2014 Occidental Athletics Hall of Fame Class
LOS ANGELES — Occidental College celebrated its long and storied athletic tradition with the induction of seven Tiger Greats into its Athletics Hall of Fame at Jack Kemp Stadium on Friday, Oct. 24.
Roy Dennis '33, Maxine McMasters Mitchell '45, Bob Ashford '52, John Barnes '52, Ted Tiffany '57, John McGrath '63 and Shawn Lawson-Cummings '86 were recognized with a dinner induction ceremony at the turn of Bill Henry Track.
President Veitch talked about the College's new committment to athletics and the strategic plan for the program. He announced that the plan was to take "an incremental approach," focusing resources on track and field and cross country first.
"Track and field and cross country already have excellent facilities, unlimited roster space and a long and distinguished tradition," Veitch said.
He also talked about the College's plan to complete the new pool and tennis court projects.
Much of the evening was spent reliving some of the great people in Oxy athletics history. Oxy athletic director Jaime Hoffman delivered a touching tribute to the late great Grant Dunlap — the legendary Oxy athletic director, baseball coach and basketball coach who passed away in September.
Paul Finchamp '80 was the master of ceremonies, kicking of the show by running into the stadium to the Rocky theme song "Gonna Fly Now." He joked that he was one of only a few, "rogue scholars" in the college's history as he cued a pair of videos, one titled "You Can Play," showing off the college's commitment to diversity and inclusion, and the other, "You Can't Play," a parody of how not to make the Hall of Fame.
Jim Dennis, the son of Roy Dennis spoke about his father and all of the posthumous inductees, and his sister, Mary Carpenter, accepted their father's award.
Randy Tiffany spoke about his father Ted, Murray Via '54 shared stories about Ashford, Glen Johnson '60 talked about McGrath and Bill Harvey presented Lawson-Cummings.
Roy Dennis ’33 joined the athletics department in 1934 and retired as athletics director in 1970. As head football coach, he led the Tigers to a 53-40-4 mark, including Oxy’s 1948 Raisin Bowl win. He also coached varsity swimming and water polo for 30 years, winning 17 SCIAC titles.
Maxine McMasters Mitchell ’45 picked up her first sword at Oxy after her older brother enrolled her in a fencing class. She won her first national title in 1952 and represented the United States in the 1952, 1956, 1960, and 1968 Olympic Games. She coached the onewoman Panamanian fencing team in 1984.
Bob Ashford ’52 pitched the Tigers to the first of four straight SCIAC championships as a junior and carried Bill Anderson’s squad to a 10-0 SCIAC season in 1952, hitting .600 to lead the league and winning all nine of his starts. Ashford was named Occidental’s co-athlete of the year in 1951-52.
John Barnes ’52 was an NCAA champion and record-holder in the men’s 800m run in 1951 and 1952. Barnes represented the United States in that event at the 1952 SummerOlympics in Helsinki. He also was a member of Oxy’s 1950 relay team that ran a 3:10.1 mile—then one of the top times in the world.
Ted Tiffany ’57 transferred to Oxy as a sophomore from Glendale College. He was an NCAA All- American in 1957 and the Tigers’ all-time leading scorer from 1957 to 1993, with 1,336 points. Tiffany became the first player selected to the Oxy Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1986.
John McGrath ’63 is a three-time Amateur Athletic Union champ in the shot put and discus. He set AAU indoor meet records in shotput at 64' 3." and a 193' 4" record throw in discus. A three-time NCAA place winner, his toss of 61' 2." in shot put at the 1963 SCIAC Championships is still the conference record.
Shawn Lawson- Cummings ’86 is a two-time NCAA heptathlon champion and one of only three women ever to earn NCAA All-American status in each of her four years. All totaled, she was awarded the honor nine times across four events after setting school records in six different events.
For nominating information and bylaws click here.
The Occidental College Athletics Hall of Fame honors members of the Oxy community for outstanding achievement in competition and/or service, dedication, and commitment to Occidental athletics. Operating under the authority of Occidental College, the Athletics Hall of Fame Committee selects and inducts individuals and teams worthy of recognition while upholding the integrity of the institution and its athletics program.
Dean Cromwell 1902
Arthur “Bud” Teachout ’27
Pat Yeomans ’38
Sammy Lee ’43
Bob McMillen ’53
Jack Kemp ’57
Bob Gutowski ’58
Bill Redell ’64
Alphonzo Bell 1895
Percy Hagerman 1906
Fred Thomson 1910
Cliff Argue ’24 P’53
Grant Dunlap ’46 P’69 P’71
Jim Mora ’57
Jean Marie (Sanders) Szakovits ’84
Jacqueline (Dent) Ivey ’92 M’95