Page 1

Vol 2 • Issue 1

Summer/Fall 2011


The Official Magazine of UCSB Athletics










Great Examples include: Nick Capito p. 26 and Snita Ashford p. 36

24 Gauchos Get Their Man: Andrew Checketts



4 Wigo, Wilson Take on Toughest Challenge 8 Legacy from Coast to Coast: Carlene Mitchell 14 Triple Threat: Men’s Basketball 20 Great Example: Machael David

DARE Spring/Summer 2011


A Letter from Mark W. Massari, Director of Athletics


Wigo, Wilson Take on Toughest Challenge


Legacy from Coast to Coast: Carlene Mitchell


What I Learned from C. Vivian Stringer


New Regime, Same Dominance: Women’s Basketball


Triple Threat: Men’s Basketball


The Kids Are Alright: Women’s Volleyball


Decade of Dominance: Men’s Soccer


Great Example: Machael David


Eyes on the Prize: Women’s Soccer


Gauchos Get Their Man: Andrew Checketts


Great Example: Nick Capito


The Gaucho9


The Gaucho Fund


Andy Fee & Christina Baglas


Living Scholars: A Priceless Connection


Gaucho Fund Events


The Gaucho Order




Hall of Fame


Great Example: Snita Ashford


Waterpolo and Cross country


Men’s & Women’s Swimming


Spring Review


Golden Eagle Awards


Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year


SB Awards


Jeremy Bettle


Legends of the ’Dome



UCSBgauchos UCSBGauchosAthletics

DARE MAGAZINE SUMMER/FALL 2011 ON THE COVER Wolf Wigo and Gregg Wilson take on the fundraising challenge of the new aquatics center. (photo by Randy Lamb) EDITORIAL STAFF Christina Baglas, Tom Hastings, Matt Hurst, Bill Mahoney, Steve O’Brien, Lisa Skvarla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tom Hastings, Matt Hurst, Brittane Johnson, Bill Mahoney, Lisa Skvarla PHOTOGRAPHERS: Tony Mastres and Randy Lamb UCSB Photo Services Instructional Development; Matt Brown, Matt Brown Photography Additional Photography by: Steve Chen, Joshua Duplechian (NCAA Championship match), Steve Malone, Jonathan C. Moore (MPSF Volleyball Tournament), USA Basketball, Larissa White. DESIGN AND LAYOUT UCSB Artworks Instructional Development ADVERTISING DESIGN AND LAYOUT Alan Cassinelli, Citrus, Richard Loza PRINTING Boone Graphics 70 South Kellogg Avenue Goleta, CA 93117 DARE is published by the UC Santa Barbara Department of Intercollegiate Athletics ICA Building, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-5200

WE NEED YOU WITH US Welcome to the third edition of DARE Magazine, which highlights our 400 student-athletes and those who lead them. I am excited that, in this issue, we will introduce you to two new head coaches and their visions for their programs. The first is women basketball’s new leader, Carlene Mitchell, who has assembled an incredible staff. Most of whom are disciples of legendary Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer. They all bring toughness, drive, and the experience of playing deep into the NCAA’s, which is something our program has tasted and desires to repeat. Our second recent addition is new baseball skipper Andrew Checketts. We are extremely encouraged by the outreach from alums, players, and the infamous Hammerheads, who have pledged support to build our program since Andrew’s hiring. The “Campaign for Gaucho Park” is the first step in a series of game-changing improvements Coach Checketts is mandating while also creating a new support group within the Gaucho Fund, which he is calling the “Gaucho9.” Nine doesn’t represent the number of supporters, but will symbolically reference the entire team effort needed to win and compete at the highest level, which many feel our program can. The Big West Conference is committed to sending teams to Omaha and, through the support of the Gaucho9, we will aim to be one of them. I’m optimistic that we can continue on the current trajectory of growth and success that we are experiencing in UCSB Athletics. Our success will be a direct result of how we grow the Gaucho Fund ranks. Those who want to be inspired simply need to back these magnificent young men and women as a donor. Witness this investment into someone who wants nothing more than the ability to compete against the best. And not just compete, but win! To move UCSB forward, we need everyone. It’s you in the stands; it’s you following your Gauchos from afar; it’s you who takes pride in telling your co-workers we’re playing in the NCAA’s, again. It’s you who flies the flag for your university. The Gauchos play for you and they need you to achieve at the highest level. Today, no one can argue the university’s place among the best academically. No one can ever claim that this is not the most unique and special place to spend your college days. And, please now, who will waste their breath and tell you living in Santa Barbara isn’t anything but a pure slice of heaven (Soccer Heaven and more, of course)? Support, financially and emotionally, is the game within the game. Most of the national and local competition we face is in it to win. So, our donors, alums, parents, and the community must out-support them to win the games, retain and recruit the best coaches, and improve the facilities, which directly affects recruiting the best students and athletes. It’s a healthy dose of us versus them. It’s what a top-notch university does across campus: fighting for the nation’s best faculty, valuable research funding, and the best students. To achieve the highest rankings. It’s what UCSB does. Yes, you will be inspired by watching these gifted blue and gold student-athletes play their collective hearts out for this university while becoming role models for a community who supports them. They came here to be the best. A tax-deductible donation to the Gaucho Fund, a 501 (3)(c) gift, provides this precious opportunity. Competing at the highest level opens a door to a dream these young men, women and coaches had when they said “yes” to being a Gaucho. We are a destination for the best students, faculty and, with your help, student-athletes in the nation. Thank you for supporting our courageous spirit.

Grab everyone who wants to be inspired!

Your support inspires us! Best, Mark W. Massari Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

2 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011






Nov. 5 Nov. 11 Nov. 15 Nov. 18 Nov. 22 Nov. 26 Nov. 30 Jan. 5

San Francisco St. Chapman Santa Clara Westmont Portland San Diego St. UNLV UN Cal St. Fullerton

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.


2011 HOME SCHEDULE Jan. 14 Jan. 19 Jan. 21 Feb. 11 Feb. 25 Mar. 1 Mar. 3 Ma

UC Irvine CS Northridge Long Beach St. UC Riverside Cal Poly Pacific UC Davis D

7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 3


Pooling Resources

Wigo, Wilson Take on Toughest Challenge


he majestic landscape of the UCSB campus is hard to describe. Visitors marvel at the location on the Pacific’s edge. Students flow from point to point on pathways accompanied by sunshine, mountain views and the scent of the Pacific Ocean in the air. At the heart of this active area of campus is the site marked for a new athletics aquatics center. A storied pool that has served a country and a campus for almost 70 years is the home of Gaucho swimming, diving and water polo. But a new place for future Olympians, All-Americans, youth and the community is needed. A 65-meter haven for water polo, swimming and now diving will be a place where new memories are created for the next generation of Gauchos and the active Santa Barbara community which will play there. A place befitting champions that will be spearheaded by a pair of champions committed to the cause. Wolf Wigo and Gregg Wilson are two of the most decorated coaches at UCSB and are certainly icons within their sports nationally. The pair, with so many accomplishments to their credit, now take on the toughest, and perhaps, most important, challenge of their coaching careers as they dive headfirst into the fundraising effort for the new aquatics center. “The new facility will allow us to be competitive with the rest of the major universities we compete against and combined with our academic reputation, location, history of winning and quality of coaching, this new

PROGRAM OF CHAMPIONS Our aquatics programs have long represented UC Santa Barbara with pride among the top programs in the country. In fact, of our campus’ four national championships, three have been won in the water (men’s swimming ’67, men’s water polo ’79, and women’s water polo ’89). The recent admission of our men’s swimming & diving program into the prestigious Pac-12 Conference is just the latest indication that our programs are poised for even greater success.

Wolf Wigo, men’s and women’s water polo coach 4 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

JASON LEZAK: OLYMPIC ICON facility will enable us to move consistently into the top levels of swimming and water polo world wide, not just regionally and nationally,” Wilson said. “In a sense, our aquatics facility would reflect our academic level and recognition.” The academic level and recognition Wilson speaks of continues to rise for UCSB. Membership in the prestigious American Association of Universities, a faculty that includes five Nobel Laureates and a student-body that is among the most academically accomplished in the country give UCSB a presence among

Quite simply: an American Olympic Hero – and a Gaucho. He pulled off the most exciting comeback win in swimming history by chasing down France’s Alain Bernard at the wall, preserving Michael Phelp’s quest to claiming eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.

the elite institutions. To accompany the status of the campus, Wilson and Wigo are committed to leading the effort for the nearly $10-million dollar project to install the new aquatics center. To raise the funds in a time of economic uncertainty is particularly difficult, but challenges and accomplishment are nothing new for the determined pair of Gaucho leaders. “I have faced many challenges in the past,” Wigo said. “Usually when you are entering an arena that you are not very experienced in, it is a challenge. While I do have some fundraising experience, I have done nothing of this magnitude, however I am up for the task as I feel it is a worthy cause that is long overdue.” Wigo’s resume is among the finest and most diverse in American water polo. A three-time Olympian, who competed in the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, he became the first player hailing from east of the Rockies to make the US Olympic squad since 1956. After scoring a team-leading 16 goals during the 2000 games in Sydney, Wigo was named to the five-player All-World First Team by NBC Sports and USA Water Polo, making him a finalist for World Water Polo Player of the Year. He com-

Gregg Wilson, men’s and women’s swim coach DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 5

pleted his tenure with the national squad in 2004 by serving as Team USA’s captain in Athens. Selected as USA Water Polo’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1999, 2000 and 2003, Wigo also helped the Americans win gold at the 1997 FINA World Championships. His college career was equally impressive: two National Championships, four All-America honors, NCAA National Player of the Year and Stanford’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year. In addition to his success in the water, Wigo spent four years on the floor of the Pacific Stock Exchange working as an equity option trader with Cole Rossler Capital Management. He has also served as the color commentator for NBC during their water polo coverage of the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2009 FINA World Championships. Wilson has been at UCSB for 35 (going into 36) years. He was named Big West Coach of the Year a remarkable 27 times while running the men’s and women’s programs at UCSB. During that time, Wilson posted a dual meet record of 351-239-1 (199-127 with the men and 138-106-1 with the women). Even more impressive, his squads have collected 39 Big West Conference Championships, 26 men’s titles and 13 women’s team titles. In fact, the Gaucho men won 23 consecutive titles from 1979-2001, with Wilson leading the way. Last year, Wilson’s men’s team made the move to the Pac-12 where they held their own among the nation’s best programs. “Certainly raising the $10 million needed to complete most of the pool project is a little daunting, and maybe it is the biggest challenge I have faced,” Wilson said. “But, trying to compete at the highest level of NCAA Division I swimming every year is extremely difficult and we do it. My teams’ accomplishments in the pool and in the classroom can stand up to most of the top programs in the country. So, yes, we will have to put the big psych on for this one, but the NCAA Championships, the Olympic Trials and the Olympics have prepared me in a lot of ways to face difficult tasks.”


