The Cal State East Bay Athletics Department is set to induct six new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame on May 5, 2012, Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis announced. Four former student-athletes and a pair of former coaches will be recognized for their achievements at the Hall of Fame banquet, where they will join numerous Pioneer legends who have preceded them in induction.
Women’s volleyball player Marion Champion, women’s basketball and volleyball player Antoinette Goode, football player Don Sawyer, men’s tennis player Jeff Southwick, track and field assistant coach Dr. Charles Harmon “Doc” Brown and men’s tennis head coach John Nelson have all been selected as members of the 2012 induction class. The group was selected by the Cal State East Bay Hall of Fame Committee, which convenes every two years and is comprised of one student-athlete, one alumnus, one faculty member and two coaches representing one men’s and one women’s sport.
A two-year outside hitter for the Pioneers, Marion Champion (1998-99) helped guide the volleyball team to back-to-back NCAA Division III playoff appearances and a 55-17 overall record during her time on the court. As a senior, Champion was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III All-West Region Team after setting the still-standing season record for kills in a campaign with 451 and finished her career with 1999-2000 Pioneer Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors. A team captain both years, Champion remains a staple in the volleyball record book, ranking among the program’s career top 10 in kills (786), digs (660) and aces (87). Prior to joining the Pioneers, Champion was an all-conference, all-section and all-state player at San Joaquin Delta College and was named to Denair High School’s All-Decade Team in 1997.
Following her impressive career at then-Cal State Hayward, Champion graduated in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with an emphasis on public relations. Since then, she has coached for more than 15 years for club teams in both Northern and Southern California and has served as an assistant coach for the past three seasons at College of the Desert. Currently, Champion is working on her MBA at Strayer University and works as the Officer of Media Communications for the Imperial Irrigation District, while coaching at the Desert Sports Center in Palm Desert, Calif.
Antoinette Goode (1984-88) spent four seasons as a dominating center for Cal State Hayward, collecting numerous accolades during her illustrious career. Goode was a four-time All-Northern California Athletic Conference (NCAC) selection, making a name for herself as the league’s top rebounder and shot-blocker as a sophomore and junior. During an outstanding junior campaign, Goode collected All-America honors and was named to the Kodak Division II All-West Region First Team after leading the nation in rebounding and finishing the year as the NCAC’s top scorer (16.5 ppg), rebounder (14.9 rpg) and shot-blocker (49).
She remains the Pioneers’ all-time leading scorer with 1,210 career points and still holds every rebounding record in the record book, including her career total of 1,110, season mark of 428 and single-game standard of 27, set against Cal State LA in November 1985. Goode remains the standard for shot-blocking at East Bay, holding a career total of 115 blocks to sit 50 ahead of the No. 2 player on the list. Goode also played one season of volleyball for the Pioneers before graduating in December 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Don Sawyer's athletic career reads like a true Pioneer. A member of the 1966 and 1967 Cal State Hayward Football teams led by Hall of Fame Head Coach Les Davis, Sawyer had the opportunity to participate in a number of pioneering firsts, including the first Far Western Conference (FWC) football game win, Humboldt 33-14 in 1967, and the first winning football season 7-3-1 in 1967, and being one of the first Pioneers to be selected for all FWC recognition in 1967. A dominant player and leader in his position, Sawyer was elected by his peers as the Most Valuable Linemen for both 1966 and 1967 seasons, and served as team captain for the 1967 season. Sawyer went on to sign as a free agent with the Oakland Raiders in 1968, becoming the first Pioneer to sign a professional sports contract.
In 1970 Sawyer returned to the Pioneers and served as assistant football coach until 1993 and track and field coach until 1980. Sawyer helped coach multiple Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame members including football player Monty Consani and track athletes Greg Blankenship and his own brother Mark Sawyer – both national hammer Champions. In addition, he coached 16 All Americans including 4 national champion track athletes during his coaching career. Sawyer, who received his bachelors degree in physical education at then-Cal State Hayward), went on to receive his masters degree from San Francisco State, and his doctorate in education from the University of San Francisco. Following his coaching, Professor Sawyer taught in the department of Kinesiology and Physical Education where he was department chair in 2005 and also served as the chair of the Academic Senate from 2004-2006. Since 2006 Sawyer has served as Chief of Staff to the President at Cal State East Bay, working with former President Mohammad Qayoumi and current President Leroy M. Morishita.
