should know, having displayed that mindset for all four years at Terra Linda. In all, MacSwain took three MCAL cross country and track titles, one North Coast Section Redwood Empire cross country championship, three NCS Redwood Empire track titles and one NCS Meet of Champions 3,200-meter track crown. That last title, whon in MacSwain’s sophomore year, is the one that stands out the most. “It was such a breakthrough race and I wasn’t really expected to win,” said MacSwain, whose personal best of 10:34.7 in the 3,200 is still a Marin County record. “Three of us went down to the wire and I passed them down the home stretch.” MacSwain’s other favorite memory is Terra Linda’s victory in the Northern California cross country championships — a meet that was open to all schools, regardless of enrollment — her senior year. In 1989, MacSwain wed former Redwood running star Rod Berry — elected to the Hall of Fame in ’98 — making them the fourth married couple in the Hall.
Simon Scott Athlete — Tamalpais 1936 There have been faster milers from Marin County since Simon Scott’s day, but none who were faster than Scott when it counted the most — at California’s state-wide track championships. In the 89year history of that meet, Scott is the only Marin miler to come home with a first-place trophy. Scott was a four-year participant in three sports — including football and swimming, whose seasons overlapped — but it was on the track as a senior that he left his most lasting impression. Scott posted wins at the North Bay League championship meet (in a record time of 4 minutes, 36.8 seconds) and the North Coast Section championships at Cal (in 4:33.6, also a meet record) before heading to the state championships. On a sweltering May afternoon in the Central Valley town of Gridley, Scott peeled off a 4:31.2 to capture thetitle. Last year, younger brother Stanley Scott described Simon to the IJ as possessing some “extra energy, an extra effort, an extra wind. He would just go like a madman.” Simon Scott served as a paratrooper in World War II and worked in the plumbing trade in Mill Valley for many years before passing away in 1964.
Natu Tuatagaloa Athlete — San Rafael 1984 Perhaps it was predestined for Natu Tuatagaloa to be inducted; after all, his coaches in both football (Bob Muster) and basketball (Bret Tovani) also turned out to be Hall of Famers. And when you add that guidance to Tuatagloa’s work ethic, good things happen. “Those two coaches in particular, they did a tremendous job with us,” Tuatagaloa said. “They set the tone of how to play the game and be a good player. When coaches set a foundation like that, it makes it easier for players like me.” Tuatagaloa, however, didn’t take it easy on anybody on the football field, earning All-MCAL honors on both offense and defense as a senior. Later that year, after going All-MCAL in basketball and going to the State Meet in the shot put, Tuatagaloa would take home the IJ’s County Athlete of the Year award. He went on to play football at Cal — leaving as the school’s all-time sack leader — and spent six seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Oilers. Tuatagaloa returned to Marin and put his distinctive name to use in winning a seat on the San Rafael school board (his term ends next year). He is president of the Western region for Idex Global Services and is married with three daughters.
John Bechtold Coach — Marin Catholic When John Bechtold took over the golf program at Marin Catholic in 1969, it was something of an afterthought. In order to raise the Wildcats’ profile, Bechtold took to hitting the phone lines. “What I thought was, ‘Let’s build a schedule that would attract some of the best golfers around,’” Bechtold said. “I was just kind of trying to open up the program, instead of having the blinders on and saying, ‘This is what we always did.’” Bechtold’s efforts paid off; as the Wildcats began boasting one of the best schedules in the Bay Area — including stops at such places as Pebble Beach, the Olympic Club and the San Francisco Club — they began winning as well, taking eight straight MCAL championships from 1982 through ’89 and one more in ’91. For Bechtold, who retired from Marin Catholic in 1993 with a 376-124 lifetime record over 25 seasons, there was no single memory that stands out from his time with the Wildcats: “I just remember all the student-athletes that went through. I felt that I was really accomplishing something, really relating to the players, and that they were getting something out of it positively.” Bechtold is now a designated broker for Centex Homes and lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. with his wife, Marilyn.
Bob Vasser Coach — Terra Linda Bob Vasser was a good enough boys soccer coach that four of his seven Terra Linda teams took home MCAL championship pennants — in 1972, ’73, ’77 and ’78. But his teaching wasn’t limited to the soccer field. After leading the Trojans, Vasser went on to lead other San Rafael schools to new heights; he was principal at Davidson Middle School in 1983 when that campus was lauded by Ronald Reagan as one of the country’s 100 best junior high and high schools. And he earned an even greater individual honor in 1997, when he was named Marin County Educator of the Year. Vasser organized San Rafael’s first non-school soccer program, in the summer of 1969, and was a key figure in the Dixie Youth Soccer League for a number of years. Don Lucas, the former TL football coach and Hall of Fame member, credited Vasser with “helping to elevate the level of play in the Marin County Athletic League.” And former San Rafael principal Nando Llacuna, who proposed Vasser’s name for nomination, said that “Bob epitomizes the high school varsity coach. He loves the game and loved coaching.” Vasser is now retired and lives in San Rafael.
George Lewis Special recognition — Drake No matter what the adage says, just because you’re a jack of all trades doesn’t mean you can’t master a few of them along the way. For proof, just examine the resume of George Lewis, who taught math at Drake for 38 years (earning the school’s Teacher of the Year award in 1998), coached basketball for 20 years and served as the Pirates’ athletic director for an additional 22 years (winning 2003-04 North Coast Section Athletic Director of the Year honors). Top memories for Lewis include Drake’s sweep of the boys and girls Division II state basketball championships in 1982. “That’s probably the one big, ‘Wow’ moment,” Lewis said. “That was a pretty special event for a little suburban school.” One of Lewis’ shrewdest moves was one of his earliest: Hiring Bill Taylor, who was enshrined in the Hall of Fame last year, to head up Drake’s cross country and track programs. “Bill is the one that definitely stands out,” Lewis said. “He’s pretty much been there the same amount of time as I have. I don’t think anyone else has been there as long.” Although he retired from teaching over the summer, Lewis is still working as Drake’s AD, making him a rare active Hall of Fame inductee. “I’ve always loved doing it and I’m going to keep doing it as long as I feel young and energetic enough to devote the energy to it.” Lewis lives in San Anselmo with his wife, Laurie.
-- Compiled by Geoff Lepper, Marin Independent Journal