Of dynamic tensile structure shading for stands & athletes

6 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011



With great views to the pool and mountains beyond

1 Million




The estimated number to use the facility over a 10-year period

GALLONS OF WATER The number saved per year compared with the existing Campus Pool

The average number of days of sunshine per year at UCSB

428,000 POUNDS OF CO2

The estimated number saved per year by the new facility’s state-of-the-art pool equipment

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 7

Legacy from COAST to COAST Carlene Mitchell became a member of the Gaucho family on May 19 as she was introduced as the fifth head coach in women’s basketball history. After spending a decade under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer, Mitchell inherits a Gaucho program that has won 14 of the past 16 Big West regular season titles. Aside from bringing a winning tradition across the country to an established program, Mitchell and her new staff plan on bringing their energy to the Santa Barbara community to help build a fan base that will enjoy supporting an annual winner. “We hope to bridge some of those gaps with the community and bring a new excitement,” Mitchell said. “Our staff is really different. You can meet us on the street and we’re going to talk to you. That’s just who we are, it’s not who we’re trained to be.” Mitchell took some time to talk about her move to California, bringing in familiar faces to her staff and what style of play the Gauchos will have. As someone who worked in such a high-profile women’s basketball program for a decade, you certainly had opportunities to become a head coach. What attracted you most to UCSB to make this your first head coaching position? On the initial call with Athletic Director, Mark Massari, he asked me one question: “could I handle the expectations of winning and cutting down nets?” It ignited my competitive spirit! After researching the program’s rich basketball tradition and academic standards, I felt it was a great place to be a head coach at for a long time. A basketball culture was intact and it was important to know that the administration, community and support groups truly cared about the women’s programs. What are your first impressions of Santa Barbara and the west coast? On the approach into the airport, I was in awe of the gorgeous view from above and once I landed, the relaxed feeling I got was as if I had lived here before. The pace of life has slowed from 75 mph to 65 mph, but for a girl from Arkansas where 55 mph was speeding, it has been a welcomed change. I love the sense of community and the lifestyle that Santa Barbara offers. When you assembled your coaching staff, you brought in some former Rutgers players you had recruited to play there. Was it easier to hire Courtney Locke and Heather Zurich because of that? These two exemplified what it meant to be a true student-athlete during their playing days at Rutgers. I also felt it was crucial to surround myself with people that shared my definition of hard work, loyalty and my inner drive to be successful on and off the court. From a recruiting standpoint, I have a staff that has played in nothing less than a Sweet 16 – we have been at the highest levels and know the elements needed. They will take care of our team as I once cared for them, which will allow parents to rest at night knowing their daughters will be taken care of. Also I’m honored to help grow the C. Vivian Stringer coaching tree. What is the most important thing you learned from coaching alongside C. Vivian Stringer? She taught me that through this game of basketball, we are teaching life lessons to young women. I will take pride in being a great leader so that the atmosphere we create can help our young women grow and be challenged in all aspects of their lives. The team will see the big picture and realize what an impact they can have on so many lives and that the ultimate reward is to always give back to others.

8 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

Though you cannot officially begin practice until mid-October, how excited are you to get on the floor with this team? I am starting to get that antsy ‘How many days until we start?’ feeling. The team has made me smile with their texts, calls and comments about how ready they are to start summer workouts. That is a special mindset knowing that great teams have players that understand the most critical individual growth takes place in the summer and off-season. What can fans expect to see from you, in regards to the style of play, as a head coach? As I promised at my press conference, our team will be a disciplined team that will play hard and take pride on the defensive end of the court. I believe, with the nucleus of experienced players and the addition of the freshmen, we will have the depth to play a variety of defenses at an extremely intense level. Our style of defense should lead to transition points and trips to the free throw line. As always, time, situation and score will determine when we execute and who the ball needs to go through, and that could be a different player every night. Our team identity will be hard-nosed, mentally-tough and a team that will play hard for 40 minutes. You can invite any three coaches (basketball or otherwise), dead or alive, to dinner, who would you choose and what would you want to learn from each of them? Phil Jackson – he has the ability to blend superstars with role players and have them buy into their roles for the team success. He manages to make everyone feel a part of the success. Also I would get his top 10 ‘must-read books.’ John Wooden – his teams were so grounded in the fundamentals, they bought into the system and they knew when they had made a mistake without a coach saying anything. I would ask how he knew his teams were truly prepared? What were the signs or questions? I want our teams to have that same aura. Dean Smith – I love the fact his former players truly respected him and are loyal to the program by coming back. I would ask him how he kept the program at such an elite level year after year. Also, what was his style that laid the program’s foundation where former players want to now give back? UCSB has won 14 of the past 16 Big West regular-season titles. Does that scare you a little to continue that run, or does it excite you that you are inheriting a program with that much tradition? It was a major reason I wanted to be the head coach at UCSB!  It excites me and will challenge me because, as a competitive person by nature, losing isn’t an option. In time, the team will take on my personality as all teams become the personality of the head coach. It’s nothing foreign to me as I was at a program for 10 years where the expectations were always high year after year; it is all I know. What 3 things can you not live without? Toothbrush High heels Starbucks coffee Other than women’s basketball, what is your favorite sport to watch and who are your favorite teams? I like men’s college basketball. I have been a closet Duke fan for years. I love the style of play and am a huge fan of Mike Krzyzewski. He was top five on my list of coaches to have dinner with. I admire Jamie Dixon’s teams at Pittsburgh because they play with an edge and with the team concept that is slowly being lost in college sports. Sunday NFL games have always been something I enjoy watching, but I’m not sure about 10 am kick offs. I like the Patriots because of Bill Belichick’s coaching style. DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 9


What I Learned from

C. Vivian Stringer

Sometimes, the word ‘legend’ gets tossed around pretty loosely. In the case of C. Vivian Stringer, the head women’s basketball coach at Rutgers University, the word ‘legend’ might not be strong enough. From her days as the head coach at Cheyney State in Philadelphia, to an eight-year run at the University of Iowa and then, beginning in 1995, an incredibly successful stint at Rutgers, Stringer has earned her way to legend status. Her teams have gone to the National Championship game, the Final Four and numerous NCAA Tournaments. Stringer could easily be called a legend purely based on the success that her teams have experienced, but those who have played for her and coached with her know better. She has helped shape the lives of literally hundreds of women. Yes Stringer, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, is a legend. Four of the lives C. Vivian Stringer has helped to shape are now on the UCSB women’s basketball staff. Here is what her influence means to them.

Carlene Mitchell

coached alongside Stringer from 2001-2011 at Rutgers:

“After spending 10 years with one of the classiest women in the sport, a brilliant motivator and one of the hardest-working people in this profession, it is nearly impossible to choose one thing that will impact my coaching style the most. In the early stages of my head coaching journey I truly appreciate her approach of ‘sweating the small things.’ Whether it was during the recruiting process of a top-five player or a NCAA Tournament scouting report, she had an ability in seeing the smallest of details. She has trained me to those standards and I know it will pay dividends, especially during my first season as a head coach, and will impact my career for years to come.” 10 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

Robin Thormodsgaard played for Stringer from 1983-84 at Iowa:

“Coach Stringer taught me the level of passion, intensity and focus that it takes to get to the next level. When she arrived at Iowa, we were in the bottom half of the Big 10. Her second year, my senior year, we were tied for the Big 10 title and playing in front of a record crowd of 22,157 people. It was an honor learning from someone with so much knowledge and an untouchable work ethic.”

Courtney Locke

played for Stringer from 2002-06 at Rutgers: “I learned several lessons from Coach Stringer but one that has stuck with me through the years is hard work. Nothing worth having comes easy and you have to work hard and sacrifice for the things you want. That’s the mentality we want our players to have on and off the court! It’s a life lesson that will last beyond basketball.”

Heather Zurich

played for Stringer from 2005-09 at Rutgers: “What she taught me that I want to bring here is just how to overcome any adversity and how to be a strong, successful woman. She used basketball as a way to teach life lessons. It was not just a game, but she would use it to teach you how to relate to others and how to work with a team. She’s got to be the strongest person I know. What she’s gone through in her life, you have to fight through and persevere and that’s what she’s had to do in her life.” DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 11

New Regime, Same Dominance The Carlene Mitchell Era begins when the curtain rises on the 2011-12 season November 1.


CSB’s new leader inherits a veteran team that returns All-Big West First Team pick Emilie Johnson, All-Freshman Team pick Nicole Nesbit, Honorable Mention selection Sweets Underwood and key components of last year’s team in Kelsey Adrian, Angelei Aguirre and Melissa Zornig.

Johnson is the Gauchos’ sparkplug and a feared scoring threat all over the court. She is one of the best combo guards in the Big West and her work ethic makes her a quiet leader on the team. Underwood emerged as a force in the paint as a sophomore and her continued development is key for Santa Barbara. Nesbit got better and better as her freshman season evolved. If that evolution can continue, she stands to be a primary option at point guard for the UCSB coaching staff. Let’s not forget that this team won its 14th Big West regular-season title in the last 16 years a season ago. Plus, with three new additions to the team and all but three players back, the Gauchos are primed for another run at yet another postseason berth. UCSB will have to battle through a tough schedule that includes an outstanding home slate and some real challenges on the road. In addition to the entertaining Big West Conference teams, the Gauchos will welcome Washington, UNLV, St. Mary’s, Pepperdine, San Francisco, Loyola Marymount and Cal State Bakersfield. In all, UCSB will play 15 regular season home games and one exhibition. The road schedule is highlighted by a match-up at USC. The Gauchos and Trojans battled in the 2011 WNIT and will renew the series on December 13. The schedule also includes a trip to the Pacific Northwest for games at Seattle and Portland, to the Southwest for games at UTEP and New Mexico State and to Colorado for a match-up with Northern Colorado.

Season tickets are available online at, by calling (805) 893-UCSB or in person from the Athletics Ticket Office in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building on campus. 12 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

OLÉ Olé dons several tributes to past legends. The mask maintains the mystery of the Gaucho and honors the famous “Fantom of the Dome” who wore a mask or goggles as he fired up Thunderdome crowds during the 1990s. Olé performs in conjunction with band, dance and cheer to rally support for the Gauchos on campus and in the community. Olé is available for outside or campus promotions, contact him at

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 13

Triple Threat


CSB will battle a difficult schedule as it aims for its unprecedented third straight NCAA Tournament bid. In 2011-12, the UCSB men’s basketball team will try to make school history. In a word, the Gauchos will be aiming for a THREE-PEAT.

ORLANDO’S BUSY SUMMER Ah, the lazy days of summer. Ha! Not if you’re Gaucho hoops star Orlando Johnson. The senior-to-be and twotime Big West Tournament scoring champ and tournament MVP had a busy summer. It started in June when he took part in the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago. In July, after a standout showing at the Durant Academy, Johnson was invited to take part in the prestigious LeBron James Skills Academy in Akron. Following a few weeks back in Santa Barbara, where he attended summer school and worked out, O.J. traveled to Colorado Springs for the Team USA World University Games training camp where he was one of 22 players competing for a spot on the U.S. National Team that will compete in China in August.

WEARING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE Orlando Johnson’s summer didn’t calm down much following his stints at the Durant and James academies. After a couple weeks at home in Santa Barbara, he headed to Colorado Springs where he was one of 22 collegiate players offered the chance to tryout for the team that would represent the United States at the World University Games. Not only did Johnson make Team USA, he was selected to carry the American flag and lead the U.S. delegation as it took part in the Game’s opening ceremonies. 14 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

UCSB will be battling for its third straight Big West Tournament title and NCAA Tournament berth, something the program has never achieved. In fact, until last season, Santa Barbara had never won consecutive tournament titles nor been to consecutive NCAA tourneys. The road back to the NCAA tourney isn’t an easy one. The Gauchos will play one of their toughest non-conference schedules ever. They will have Thunderdome dates with San Diego State, UNLV and Santa Clara, and road games against BYU, Washington and Cal. Another highlight of the 2011-12 schedule will be the Big West Conference opener. The Gauchos will start league play against Long Beach State, the league’s regular season champ in 2011 and the team they beat in each of the last two league tournament championship games. The teams will meet on Jan. 21 at the T-Dome and then again in Long Beach on Feb. 22.