A seven-time all-conference and two-time All-America selection, Jeff Southwick (1979-83) helped the Pioneer men’s tennis team to collect four straight All-Northern California Athletic Conference (NCAC) titles during an impressive singles and doubles career under Hall of Fame coaches Stan Clark and fellow inductee John Nelson. Southwick began his career with all-conference honors at No. 2 doubles as a freshman, helping the team finish third at NCAA Championships, before becoming an all-conference selection in both singles and doubles as a sophomore. During a breakout junior season, Southwick played No. 1 doubles with partner Gary Scholl, earning All-America honors and doubling up all-conference honors for the second straight year. As a senior, Southwick collected all-conference recognition at both No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles. Alongside partner and fellow Hall of Famer Rolf Wiedermeyer, Southwick reached the semifinals in the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament, earning his second All-America selection and helping the Pioneers to their second third-place showing in four years.
Since graduating from Cal State Hayward with a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1988, Southwick has become a leader in the tennis industry on the West Coast. As a coach and tennis professional and now Director of Tennis and Fitness at Orinda Country Club, he has helped place over 60 players into collegiate tennis programs, has coached an NCAA doubles champion, two world-ranked players and four No. 1-ranked juniors. He is also a former chair of the NorCal United States Tennis Association (USTA) Coaches Commission, which helps to identify and develop the best young tennis players in the country.
The first of two former coaches being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, the late Dr. Charles Harmon “Doc” Brown served as an assistant coach to the Pioneer track and field team from 1974-92. A celebrated physician and coach in his own right, Brown was a four-time Olympic coach, a 10-time coach to U.S. national teams and was a member and chair of several national and international sports science committees during over 40 years in coaching. As an assistant coach to the Pioneers, Brown helped guide the men’s team to the 1977 NCAA Division II National Championship. Under Brown’s tutelage, Hall of Famers Jim Moran, Barbara Pickel, Cathy Sulinski, Glenna Ford and Diane Oswalt collected individual national championships. Brown also coached Sulinski, Moran, Pickel and former Pioneers Marilyn King and Cis Schafer at both national and international competitions, including the 1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics.
An early supporter of women’s athletics, Brown co-founded the Millbrae Lions Track Club, helping to develop several women would become national champions, All-Americans and Olympic contenders, including King. In addition to his coaching duties, Brown was world-renowned for his pioneering research on the physiological effects of distance running and strength training in women, helping to prove that women’s bodies could handle the strain and stress of physical activity. A former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, Brown served as the Director of Student Health Services at then-Cal State Hayward from 1973-90 and was a clinical professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine from 1961 until his death in 2008. A graduate of Lafayette College and the George Washington University School of Medicine, Brown is also a recipient of numerous international awards, including the International Association of Athletics Federations Veteran Pin for service to world athletes in 2007 and the Heliodoro and Pat Rico Lifetime Achievement Award from USA Track and Field in 2008.
Former Pioneer men’s tennis coach John Nelson began his now 29-year collegiate coaching career at then-Cal State Hayward, guiding the team from 1983-88. After playing for the Pioneers for two seasons (1977-78), earning four all-conference selections and All-America honors in singles, Nelson returned to his alma mater and guided the Pioneers to five NCAC championships. Each season under Nelson, the team finished among the top 10 in the nation, claiming third place at the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1983 and 1988. Under Nelson’s tutelage, Mauricio Achondo captured the 1985 NCAA Division II singles title.
Following his time at Cal State Hayward, Nelson went on to claim five conference championships and four regional coach of the year awards at UC Davis, where he guided the Aggies to the 1992 NCAA Division II team title, collecting Division II Coach of the Year honors along the way. During his time with both the Pioneers and Aggies, Nelson coached the only non-scholarship Division II programs in the nation, leading all 11 squads to top-10 finishes and six to the Final Four. Since then, Nelson then moved on to Division I, coaching at San Diego State before taking the reins at Hawaii, where he is entering his seventh season at the helm. During his career, Nelson has coached 30 All-Americans in both divisions, two singles national champions, five doubles national title teams and collected 12 conference and seven regional coach of the year awards.
The six Cal State East Bay Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at a reception and dinner to be held in the University Union on the Hayward campus on May 5. Online registration for the dinner will be available beginning in early February on the Cal State East Bay Athletic Department website. For more information on the 2012 Hall of Fame induction, please contact Associate Athletic Director Marissa Parry at email@example.com or (510) 885-2810.