Hoops fans can catch the Gauchos’ home game against Long Beach State and all of the other great Big West match-ups, plus any one of the non-conference games on the schedule – including UNLV or San Diego State – by purchasing the Big West + 1 Mini-Plan for just $100. Call the UCSB Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB or log on to for more information. While the schedule will be a challenge, the Gauchos will embark on the 2011-12 season with a variety of dangerous weapons. Leading the list is two-time Big West Tournament MVP Orlando Johnson. After initially making himself available for the NBA Draft in the spring, Johnson elected to return to Santa Barbara for his senior season. As a junior, he averaged 21.0 points per game, set school records for points in a season and game, and established himself as one of the best players on the West Coast. Johnson is half of a dynamic duo. The other half is senior guard James Nunnally who averaged 16.3 points per game in 2010-11. Like Johnson, Nunnally was a member of the Big West All-Tournament Team and is one of the most potent offensive players in the league. UCSB also returns two of its best post players in Jaimé Serna and 7-foot-3 Greg Somogyi. Serna was the third Gaucho player named to the All-Tournament Team in 2011 and Somogyi is the top shot-blocker in the Big West. In addition to nine returnees from last year’s team, Santa Barbara will add a pair of high-profile transfers. Point guard Nate Garth, a regular for two years at New Mexico, and forward Keegan Hornbuckle, a transfer from Colorado, each become eligible after redshirting the 2010-11 season. Garth, who is expected to seize a spot in the starting lineup, will have two years of eligibility remaining while Hornbuckle has three. The Gauchos will also add five talented freshmen to the fold. The first-year player most likely to have an impact is 6-foot-5 guard John Green. Green, who spent the 2010-11 season at Westwind International Prep in Phoenix, is a 2010 graduate of Castlemont High School in Oakland. He is very athletic and mature and should be a nice complement to the Johnson-Nunnally tandem.

THE GAUCHOS GET AN EARLY START, EH! The UCSB men’s basketball team will take its show on the road in September as it embarks on a 10-day trip to eastern Canada. The Gauchos will depart for Toronto on September 4 and return on September 13. During their stay, they will play two games each in Toronto and Ottawa and one in Montreal. There will also be plenty of time for sightseeing and practices. While the core of last year’s UCSB team will make the trip, so will two redshirt transfers and all five freshmen.

The Gauchos’ attractive home schedule will tip-off with a Nov. 5 exhibition game against San Francisco State. Information on season tickets or the Big West + 1 Mini-Plan is available online at or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB.

In 2011-12, the Gauchos will take aim at their unprecedented third straight Big West Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament bid. DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 15

The Kids Are Alright

While UCSB can lean on senior All-American Stacey Schmidt for help when needed – along with fellow seniors Lily Lopez and Chelsey Lowe – the Gauchos’ success this season hinges on a very talented group of underclassmen. We’re certain these kids are all right. Two freshmen and two sophomores are projected in the 2011 starting lineup to play alongside Schmidt and Lopez. But, as excitable as Kathy Gregory is in her 37th year at the helm, she is ecstatic about what this youth movement means now and in the future. One of the reasons for that is newcomer Taylor Pischke, a well-decorated outside hitter from Canada, who was named Manitoba’s top player last year. “An all-around player who can do everything,” is how Gregory describes her and then compares her to the Holy Trinity of Gauchos – Judy Bellomo, Roberta Gehlke and Brooke Hanson. For the first time in four years, UCSB will have a new setter after two-time All-American Dana Vargas graduated. The new quarterback of the Gauchos’ offense will be Hanna Nielson, who will – hopefully – be the next great setter to wear the blue and gold. History has been on Gregory’s side when throwing a freshman into the fire, though. It worked with Vargas. It worked with Brooke Rundle. It worked with Liz Towne. Those are three of the best setters to ever play here. “We want her to concentrate on making good choices and we’re going to ask her to have a good rhythm for hitters and put us in a position to be successful,” Gregory said. “The seniors will guide her and be the leaders.” 16 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011







Sept. 30 Oct. 1 Oct. 15 Oct. 21

Pacific UC Davis UC Riverside Cal St. Fullerton

7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 Nov. 4 Nov. 9 Nov. 12

Long Beach St. 7:30 p.m. UC Irvine 7:30 p.m. Cal St. Northridge 7:30 p.m. DARE Spring/Summer 2011 17 Cal Poly 7:30 p.m. •

decade of DOMINANCE The 2011 men’s soccer season is sure to be one for the ages as the Gauchos return to the field on a quest to defend their Big West Tournament title and to earn a berth into their 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament. Once again, head coach Tim Vom Steeg and his staff have not shied away from scheduling the nation’s elite programs and have ensured that the Gaucho fans will have plenty of heart racing action to take in at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium this fall. In all, the Gauchos will play 12 regular season home games. Highlights of the home slate include a match-up against defending 2010 College Cup champion, Akron (Oct. 5), which took home the national title the last time they stepped foot on Harder’s pitch. UCSB will also get a sneak peek at future Big West associate member, Sacramento State, when the Hornets stop by on Sept. 25. The Gauchos will host their first Big West home game on Oct. 11 against Cal State Fullerton and will conclude regular season action against Blue-Green rival Cal Poly (Nov. 4). UCSB’s 2011 roster features a bevy of battle-tested returners combined with plenty of talented and experienced newcomers. Returning to lead the Gauchos this year are five 2010 All-Big West honorees. The 2010 Big West Co-Offensive Player of the Year, Sam Garza, and 2010 Big West Freshman of the Year, David Opoku, will once again spearhead the scoring efforts. The duo led the team offensively with a combined 41 points (15 goals, 11 assists). Midfielder Luis Silva, who is a three-time All-Big West pick, returns for his senior year and provides mature leadership in the middle of the pitch. Defensively, the Gauchos will benefit from the services of All-Big West picks Machael David and Peter McGlynn, who helped limit their opposition to just 0.73 goals per game last fall. This spring, Vom Steeg made eight talented additions to the roster. U.S. U-20 National Team product, Dom Sarle has transferred from St. John’s and adds dimension to the Gaucho attack. He is joined by fellow transfers Juan Gomez (Los Angeles Mission College), Mathew Glodack (Southern Connecticut State), Peter Schmetz (Westmont) and André Grandt (Tyler Junior College). The freshmen class includes Chris Roell (Daniel Boone HS), Marshall Cazares (Birmingham HS) and Charlie Miller (Servite HS). With this talented group, there should be not be a dull moment at Harder. Season tickets are still available to ensure that fans don’t miss out on a single minute of this beautiful game. To be a part of the largest crowd in the nation four-seasons running and the movement to 2KSTRONG, call (805) 893-UCSB or visit the website

18 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

GAUCHOS on the



Santa Barbara and its multi-media rights holder Nelligan Sports Marketing, are pleased to announce that 13 Gaucho men’s soccer games will be broadcast live on AM 1290 KZSB, the Santa Barbara News-Press Radio Station. In addition, Talk’n Gauchos, the weekly one-hour show devoted to UCSB Athletics, returns to AM 1290 on Tuesday, Sept. 20. “It’s great that our men’s soccer fans will once again be able to follow the Gauchos every step of the way during the conference season,” said UCSB Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mark W. Massari. “A program as strong as ours deserves the highest possible visibility.” The broadcast schedule will include two key non-conference games as well as all 10 Big West contests and any postseason games. It will kick-off with UCSB’s Sept. 16 showdown at UCLA. The Gauchos’ Oct. 5 game against defending National Champion Akron will also be broadcast live. For the second straight year the Voice of the Gauchos, Gerry Fall, will call the play-by-play with long-time Santa Barbara News-Press senior sports writer Mark Patton handling the color. The men’s soccer team will be even more available to fans beginning with UCSB’s Sept. 23 game against the University of San Diego. Starting with the game against the Toreros, Gaucho games will be streamed live on the internet as part of Big West TV package on Also, as part of the capital improvements made at Meredith Field at Harder Stadium for the 2010 Men’s College Cup, a new video board was installed. The board is now fully operational and enhances the fan experience with instant replay during games, features during pregame and halftime, and postgame interviews of coaches and players. Fall also returns for his second year of Talk’n Gauchos. The weekly talk show that features Gaucho student-athletes and coaches, will air live each Tuesday beginning Sept. 20. For the second year in a row, the show will be broadcast from The Beachside Bar-Café on Goleta Beach and it is open to the public. The Gaucho soccer broadcast on Sept. 16 will be the first of more than 100 play-by-play broadcasts and weekly shows that Nelligan Sports Marketing will provide UCSB Athletics during 2011-12. It will easily be the most radio coverage ever provided for Gaucho sports. Beginning in November, Patton and Fall will be joined on AM 1290 by former Los Angeles Lakers and Gaucho star Don Ford for all the exciting UCSB men’s basketball action. Also beginning in November, Gaucho women’s basketball will be aired on AM 990 KIST. All UCSB radio broadcasts are also streamed live on The entire broadcast schedule and links for every event can easily be accessed by going to the “Listen Live” button on the main page. In addition to the commercial radio broadcasts, Gaucho soccer, and many other sports, can be heard live on the UCSB campus station KCSB 91.9 FM and on UCSB remains one of the very few schools that airs its soccer matches on both commercial and student radio stations.

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 19

A Great Example

Living the Dream


o become a Division I student-athlete, it takes copious amounts of hard work, drive, persistence and also the ability to succeed in the face of adversity. Many of UC Santa Barbara’s athletes have had to overcome significant obstacles on their journeys to becoming a Gaucho, but few have overcome as many as men’s soccer standout Machael David. David was born in Nigeria in 1988. To say his beginnings were humble is an understatement. His father earned meager wages as a bus driver and his mother stayed at home because her lack of education made finding employment a struggle. David’s family could not afford to send him to school, so he spent his days going street to street playing soccer. In Nigeria, children that did not attend school during the day and hung out in the streets were often categorized as criminals or gang members. According to David, “nobody trusts a street kid.” At the age of 12, his father passed away. Without his father’s income, David and his mother were forced to move into the guesthouse of a local church. Despite his relocation, David continued to play soccer, walking miles each day to and from practice. Unlike most American kids though, there was not an orange slice or juice box waiting for him at the end of each game. He would often return home after a day of playing to no dinner, forced to go to bed on an empty stomach. Sometimes, he and a group of friends that called themselves “The Musicians,” would take to the streets at night and sing African songs and dance in exchange for food. At age 14, the course of David’s life was altered when he was offered the chance to play on a team in Italy. David jumped at the opportunity to leave Africa and live abroad, but quickly “a dream come true” turned into more of the same. Despite some improved amenities, David felt as if his life in Italy was a very small improvement upon the one he lived in Africa. He still was not receiving an education and he felt that his opportunities were limited. While in Milan, David often joked with friends about moving to America to pursue an education. After three years in Milan, the 17 year-old finally decided to give up playing soccer and take a risk by moving to America, a country where he did not know a soul. Because his own documents had expired, David used a forged British passport and flew into John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. His inability to speak English automatically threw a hitch in his plan and when David was unable to fill out the customs documents on the plane, he was immediately detained by customs upon his arrival on American soil. Coming to the U.S. in the post-9/11 era with a forged passport and the inability to speak English was, to put it mildly, a bold move. After being detained and handcuffed in customs, David was finally able to tell his story to someone who spoke Italian. He pleaded his case, explaining that he was “coming to 20 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

look for help and the opportunity to become something in life. I can’t go back to my country, that’s the last thing I want to do. Please help me!” After eight hours in the airport, he was taken to a group home in Queens where other underage immigrants resided. It was at that group home that David began to receive his first formal education and started to learn English. It was also there that he made the life-altering decision to convert to Christianity after being raised Muslim. It was just three months later that David found a lawyer and then a foster family in Tacoma, Washington, which he considers a “big miracle,” considering the minimum that most people would be at the group home was six months. Another miracle happened when, just weeks before he turned 18, David’s lawyer successfully appealed for him to receive asylum, allowing him to live freely in the U.S. It was then, at age 18, that Machael David became a high school freshman. Not long after enrolling he was recruited to play soccer on his high school team. He was resistant at first because he didn’t want soccer to interfere with his education, but eventually after a year and a half hiatus from the sport, he took to the field again. David’s talent was quickly noticed by college coaches from around the country and while playing in a Premier Development League match in Fresno with former Gaucho Ciaran O’Brien, he was noticed by UCSB assistant coach Greg Wilson. Despite interest by several schools, it was not an easy path for David to get into college. With just a few years of formal education under his belt, his GPA and SAT scores were dismal, causing most coaching staffs to give up on recruiting him. For a while, David gave up on the prospect of playing college soccer and even attending college, as he dropped out of high school and enrolled in a GED program. His break from high school did not last long though. His high school counselors persuaded him to re-enroll and assisted in getting him extra classes and help so that he could graduate. David would wake up at 5 or 6 a.m. every morning to go to school and stay until 5 p.m. as he took extra classes in order to graduate. After two and a half years of high school, David graduated with a 3.8 GPA. For their part, Gaucho coaches Tim Vom Steeg and Greg Wilson battled to get David into school at UCSB and in the fall of 2008, he enrolled as a freshman. Unfortunately, his struggles were not over.

Due to his abbreviated high school education, David had not completed enough core classes by NCAA standards, so he was forced to sit out his first season at UCSB. The setback caused him to become frustrated and depressed; feeling as if everything he had gone through was for nothing. After sitting out a redshirt year and becoming a familiar face in the Intercollegiate Athletics Building’s Study Center, David was finally cleared to play for the 2009 season. He made an immediate impact, starting 23 of 24 matches for the Gauchos. He scored one goal and dished out four assists and was named the Big West Freshman of the Year, Second Team All-Big West, Soccer America All-Freshman Second Team, Freshman Team and All-Rookie First Team. In 2010, David played in and started 21 of the team’s 22 games and earned First Team All-Big West honors as a midfielder while collecting a pair of assists. Even more impressively, in each of the last two years, David was the only UCSB men’s soccer player named to the Big West All-Academic team and was selected as his team’s Golden Eagle Award Winner for his academic success. Reflecting on all of his current success, David does not take any of it for granted and is very aware that he couldn’t have achieved this all on his own. “When I think that today I am a senior in college, it makes me really appreciate my high school counselors and those who were behind me who thought I could make it,” David said. “If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t be here. Here I am today in Santa Barbara after all of these obstacles.” He is also reminded of what his life could have been, knowing that many of his friends back in Nigeria are now drug dealers, criminals or have already died. “I try not to take things for granted,” David said. “I am living the American dream. My friends envy me, that I came here not knowing anyone and took a risk. I am just grateful to be here and grateful to have this opportunity, to be in America. America is the place everyone in my country wants to be, the place everyone wants to live.” After spending most of his life just trying to get by, he still feels as if he is working to survive. He says he doesn’t worry about making plans for the future. “Growing up as a child there was no plan for me. I just live my life and try to accomplish everything everyday that comes to me instead of sitting and making a plan,” David said. “Most people will see that as a negative thing, but for me it is what has brought me so far in life. Expectation is something I never put my hopes on, because if I expect something and it doesn’t happen, it breaks my heart. I’d rather live my life every day and do my best every day.” DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 21


The 2011 UCSB women’s soccer team will depend on a balance of key returnees and several top-flight newcomers in its quest to get back to the top of the Big West Conference. Cory Yoshida, Erin Ortega and Alissa Sanchez return to lead an offense that hopes to improve on a 2010 performance that saw it score just 23 goals in 19 matches. Ortega, who will move from the midfield to the forward line, and Sanchez are, in fact, the only two returning players who scored goals last season tallying three and two respectively. Junior forward Dyanne Anderson, a transfer from Santiago Canyon College, and freshman Indiana Mead will also play key roles. The heart of the Gauchos should once again be their defense. In 2010, UCSB allowed just 21 goals and gave up more than one just six times. Defensive starters Alyssa Benjamin, Kathleen Matthew and Alexa Stringer all return to the fold and will once again spearhead the operations on the backline. Benjamin may also get some playing time up top if the team’s offense struggles. Senior Nicole Romanowski, who was injured and sat out the 2010 season, was a Second Team All-Big West honoree as a defender in 2009 and could again be called on to play a defensive role for the Gauchos. A pair of freshmen – Miranda Cornejo and Catherine McFarland – could also contribute. UCSB’s last line of defense should be sophomore goalkeeper Makenna Henry. As a freshman, Henry started 17 of the Gauchos’ 19 matches. She recorded a goals against average of 0.93 and had 58 saves. She could be backed-up by freshman Haley Guerrero. The Gauchos will play a tough home schedule in 2011. Their Meredith Field at Harder Stadium match-ups include Big West Tournament champion Long Beach State, Blue-Green rival Cal Poly, 2010 NCAA Sweet 16 team Minnesota, and traditional powers Fresno State, Santa Clara, New Mexico, Pepperdine and Nevada.

For more ticket information log on to or call the Athletics Ticket Office at (805) 893-UCSB. 22 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 23


Gauchos Get Their Man


CSB hired Andrew Checketts on June 22 to become the ninth head coach in program history. An assistant between UC Riverside and Oregon over the past decade, Andrew built a name for himself with his hard work, ability to recruit the nation’s best players and develop some of the country’s best pitching staffs.

Andrew Checketts has known success. Following his senior year at West Linn High School in Oregon, he was named the state’s Player of the Year. After his senior season at Oregon State, Checketts collected All-American and Pac-10 North Player of the Year honors after recording an 11-1 record. Make no mistake about it, success is part of Checketts’ DNA and he’s carried that success into his coaching career. Checketts joined the UCSB staff after a successful run at Oregon. He got to Eugene in 2008 and wasted little time in helping put that upstart program on the map. The Ducks’ 2008 recruiting class, brought in for the program’s first intercollegiate season in 2009, was ranked No. 2 in the nation. In fact, two of his three recruiting classes were ranked in the top three nationally and the other was top-25. Checketts began coaching at Riverside City College in 2001, where he served as pitching coach and helped the team to a school record ERA and second consecutive California State Championship. In 2002, Checketts moved across town from RCC to UC Riverside. Upon his arrival at UCR he, made an immediate impact as the staff ERA improved by almost three runs and the team broke the school record for strikeouts in his first year. Checketts also played a key role in recruiting for the Highlanders and their 2007 class was ranked in the top-25 nationally. On the field, the program also won its first outright Big West championship in 2007. 24 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

He inherits a program that has produced the third-most Major League players in the Big West and his plans are to push that number higher and push the Gauchos back into the postseason. “Development is going to be a priority for our program – developing players, developing people,” said the Oregon State graduate who was an All-American pitcher as a senior. “That’s going to be our coaching staff’s history and strength. Obviously the cherry on top of the sundae is that they get to live in Santa Barbara and get to be a part of the community and the amazing campus. We’re going to focus very hard on the academics and the development of a person/baseball player.” Checketts, 35, took some time to talk about his vision for UCSB baseball and whose knowledge he’d like to tap into in his first head coaching job. What’s your time frame to get the baseball team back into the postseason? Tomorrow. What do your goals for the program look like? I think it’s realistic to think we’ll be a top-25 program in three years and the top-25 programs always have a chance to go to Omaha. How do you sell recruits to come to UCSB to play baseball? The kids that we’re looking for are the ones who value the educational opportunity that we have here. Having them recognize how special this place is academically and valuing it. That’s priority No. 1. And, priority No. 2 is we’re looking for kids we want to develop and have the goal of becoming Major League Baseball players. We’re going to ask them to do a lot and we’re going to require that they do a lot and they are going to have to have that goal in mind to go through all the challenges that it takes to be a successful team. What attracted you to UCSB? I love the Big West Conference – it’s one of the best baseball conferences in the country. I always felt like this was a sleeping giant. I think other coaches feel the same way: that this is a program that can win and will win. That was exciting to me. Obviously the location is a great place to recruit to, along with the academic standards and the academic excellence. Traditionally the Big West Conference is one of the best in the nation. Where do you see the conference in three to four years and can it be a four-bid conference again? Yeah, there’s no question that it can be a four-bid conference. Hawai’i is going to really add to the strength of the conference. I know, traditionally, they haven’t had a great RPI, but I think that was a product of who they played in conference and not a product of who they played out of the conference. They play such a tough schedule early in the year by bringing in high-quality teams that they will have a high RPI and will add to the conference. And with what UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State have been able to do, historically, I don’t think its out of the question for Santa Barbara to be in that mix and to be able to be one of those teams consistently getting that bid and turning it into a four-bid conference.

“Development is going to be a priority for our program – developing players, developing people,” What have you learned as an assistant coach to be successful as a head coach? Recruit good players (laughs). As a first time head coach, what are some of the things you fear? I think I’ve always been behind-the-scenes, doing the recruiting. Recruiting isn’t truly behind-the-scenes, you do get to be the face of the program, but that part of it is going to be a new experience for me. Handling the media and doing the fundraising. There will be a few new hats that I haven’t had to wear before. I think the only thing that I really fear is the time commitment that it is going to take away from developing pitchers and recruiting; The two things that I think are my strengths. I think it will be a manner of balancing that, how to make that work, and still being able to invest in those players. If you could have dinner with any coaches, dead or alive, who would they be and what would you like to learn from them? John Wooden is somebody who I’d love to sit down and pick his brain. I’ve always been interested in his ability to not talk about winning, but still win a lot. He always said he loved all his players the same, but treated them different. I always thought that was interesting, to have some flexibility with their individual needs and their individual backgrounds and to care about them all the same. And even his ingame presence on the bench. People used to say ‘Oh, Wooden’s upset, he just raised an eyebrow.’ He was always reserved but his team always played prepared and aggressive. I’d want to talk to him about that philosophy and why it worked so well. I just worked with the best baseball coach in the country, George Horton, so I got to pick his brain a lot. I’d really like to meet Joe Torre. I’d love to learn from him how he managed all those egos and all of the high-priced talent and got them to play as a team and got them to believe in the name on the front versus the name on the back. The Yankees don’t even have names on the back of their jerseys, they just have numbers. I’ve heard before, and I’ve used it before, that if you’re good enough people don’t need to know the name on the back, they’ll know you by your number. I’d like to learn about that and how to manage that because as college coaches we deal with that a lot. The kids have always been the hero and have always been the most successful player on their team and it’s been about them a whole lot. Then they come into college and sometimes there’s a transition there and it’s difficult for them – they’re not the most important thing, the team is. I’d love to learn more from him, how he managed that and got those guys to win all those championships. What are your strengths as a coach? I think communication; communicating with players, communicating standards, communicating goals and then following up with that. The detail part of coaching is something that’s a strength of mine – organizing and planning and putting a lot of fine details into our practice and our practice plan and the preparation for our players and our pitchers. The minute details of when they sleep, when they throw, when they lift, when they run, how much they do. I think all of those things lead to having a team that’s prepared. When you feel prepared, you have more confidence and you’re able to – I use the term, “go for it” more. What style will we see from your team on the field? Aggressive. Playing hard. Playing aggressive. Playing smart and playing intelligent, taking the extra base if the opportunity is there and if the timing’s right in the game. I would hope that when people watch us play that we’re prepared. That we’re disciplined, that we’re detailed. And, that we’re aggressive. That’s the goal so that when people come to play the Gauchos they know they are in for it. At the end of the weekend, whether we won the series or not, they feel like they just went through a war and they had to earn everything they got.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Under the tutelage of Andrew Checketts, 36 pitchers have made the leap into professional baseball. In his time at Riverside City College, UC Riverside and Oregon, he has helped develop the careers of numerous collegiate pitchers. The following list includes some of the highest drafted pitchers coached by Checketts, including those who have taken the ultimate step into Major League Baseball. RIVERSIDE CITY COLLEGE Jason Waddell – 2001 8th round (San Francisco); MLB debut – May 31, 2009 Ryan Wing – 2001 2nd round (Chicago White Sox) UC RIVERSIDE Anthony Claggett – 2005 11th round (Detroit); MLB debut – April 18, 2009 Adam Reifer – 2007 11th round (St. Louis) Dan Runzler – 2007, 9th round (San Francisco); MLB debut – Sept. 4, 2009 Marc Rzepczynski – 2007 5th round (Toronto); MLB debut – July 7, 2009 James Simmons – 2007 1st round (Oakland) Chris Smith – 2002 4th round (Boston); MLB debut – June 21, 2008 Daniel Stange – 2006 7th round (Arizona); MLB debut – April 29, 2010 OREGON Tyler Anderson – 2011 1st round (Rockies) Madison Boer – 2011 2nd round (Minnesota) Scott McGough – 2011 5th round (Los Angeles Dodgers) Kellen Moen – 2011 7th round (Kansas City) DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 25

A Great Example

Climbing Back Up the Hill


C Santa Barbara pitcher Nick Capito straddled the mound. He looked down to his catcher Marty Mullins. It was April 24, 2010. Capito was preparing to throw his first pitch of the fourth inning. Through his first three innings, the Gaucho lefty had allowed just one hit to Long Beach State and his team was on top, 3-0. Capito went into the windup and delivered a change-up on the outside corner to the 49ers’ Devin Lohman. Lohman swung and made contact. He hit a hard line drive up the middle. The next thing Capito knew, he was sprawled out on the mound. Lohman’s line drive deflected off the bill of Capito’s hat and then struck him right between the eyes. “I saw it coming,” Capito remembered. “I thought I got a little bit of my glove on it, I wasn’t sure, and then it hit my hat, then me, and I went down. I didn’t go unconscious or anything, I was just laying there kind of in shock, thinking ‘Geez, what just happened? I should have caught that.’” The next thing Capito remembers is athletic trainer Mike Martinez and then head coach Bob Brontsema running out to the mound and kneeling next to him. “I was alright,” Capito said. “I was fine. I honestly could have gotten back on the mound and pitched, but no one was going to let that happen after a head injury like that.” Capito was taken to a Long Beach hospital where cat scans showed that the only damage he suffered was cosmetic. “The next day, my eyes swelled up like a balloon,” he said. “But nothing was broken.” A few months before getting hit in the face with the line drive, during Christmas break, Capito had to face far greater adversity as his maternal grandmother and one of his best friends each passed away.

26 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

The next thing Capito knew, he was sprawled out on the mound. “Losing my grandmother was very hard,” said Capito. “We were very close.” The death of his friend came in particularly tragic circumstances. James Wernke was walking his dog in a rainstorm. They walked near an overflowing creek and Wernke’s dog fell in. Wernke went in after the dog, slipped, hit his head and lost consciousness. The authorities said he drowned. Capito and Wernke had been teammates at Santa Ana College. “I became really close with him,” Capito said. “He redshirted our sophomore year and then signed a Letter of Intent to go to Long Beach State, so he would’ve been there this year. It would’ve been fun playing against him.” Indirectly, Capito believes that his friend was there the day that he was felled by the line drive in Long Beach. “I had James’ initials written on the side of my hat and the ball hit the hat, probably taking some of the impact, before it hit me in my forehead,” recounted Capito. “I really believe he was looking out for me. It was at Long Beach State, too, the school where he was supposed to be going. It was just kind of a surreal thing.” While the ball hitting the cap most certainly minimized the physical damage suffered by Capito, there was still the challenge of actually climbing back onto the mound and pitching again. “The next couple of days (after the incident) I was just icing it and trying to recover,” he said. “(Pitching coach Tom) Myers asked me if I’d be able to go next weekend and I said ‘yeah, of course.’ I was feeling fine and just wanted to get back on the bump.” When Capito did return, something had definitely changed. “I felt fine physically, but it was just kind of a mental thing,” he said. “I really wasn’t the same after that. I was still a little shell-shocked the rest of the season. I don’t think I really bounced back too well.” After jumping out to a fast start in 2010, Capito was up-and-down after the line drive incident. It took him a while, but he finally started to return to normal during the summer when he played for the Wisconsin Woodchucks in the Northwoods League. “It was kind of a hard thing to get over,” Capito said. “It took me about a month. I went to play summer ball in June and started to feel better. They use wood bats out there and that didn’t scare me as much as metal bats, or whatever they are now. That kind of put some ease in the back of my mind about the balls coming off the bat.” While Capito started progressing from the moment he got to Wisconsin, there was still one thing he had to overcome: another ball hit back up the middle. “Last summer, I remember having my first comebacker and it was just a soft ground ball,” he recalled. “I jumped back and flinched pretty bad, but I got the ball and ran it over to first, and I was like ‘okay, well that was my first one and there will probably be more, so you better be ready.’” Capito enjoyed, and truly benefitted from, his summer season in Wisconsin. He pitched well, helped the Woodchucks get within one game of playing for the league championship, learned a new pitch (a two-seam sinker) and really re-focused himself for the 2011 UCSB season. “I came back during the fall with a vengeance,” said Capito, who also bounced back from surgery to his left elbow while pitching at La Quinta High School. “I just wanted to win, I wanted us to have a good season and I was willing to do whatever role I was given.” While Capito was primarily a starter as a junior in 2010, he was used in both a starting and relief role in 2011. The Whittier, Calif., native made 22 appearances in 2011, 17 out of the bullpen. “I’ve become accustomed to ‘whatever happens, happens,’” said the art history major. “I’m ready for anything. I’ve never really pitched exclusively out of the bullpen before, and the beginning of the season, I thought, was a great test to show that I can fill whatever role I need to fill.” Capito finished the season with a 4-4 record, a solid 3.90 ERA and one save. “I feel I helped the team out of the bullpen and as a starter,” Capito said. “It’s was pretty topsy-turvy, but whatever the situation, I basically just tried to get guys out. It’s all the same. Pitching is pitching. People want to talk about pressure situations, but I just come in and try to get guys out and do my job.” DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 27

“That winning culture will be part of everything we do.”

28 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

unity; Friends and Comm s, nt re Pa , ni um Al Dear g that wonderful of my vision durin t ar he e th at re need not be Those words we the Gauchos. We of h ac co ad he w ne wait until day I became the ng doesn’t need to ni in w d an , ng ni in tw ssroom, afraid to talk abou developed in the cla be ill w re ltu cu ning and fund raising. the spring. Our win , recruiting battles om ro t igh we , ld practice fie s on the support inning culture begin w r s ou r fo n tio da ovide the resource The foun wever we must pr ho , lid so is e ng sir de oti g front. Our fo We have a burnin big move upward. ond while am di e th needed to make a ung men off yo ty ali qu p lo ve experience. to continue to de le student-athlete ab ett rg fo un an ith merhead. providing them w nt, friend and Ham re pa , m alu y er ev m uchos, we It will take help fro p supporting the Ga ou gr ng ro st e on as I’m confident that . at th st at will help will do ju a special group th of rt pa e m co be to mber 9 signifies a Today, I invite you Gaucho9.” The nu he “T ll: ba se ba ho mplete our winning drive Gauc We invite you to co . ld fie e th on am mmunity members complete te nts, friends and co re pa , rs no do , ni ur cheers team of alum e diamond with yo th on es et hl at r andrew. by supporting ou ntact me directly at co se ea Pl . ns tio and financial dona involved. to get checketts@athleti n easily be Gaucho baseball ca lp he to ns tio na sociated Tax-deductible do ded, with great as clu in rm fo nd Fu ho made via the Gauc you wish. if le ab ail av ho benefits undation for Gauc ing the winning fo id ov pr in us in jo Please baseball. Andrew Checketts h Head Baseball Coac


ach year over 400 student-athletes represent this special university,

everyday, in the classroom, in the community and on the fields of competition. Every young woman and man who dons the Gaucho blue and gold is on a mission to win in every phase of their lives. That means succeeding in the classroom at one of the nation’s premier research institutions. That

In 2010-11 nearly 900 indiv idual don ors gave to t he Gaucho Fund, UCS B Athletic s’ annual giv ing progr am, an increas e of near ly fifty dono rs from t he previous y ear. An estima ted 40% of all donor s to athl etics also supp ort other areas of the campu s.

means winning in the community and being a beacon of what is good about playing sports, and showing little boys or girls that you can grow up and become whatever you dream: a volleyball player, a doctor or teacher. It can happen. But while they win championships, what is truly special about these Gauchos and the coaches who dedicate their lives to lead them, is they are winning in the game of life as well! And it all starts because of you. By financially supporting these incredible young men and women—these Gauchos—you become the spark that lights this amazing opportunity at this incredible university. Our annual giving program, the Gaucho Fund, is the lifeblood to provide these opportunities. As a donor you are opening the door to their winning drive on this campus of achievement. Thank you for supporting the Gauchos!

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 29


or many of you, Andy Fee is a familiar face. In his last role overseeing the events and operations of Gaucho Athletics, Fee was often visible at each of our venues as he made sure that everything ran as smoothly as possible from the gates being opened until the lights were turned off. Now Gaucho Fund donors will see even more of the personable Fee as he embarks on his new role as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development. He will work closely with Gaucho Fund Director of Marketing & Stewardship Christina Baglas and Executive Associate Athletics Director Tom Hastings as the trio take the Gaucho Fund, and the benefits provided, to new heights. Fee is no stranger to college athletics. He joined the Gaucho family in 2010 after spending eight years with the University of San Diego Athletics Department. The customer service-oriented Fee is a graduate of Arizona State University where he also worked full-time for four years. Should you have questions about the Gaucho Fund, your benefits, the numerous events held throughout the year, or if you just want to call and chat, feel free to contact Andy, Tom or Christina at the numbers provided below. As always, thanks for supporting the 450 student-athletes who represent this great university. Your support provides the difference as we compete for championships in and out of the classroom. ANDY FEE or (805) 893-4960 CHRISTINA BAGLAS or (805) 893-5372 TOM HASTINGS or (805) 893-6019

Andy Fee and Christina Baglas 30 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011


A Priceless Connection


hat’s what being a Living Scholar provides, a priceless connection from the generosity of a Gaucho Fund donor to a deserving young man or woman who puts it all on the line, everyday, while being a Gaucho. Our student-athletes are asked to Dare To Be Great in the community, classroom and on the court. Take women’s soccer’s Cory Yoshida. A fouryear starter and team captain, Cory was the female Golden Eagle ring winner (signifying the highest GPA among student-athletes) with a 3.68 GPA in Environmental Studies. When she’s not dominating the pitch or her books, Cory can be found volunteering her time with local youth soccer groups. She is supported in her efforts by her Living Scholars. Great, indeed.

The Gaucho Fund, which provides support annually for 450 UCSB student-athletes and all 20 programs, is highlighted by the unique Living Scholar Level of giving which pairs a studentathlete with a donor.

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 31

2011-2012 EVENTS AU G U ST Aug. 20

F E B R UA RY Men’s Soccer Meet the Team – Lamb Residence – 2:00 pm

SEPTEMBER Sept. 16 Sept. 21

Men’s Soccer UCLA Huddle – 6:00 - 8:00 pm Living Scholar Kick-Off Event – Hall of Champions

O C TO B E R Oct. 9 Oct. 15 Oct. 19 Oct. 24 Oct. 29 TBA

Women’s Basketball Fastbreaker BBQ – Goleta Beach – 2:00 pm Women’s Volleyball Legend Game and Reception Basketball Media Day Men’s Basketball Golf Tournament – La Cumbre Country Club – 11:00 am Men’s Volleyball Alumni Beach Tournament Men’s Basketball Hoop Club Event

N OV E M B E R Nov. 4 Nov. 30 TBA

Men’s Soccer 2006 Reunion/Senior Night Celebration Men’s Basketball Legend Game and Reception Women’s Basketball Fastbreaker Open Practice

JA N UA RY Jan. 12 Jan. 25 TBA

Men’s Soccer Team Banquet – ICA HOC – 6:00 pm Living Scholar Dinner – Corwin Pavilion – 6:00 pm Golf - Doug Perry Golf Tournament – Glen Annie – Time TBA

TBA Feb. 18 Feb. 18 TBA TBA TBA


Men’s Basketball Senior Night Hoop Club Dinner Big West Basketball Tournament Huddle Men’s Volleyball Golf Tournament

APRIL April 21

Swimming and Diving Banquet – ICA Building/Phil Womble Hall of Champions – 6:00 pm TBA Men’s Basketball Banquet TBA Women’s Basketball Banquet April 27-29 All Gaucho Reunion – Men’s Soccer Alumni Games, Hall of Fame Induction, Gaucho Order Breakfast April 29 Women’s Soccer Golf Tournament – Glen Annie


, $1,122,445 During the 2010-11 year e Gaucho was donated to provid program student-athletes and ral gifts to support, including seve Meredith assist improvements to um for the Field at Harder Stadi ing of the campus’ successful host December. st la up C ge le ol C A A C N

32 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

Baseball Dinner – Place and Time TBA Distinguished Gaucho – Corwin Pavilion – 6:00 pm Track Round-Up – UCen Hub – 6:00 pm Women’s Basketball Legend Game and Reception Women’s Basketball Chancellor’s Dinner Women’s Basketball Senior Celebration

Men’s and Women’s Tennis Banquet SB Awards Women’s Basketball Golf Tournament

The Gaucho Order

John Keever “It is all about connection and commitment.”


o says John Keever (’67), chair of the Gaucho Order. And few know more about connection and commitment to UCSB than Keever. A football and rugby standout during his days on campus, Keever went on to a distinguished career as a college athletics director and coach. His bond to UCSB remained strong but was further forged when he, along with several former teammates and classmates, reunited and pledged their loyalty to this terrific university. Letterwinners at UCSB are part of a great legacy of men and women who have been awarded the block C with UCSB inscription and that have represented the university in the community, classroom, and in competition. This legacy is passed on through The Gaucho Order and Keever became the perfect choice to be the first chair of The Gaucho Order . “The key is not only to connect with our contemporaries as we join forces in fostering a bond with the university,” John said, “but to be committed to the Order’s mission of excellence as we support its causes and projects while bridging the gap between all generations of Gauchos. The Gaucho Order is the perfect way to stay connected and committed to Gaucho Athletics and our alma mater, which played such a huge role in all our lives.” A committee of athletics alumni represents The Gaucho Order with the primary mission to assist UCSB Athletics with strategic initiatives such as communications, Hall of Fame selections, Legends Of The ‘Dome, awarding honorary memberships, regional development, and capital campaigns. For more on the Gaucho Order contact Tom Hastings at

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 33

STICKING AROUND Men’s volleyball coach Rick McLaughlin, who guided the Gauchos to the MPSF Tournament championship and the NCAA Championship game in May, has signed a four-year contract extension. McLaughlin will embark on his fourth year in charge of the program in 2011-12.

NET NOTES Director of Tennis Marty Davis, who has coached the UCSB men’s tennis team to six Big West titles and NCAA Tournament appearances, was awarded a three-year contract extension. Davis will be entering his 13th season at the helm of the Gaucho program. The success of the program would also seem assured because his incoming recruiting class was ranked 24th in the nation.

ADDITIONS There are several new additions to UCSB coaching staffs for the 2011-12 year. Ryan Madry has been added to the men’s basketball coaching staff after a stint at Cal State Fullerton…Gregg Wilson has added Ann Wright as the Gauchos diving coach. Wright is a veteran diving coach with a diverse background at the high school and community college levels…Leon Blazer is the new Director of Operations for the women’s volleyball team…Former Gaucho star Aaron Mansfield is now Rick McLaughlin’s assistant coach on the men’s volleyball staff…Pete Dolan has added Ryan Rupcich as an assistant coach with the track and cross country teams and Cody Fleming as a track and field assistant…Erica Seidman, who played four seasons at UCSB, is a member of Paul Stumpf’s women’s soccer coaching staff…Greg Curry, a member of the 2006 Gaucho National Champion soccer team, is now an assistant coach on the team’s staff…Eddie Cornejo, a former assistant coach at UC Riverside and Associate Head Coach and interim Head Coach at Riverside City College, joins UCSB’s baseball staff after having a successful minor league career that saw him reach Class AAA...Jason Hawkins is a new member of the baseball staff, coming over after serving as the head coach at Occidental College the previous three seasons...Former UCLA standout Natalie Jarrett has joined the women’s basketball staff as an assistant coach. 34 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011



In April of 2012, the UC Santa Barbara Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame will get a little more crowded.


he UCSB Hall of Fame will add the women’s tennis doubles team of AMELIA WHITE and

KELLY SPENCER, men’s volleyball star MIKE GORMAN,

standout wide receiver AMAHL THOMAS, former women’s basketball coach MARK FRENCH and former baseball coach AL FERRER. “This is a great class of former Gauchos,” said Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mark W. Massari. “They had great success on the fields and the courts during their time at UCSB and the honor is well-deserved.” The Hall of Fame induction ceremony and dinner will be held as part of All Gaucho Reunion on April 28. All Gaucho Reunion takes place annually Hall of Fame inductee Mark French every spring and welcomes back Gauchos from all decades. For the past several years, UCSB Athletics has been an integral part of the AGR weekend, not only hosting the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but several receptions, a jam-packed weekend of soccer and last year, it joined forces with the Alumni Association and Arts & Lectures to welcome back Jim Rome. In addition to honoring the new members of the Hall of Fame, the first Distinguished Hall of Fame inductee Al Ferrer Gaucho Award, which honors a former Gaucho athlete who has achieved great success in his/her post-UCSB career, will go to WAYNE BRYAN, a former tennis player who has remained involved with the program. Bryan is the father of Mike and Bob Bryan, the top men’s doubles team in the world, and is a renowned coach, lawyer, musician and author. Bryan will be honored on Feb. 18 and then again at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Finally, two honorary members will be added to The Gaucho Order, the department’s letterwinners organization. Assistant Athletics Director for Student Services LARRY JAMES and Assistant Athletics Trainer BOB ANNABLE will be added. Both are longtime, dedicated members of the Athletics Department. The Gaucho Order Letterwinners organization is the alumni athlete wing of Gaucho Athletics. Connecting generations of Gauchos who have worn the blue & gold while competing for this terrific university, The Gaucho Order connects alumni, serves current coaches and student-athletes with fundraising and legacy projects and consults with the Director of Athletics on vital issues surrounding the heritage of Gaucho Athletics. For more on the Gaucho Order logon to or contact Tom Hastings, Executive Associate Athletics Director, at DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 35

A Great Example


Snita had a lot of opportunities to give up but she had passion and persevered.


C Santa Barbara sprinter Snita Ashford crouched into the blocks for the 100 Meter final at the Big West Championships with something to prove. The senior was about to take part in her final race as a Gaucho and emotions were high. “When I was warming up I felt nervous,” Ashford said. “I decided that I was going to dedicate the race to everybody who quit the team, everybody who didn’t believe in me and everybody who thought I would quit the team and gave up on me as a person.” Ashford matched her personal best time of 12.10 and took fourth in the race to end her collegiate career on a high note. After a standout track & field career at Buena Park High School, Ashford came to UC Santa Barbara with high expectations. The former Orange County 100 meter champion aspired to be one of the top sprinters in the Big West and qualify for nationals, but injuries derailed her plans before she set foot on campus. “[During] my senior year of high school I fractured my foot, so I took time off, came back and had a really strong season,” Ashford said. “I trained really hard that summer to prepare for UCSB, and I injured my foot again.” Ashford spent the bulk of her first two years at UCSB in a boot protecting her injured foot, which limited her training to upper body lifting, stationary bike and pool workouts. During that time, her commitment and mental toughness were tested. “Anytime a sprinter has a history of soft tissue injuries, it’s something they have to overcome in the mind,” said UCSB sprinter coach Josh Priester. “She handled the adversity well and overcame it.” Despite the recurring injury, Ashford attended track & field events to support her teammates and remained an active member of the team, but her health would not allow her to properly train towards her goals.

36 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

“It’s really hard to mentally stay focused and be a part of the team because you can’t do what your teammates are doing,” Ashford said. “You see your teammates progressing and doing well and you wish you were there.” Ashford began to return to form her junior season and was finally able to compete on a consistent basis. With a full season under her belt and an intense summer training regimen behind her, Ashford entered her senior year primed to excel. “Snita had a lot of opportunities to give up but she had a passion for it and persevered,” Priester said. Fall workouts proved to Ashford that she was back to 100-percent, setting the stage for the breakout season she had hoped for. “At the indoor meet this season in Washington, she came out and ran some great times,” Priester said. “She was a completely different athlete right away this season.” Ashford recalls many special moments throughout her senior season, but the Cal-Nevada Championships held special significance because of her negative experiences there in past years. “In prior years, I was always injured or coming off injuries so that was never my best meet,” Ashford said. “I would always just go for prelims and never make it to the finals.” This past season, Ashford bucked the trend, advancing past the prelims and qualifying for the 100 meter finals, which is a testament to her persistence and willingness to do whatever it takes to improve. Ashford will be attending graduate school at Cal State L.A. this year and plans to pursue a career as a high school counselor.

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 37

Men’s Water Polo


After graduating six seniors, including All-Americans Milos Golic and Zsombor Vincze, the UC Santa Barbara men’s water polo team will look to new leadership in the pool during the 2011 campaign. The Gaucho roster has a bevy of talented returners and newcomers, which makes for a promising season and a bright future for the program. Junior Brian Shoemaker headlines the list of Gaucho returners. The utility player is capable of playing at nearly every position and is the top returning goal scorer after posting 22 goals in 2010. His classmate Myles Christian has also been a solid contributor over the last two seasons. Christian, who made 18 appearances in the goal for the Gauchos in 2010, will compete with sophomore Jay Lovero for time in the cage. The Gauchos also show plenty of promise in their sophomore class. Serbian sensation Lazar Komadinic and Australian Matt Gronow bring international flair and scoring prowess to the table. The pair contributed 15 goals and 18 goals, respectively, during their rookie seasons. Two-meter man, Teddy Zhang, will also rejoin the active roster after redshirting the 2010 campaign due to an injury. Key newcomers include Derek Shoemaker – brother of Brian – and Chase Racich, who hail from local power Dos Pueblos HS. USC transfer Jesse Gillespie will also look to be a key addition. UCSB, which plays in the ultra-competitive Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, will once again battle the nation’s best throughout the season. Highlights of the 2011 slate include the Northern California Classic (Sept. 17-18) being hosted by Pacific and the Southern California Tournament (Oct. 1-2), which is hosted by Long Beach State. Both tournaments annually feature a field that consists of the majority of the nations’ top-20 ranked programs. Currently, the Gauchos are slated to play six games at historic Campus Pool. UCSB will open its home schedule with a doubleheader against Concordia and Pomona-Pitzer (Sept. 24) before hosting defending NCAA Champion USC (Oct. 23), Cal (Nov. 5), Pacific (Nov. 6) and UC Irvine (Nov. 12).

CROSS COUNTRY Throughout the years, the UCSB cross country programs have proven to be two of the best in the Big West Conference and 2011 shouldn’t be any different. The Gaucho women’s team has won the last two—and four of the last five— Big West titles. Last year, they had the top three finishers at the conference championship meet and finished the campaign ranked 32nd in the nation. The top three finishers, however, all exhausted their cross country eligibility so the 2011 squad will be looking to a handful of returnees and some newcomers to uphold the Santa Barbara tradition. Seniors Andrea Jacobs, Cassie Brooker, Ashley Beechan and Ariana Selix, junior Sara Vitug and redshirt freshmen Dani Moreno and Christine Cooperstein should lead the way. “The team has been training well this summer,” said head coach Pete Dolan. “We do have some depth, so it should be interesting.” On the men’s side UCSB finished third in the Big West in 2010 and they didn’t have a senior. Junior Juan Parades finished eighth at the league championship meet last year and is the top returnee. Paredes is joined by seniors Andrew Pilavjian and Anthony Masci, and junior Bhavik Kanzaria, giving the Gauchos a solid foundation for success. “Third-place was a nice finish for the team last year,” Dolan said. “But we have the ability to move up if we can take advantage of our experience. On paper we might not get the respect of our Big West rivals right now, but I think this team will be ready when the gun goes off.” 38 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011


DIVING IN ust one year after reinstating diving – following an 11-year hiatus – UCSB head swimming coach Gregg Wilson has hired Ann Wright to continue the resurrection of the program.

“Ann Wright is a proven and dedicated professional in the sport of spring board and we are extremely fortunate to have her join our staff,” Wilson said. “Her strong presence in the Southern California diving community and her proven record as a coach will significantly add to our UCSB aquatics programs. Ann is a great person to resurrect our diving program and our incoming class of freshmen divers will benefit immediately.” Wright has an extensive background as a diving coach. Most recently, she served as the Birmingham High School and Oxnard District dive coach, in addition to assisting at Mission Viejo Dive Camps.  During her coaching tenure, she has been named Michigan’s High School Diving Coach of the Year multiple times, has coached three high school State Champions, 12 All-State divers, 67 All-Americans, 35 Junior National qualifiers, five Senior National Qualifiers, seven Junior National Champions and has had three divers named to the Junior National Team.  By strengthening the diving program, Wilson hopes to take his already very competitive swim program to the next level. In the past, the difference for UCSB between conference titles and second place has often been the diving points. Or lack thereof.

MAKING A SPLASH The Gaucho swim teams return to action this October after a successful 2010-12 season that saw both the men and women switch to new conference affiliations. In their first season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, the very youthful UCSB women’s team finished second at the conference championships, captured six MPSF titles and broke four school records. Standout performers Andrea Ward, Allie Knight, Sophia Yamauchi and Paige Bradley will all return for their second seasons with the Gauchos. After kicking off the year with their annual Intrasquad and Alumni meet on Oct. 1, the Gauchos will open the season with a trio of home meets against UCLA and Oregon State (Oct. 22), Denver (Oct. 28) and UC San Diego (Nov. 4). The men’s squad will begin its season with the dual against Denver. After not having a senior on the roster last year, the Gaucho men’s team will boast a core of very talented veterans in 2011-12. Chris Peterson, who represented UCSB at the 2011 NCAA Championships, and fellow seniors Kevin Ferguson, Tim Freeman, Ryan Garcia, Kevin Kuhn, Evan Simoni and Garrett Thompson will be working towards ending their collegiate careers on a high note. UCSB, which joined the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Conference last year, will encounter yet another league newcomer, Utah, at the championships in February.

Chris Peterson and Andrea Ward DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 39

A RUN TO REMEMBER 40 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

In the words of ESPN commentator and volleyball legend Karch Kiraly, UCSB’s run to the 2011 NCAA men’s volleyball championship match was one of the greatest in the history of college sports. Kiraly wasn’t far off. The Gauchos entered the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament as the No. 7 seed. Their quest began with a four-set victory at No. 2 BYU, which had not lost a home match all season. The win over the Cougars propelled UCSB into a semifinal contest against Long Beach State. The 49ers won both regular season matches between the teams, but the postseason was a different story as the Gauchos pounded out a 3-1 win, securing their first appearance in the MPSF title match in 15 years. UCSB’s next challenge? Playing top-ranked USC on its home court where, like BYU, it was unbeaten in 2011. Led by tournament Most Valuable Player Jeff Menzel, the Gauchos defeated the Trojans in five games, earning their first MPSF Championship and a spot in the Final Four for the first time in 23 years. UCSB’s reward for sweeping through the league tournament? A rematch with No. 1 USC in the NCAA Tournament at Penn State. In the rematch, the Gauchos needed just four games to dispatch the Trojans and advance to their first National Championship match since 1988. While UCSB dropped a thrilling five-game decision to Ohio State in the national championship match, the run to get there was, truly, one of the greatest ever. DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 41

SPRING BASEBALL SOFTBALL UCSB softball posted its eighth winning season in the last nine years this past spring. The 2011 Gauchos set school records for doubles (71) and double plays (32), ranking second nationally in the latter category. UCSB relied heavily on the strength of junior pitcher Krista Cobb, especially during Big West Conference play. The West Hills, Calif. native got hot during league play, posting a 9-6 record and 2.32 ERA in her 19 Big West appearances (120.2 innings pitched). She garnered Big West Pitcher of the Week honors twice and was picked to the All-Big West Second Team. Most notably, the hurler tossed her second career no-hitter against UC Riverside on April 16.

Senior right fielder Mark Haddow was one of three Gauchos selected First Team All-Big West following the 2011 baseball season. Haddow, who was joined on the first team by second baseman Sean Williams and relief pitcher Bryce Uhrig, batted .356 on the season and was among the league’s top-10 in 10 offensive categories. In June, Haddow was drafted in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago White Sox. UCSB pitcher Jesse Meaux was taken in the 19th round by the Colorado Rockies.

GOLF Sophomore Glen Scher became the first UCSB golfer in more than four years to win a tournament when he posted a one-shot victory at the 2011 Barona Collegiate Cup in Lakeside, Calif. Scher shot a 7-under par 209 to record the win. Not only was it the first tournament win of any form by a Gaucho golfer, it was the first spring tournament win in nearly a decade. Scher was a Second Team All-Big West choice in 2011 and he was invited to play as an individual at the NCAA Regional in San Diego. 42 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

WOMEN’S TENNIS Junior Natalia Lozano earned Second Team All-Big West after an outstanding season playing at the No. 1 singles spot for UCSB. It was Lozano’s second all-league honor. As a team, the Gauchos finished the year ranked 62nd in the nation and by virtue of that fact, they were invited to play in the 2012 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division I Kick-Off Weekend Tournament. UCSB will play at the University of Miami in the tourney that will be held from Jan. 27-30.

REVIEW WOMEN’S WATER POLO Senior Kathryn Nelson capped her four-year career with the Gauchos with All-Big West Second Team honors. The Lompoc, Calif. native led UCSB with 54 goals to go along with 16 assists and a team-leading 37 steals. Nelson and the 2011 Gauchos posted a 16-13 overall record and tied for second in the Big West’s regular season standings with a 3-2 league mark. UCSB also hosted the Big West Tournament for the first time at its historic Campus Pool.

MEN’S TRACK AND FIELD Junior Ryan Martin earned All-American honors in the 800 meters for the second straight year after he finished eighth in the NCAA Championship meet. Martin qualified for the final with a time of 1:46.29, the fourth fastest qualifying time.  At the Big West Championship in May, he set a new UCSB record in the 800 when he clocked a 1:45.34. In that race, Martin came from behind and edged UC Irvine’s Charles Jock with a lunge at the end.  Jock had the fastest 800 time in the nation in 2011.

MEN’S TENNIS Senior Alex Konigsfeldt was named First Team All-Big West in singles and doubles following the 2012 season. For Konigsfeldt an all-conference honor was nothing new as he completed his UCSB career with three first team awards and an honorable mention. He was joined on the first team by his doubles partner Taylor Chavez-Goggin and Benjamin Recknagel. Following the season, the Gauchos’ 2011 recruiting class was ranked 24th in the nation, giving head coach Marty Davis a reason to be optimistic about his team’s future.


Senior distance runner Amanda Moreno completed her outstanding season with a better than four-second victory in the 5,000 meters at the Big Wes Track and Field Championships. Moreno’s time of 16:44.21 was more than four seconds better than fellow-Gaucho Breanne Strenkowski. Moreno, who earlier in the season set the league record in the 5k in a time of 15:58.02, qualified for the NCAA West Regional. In October, she set a Big West and school record when she won the league’s individual cross country championship. She ran the 6k course in 19:57.0, a little over 12 seconds better than the previous school record.

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 43

GOLDEN EAGLES Fly High Academically On Wednesday, May 4, the UC Santa Barbara Inter­collegiate Athletics Department hosted its 24th Annual Golden Eagle Awards, which honored 16 student-athletes for a combination of athletic and academic achievement. Additionally, two Gauchos – one male and one female – were chosen as Golden Eagle Ring winners for achieving the highest grade point average among all UCSB athletes. The 2011 Golden Eagle Ring winners were Milos Golic of the men’s water polo team and Cory Yoshida of women’s soccer. Golic, a native of Belgrade, Serbia, was a senior business economics major with a 3.78 grade point average. Yoshida was a junior majoring in environmental studies and has posted a 3.68 grade point average. The event, which is hosted every spring and is sponsored by Pacific Beverage Co., was held at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Hotel in Santa Barbara and included a fantastic dinner followed by the awards ceremony. Golic, Machael David (men’s soccer) and Jordan Weiner (men’s basketball) each earned their second Golden Eagle Award. Julian deRubira (men’s track and field), meanwhile, earned his third. UCSB had a total of 70 student-athletes earn Academic All-Conference awards. A total of 49 earned honors from in the Big West, 17 from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and four from the Pac-10 Conference. The Golden Eagle Awards and the banquet were once again generously sponsored by Peter and Gerd Jordano.

2011 UC Santa Barbara Golden Eagle Award Winners Name Kelsey Adrian Brittany Borowitz Machael David Julian de Rubira Mathieu Forget *Milos Golic Lauren Kodama Kathryn Nelson Sofia Novak Chris Peterson Breanne Strenkowski Trey Valbuena Dana Vargas Jordan Weiner Connor Whalen *Cory Yoshida

Cl. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr. Jr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Sr. Jr.

Sport Women’s Basketball Women’s Swimming Men’s Soccer Men’s Track & Field Men’s Tennis Men’s Water Polo Women’s Track & Field Women’s Water Polo Women’s Tennis Men’s Swimming Women’s Cross Country Men’s Volleyball Women’s Volleyball Men’s Basketball Baseball Women’s Soccer

Major Economics & Accounting Environmental Studies Theater Environmental Studies Theater Business Economics Environmental Studies Global Studies Global Studies Mechanical Engineering Cell and Development Bio. Communications Studies Sociology Political Science Business Economics Environmental Studies

*Indicates Golden Eagle Ring winner. Note: All class levels are academic levels and not athletic eligibility. 44 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

GPA 3.51 3.34 3.30 3.34 3.58 3.78 3.40 3.56 3.28 3.52 3.43 3.28 3.30 3.48 3.56 3.68

Hometown Langley, B.C. Orange, Calif. Tacoma, Wash. Aliso Viejo, Calif. Geneva, Switzerland Belgrade, Serbia San Diego, Calif. Lompoc, Calif. San Dimas, Calif. El Sobrante, Calif. Oak Park, Calif. Huntington Beach, Calif. Seal Beach, Calif. Encino, Calif. Scottsdale, Ariz. Irvine, Calif.


Named Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year STACEY SCHMIDT of the women’s volleyball team and JORDAN WEINER of the men’s basketball team were named UC Santa Barbara’s 2010-11 Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year at a banquet hosted by the conference in Garden Grove on March 10. Each of the nine league institutions selects the winners from one of 18 conference-sponsored sports. Schmidt, a junior on the women’s volleyball team, is business economics major. She has twice earned All-Big West First Team honors (2009 and 2010) and led the Gauchos in hitting percentage (.324), block solos (12) and block assists (78) this past season. A member of the school’s Dean’s List twice, Stacey has also participated on UCSB’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board for two years. She also co-chaired a community service sub-committee last year that organized UCSB’s Adopt-A-Family holiday program and helped an Isla Vista elementary school purchase playground equipment. Schmidt intends on applying to graduate school at UCSB and would like to earn her Master’s in economics. A former walk-on to the UCSB men’s basketball team, Weiner developed into a starter’s role and a key scholarship player. He played an instrumental role in UCSB’s back-to-back Big West Tournament Championships and subsequent trips to the Big Dance. A three-time Big West All-Academic selection, Weiner participates in community service with the Boys and Girls Club in tandem with the Gauchos Give holiday program. He also assists with local elementary schools by tutoring students in match and makes visits to terminally ill children at Santa Barbara’s Cottage Hospital. Weiner intends to pursue a law degree.

2011 UCSB Student-Athlete Sash Ceremony DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 45

On May 26, UC Santa Barbara athletes gathered at the Isla Vista Theater for the Fourth Annual SB Awards, the year-end awards show that celebrates the past season in UCSB Athletics by highlighting the best performances by Gaucho athletes, coaches and teams. UCSB’s Student-Athlete Advisory Board created the SB Awards in 2007-08. The first show was held at The Hub in the University Center in May of 2008. Gerry Fall, the Voice of the Gauchos, served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies for the third consecutive year and a collection of student-athletes presented the awards to their peers. The show – which was preceded by a reception outside the theater – featured awards categories ranging from Athlete of the Year to Best Team Performance. The majority of the award winners were Brett Fick & Mathieu Forget decided by an online vote of student-athletes, coaches and Athletics staff. The 2011 event opened with a rousing musical performance of “Blue and Yellow” by Gaucho baseball player Brett Fick. He was joined on stage by UCSB tennis star Mathieu Forget who performed a dazzling breakdance display. Female Athlete of the Year AMANDA MORENO (Cross Country/Track and Field) Big West Cross Country Athlete of the Year…Set conference record for 6k championship race, winning in a time of 19:57.0…Defeated the second place finisher, teammate Breanne Strenkowski, by 25 seconds…Finished eighth at the NCAA West Regional and advanced to the NCAA Championships. Male Athlete of the Year JEFF MENZEL (Volleyball) First Team All-American and First Team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation… Men’s Volleyball – Men’s Team of the Year Selected the Most Valuable Player of the MPSF Tournament after leading the Gauchos to a trio of wins, including victories at No. 1 USC and No. 2 BYU…Led UCSB to a win over USC in an NCAA Tournament semifinal match, lifting the team to its first NCAA Championship match in 23 years. Women’s Sport Coach of the Year PETE DOLAN (Cross Country/Track and Field) Was named Big West Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year…Led UCSB to its second straight league championship and its fourth in the last five years… Coached the Big West’s individual champion for the sixth time in eight years and prompted two of his athletes to the NCAA Championships. Women’s Cross Country – Women’s Team of the Year

Men’s Sport Coach of the Year RICK MCLAUGHLIN (Volleyball) Guided the Gauchos through an unprecedented postseason run that saw them win their firstever MPSF Tournament championship…Seventh-seeded UCSB opened the tourney with a win at No. 2 BYU, a second round win over fifth-seeded Long Beach State and a title match victory over top-ranked USC…The home losses were the first of the season for BYU and USC…The Gauchos defeated USC in the NCAA Final Four and advanced to their first National Championship match since 1988.

46 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

Rick McLaughlin – Men’s Sport Coach of the Year

Women’s Team of the Year CROSS COUNTRY Won their second straight Big West Championship and their fourth in the last five years…Had three runners finish in the top-20 at the NCAA West Regional and finished fifth as a team. Men’s Team of the Year VOLLEYBALL Won its first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament ever…The MPSF Tournament run included wins at No. 2 BYU and No. 1 USC…Defeated No. 1 USC in the semifinals of the NCAA Championships before losing a five-set thriller to Ohio State in the National Championship match.

Barbara Nwaba – Female Performance of the Year

Female Newcomer of the Year PAIGE BRADLEY, ALLIE KNIGHT, ANDREA WARD and SOPHIA YAMAUCHI (Swimming) The foursome combined for nearly two-thirds of second-place UCSB’s points at the MPSF Championship meet. Male Newcomer of the Year SAM GARZA (Soccer) Scored nine goals and assisted on six others for 24 points…Named the Big West’s Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Big West after leading the Gauchos to the league championship. Female Performance of the Year BARBARA NWABA (Indoor Track and Field) Became the first UCSB athlete ever to garner All-American honors in indoor track…Finished ninth in the pentathlon at the 2011 Indoor Track and Field Championship in College Station, Texas…She scored 4,020 at the meet.

Dana Vargas & Cullen Irons – Mr. & Ms. Gaucho

Male Individual Performance of the Year ORLANDO JOHNSON (Basketball) Named MVP of the Big West Tournament after pacing UCSB to the league crown and NCAA Tournament bid for the second straight year…Scored 85 points in the three games, making 12-of-18 threepoint attempts, as the fifth-seeded Gauchos became the lowest seeded team to win the tournament since 1996…Beat three teams seeded ahead of them and three teams that beat them twice apiece during the regular season, a conference first. Team Performance of the Year MEN’S VOLLEYBALL Awarded for victory over No. 1 USC in the championship match of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Tournament. Mr. and Ms. Gaucho DANA VARGAS (Volleyball) and CULLEN IRONS (Volleyball) Vargas and Irons were deemed to represent the meaning of being a Gaucho student-athlete.

Waid Ibrahim – Phil Womble Gaucho Heart Award

Phil Womble Gaucho Heart Award WAID IBRAHIM (Soccer) Overcame heart problems to become a contributor for the successful men’s soccer program…Scored the game-winning goal in overtime as the Gauchos defeated Denver in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Dare to Make a Difference Award DR. RICK AND LINDY RYU The Ryus are longtime supporters of UCSB Athletics. Rick, an orthopedic surgeon, has performed surgeries on numerous Gaucho athletes throughout the years and they are both part of the Living Scholar Program.

Dr. Rick and Lindy Ryu – Dare to Make a Difference Award

DARE Spring/Summer 2011 • 47

Dare To Know


Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Performance Jeremy Bettle has been UCSB’s Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Performance since 2009. He’s been involved in the field since he began working as a personal trainer in his native England in 2000. After receiving his B.S. degree in Sports and Exercise Science from Leeds Metropolitan University in the U.K., Bettle came to the United States to continue his education. He has since earned his M.S. and Ph. D. from Middle Tennessee State. He earned his Ph. D. in Human Performance. In terms of improving Gaucho athletes’ performance, Bettle understands the value of strength training, but he also believes that improving performance goes well beyond that. “We focus on a lot of areas, including injury prevention,” Bettle said. “It’s not just about squats and dead lifts, it’s about emphasizing the things that will translate into an athlete becoming the best at their sport. We want to create better basketball players, better soccer players, better athletes.” Bettle has also made a push to change the nutrition habits of UCSB athletes and believes the efforts are already paying off. “We put a big emphasis on nutrition,” he said. “That is an area that’s widely neglected. Knowing what type of nutrients you need to fuel the type of activity you are involved in is very important. Nutrition for recovery is also very important, and I think it’s why we’ve been so successful in tournament settings. We’re eating specifically for recovery.” Beyond just feeding the athletes, Bettle has instituted “Nutrition Nights” that are designed to teach athletes about better nutrition. “That way we aren’t just feeding them,” he explained. “We’re telling them why they should eat certain things and not others.” And now, here are some things you probably don’t know about Bettle. I grew up playing rugby and in the town of Rugby, 100 miles north of London, where the sport was born. I met my wife Michelle on the first day I arrived in the United States. We have three big dogs: Bettie (a terrier), Phyllis (a deaf, white bulldog) and Ella (a Rottweiler-Mastiff mix). I work with NBA players during the offseason. I likes chocolate, but I make my own and it’s healthier. I love coffee. When I was growing up playing rugby, I tried to emulate some of the great English rugby players. I prefer Surge to Muscle Milk. I do a lot of reading on financial success and read a lot of stuff by Dave Ramsey. We just put Friday night movie night in our budget (a Dave Ramsey thing) and we also get stuff off of Netflix to stream on the computer. Lots of BBC things. I don’t own a television. In the last year, the worst thing I’ve eaten was a legit pizza. I have an absolute fear of eating anything bad because I should practice what I preach. Michelle and I eat in the back of restaurants in the dark so that none of our athletes will see us out at dinner. I have a picture of the inside of my refrigerator on by Blackberry. I’m very proud of what’s in there. I’ve never tasted a Krispy Kreme donut. I confiscated and threw away a dozen donuts that a coach brought to practice. The coach was going to give them to the team as a reward. I was not happy. 48 • DARE Spring/Summer 2011

In 2009, UCSB Athletics introduced a program to honor the outstanding athletes and coaches whose legendary performances were responsible for transforming the Campus Events Center into the legendary Thunderdome. To immortalize the Gaucho greats, the “Legends of the ‘Dome” program was created. Now, two years later, eight banners adorn the walls of the Thunderdome’s end court. In 2009-10, the first five “Legends” were unveiled. Women’s volleyball All-American Roberta Gehlke became the first honoree. Her banner was unfurled on Oct. 17, 2009. Gehlke was followed, in order, by Carrick DeHart (men’s basketball), Mark French (women’s basketball coach), Brian Shaw (men’s basketball) and Barb Beainy (women’s basketball). In 2010-11, three more “Legends” were born. Women’s volleyball coach Kathy Gregory saw her banner revealed before a match against nationally-ranked Long Beach State. Her team responded with a thrilling five-set victory over the 49ers. During the basketball season, Eric “The Freeze” McArthur became the third men’s basketball player to be deemed a “Legend of the Dome” and Kristen Mann became the third women’s player so honored.

A LEGACY-THUNDERDOME Originally called the Campus Events Center, the Thunderdome was christened in 1987 when UCSB’s Sports Information Director off-handedly referred to it as such in a phone call with a local television sports anchor. The anchor asked if he could use the reference on the air and the rest is history. The reason for Thunderdome? The noise at Gaucho basketball games was similar to what Mad Max had to cope with in the movie “Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome.”

In 2011-12, four more “Legends of the ‘Dome” will be introduced. The late Judy Bellomo, a former women’s volleyball great, will be honored before to the Gauchos’ home match against UC Riverside on October 15. The new men’s and women’s basketball honorees will be announced at the annual Media Day in October. This year’s class of “Legends of the ‘Dome” will be the first to be revealed prior to the unveiling of their banners.






2011 HOME SCHEDULE Nov. 1 Vanguard Nov. 17 St. Mary’s Nov. 19 Loyola Marymount Nov. 23 Washington Dec. 2 San Francisco Dec. 10 UNLV Dec. De 16 Pepperdine 50 DARE Spring/Summer 2011 Jan. 12 UC Irvine •

7 p.m. 6 p.m. 2 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m. 4 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 p.m.

Jan. 14 Jan. 26 Jan. 28 Feb. 4 Feb. 9 Feb. 11 Feb. 23 Feb. 25

UC Riverside UC Davis Pacific Cal Poly CS Fullerton CS Bakersfield Northridge CS No Long Beach St.

2 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m. 2 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m. 7 p.m. 2 p.m.


DARE Fall 2011  

Check out the Fall 2011 issue of DARE Magazine -- the official publication of UCSB Athletics.

DARE Fall 2011  

Check out the Fall 2011 issue of DARE Magazine -- the official publication of UCSB Athletics.