LOS ANGELES — The Occidental community celebrated its athletic greatness with the induction of two athletes and its first team into the Occidental Athletics Hall of Fame during its annual dinner ceremony on Friday.
Synchronized swimmer JoAnn (Brobst) Hirsch '58, baseball pitcher Don Hagen '64 and the 1957 Oxy Men's Track and Field Team were all honored.
This year’s class brings the total of Hall of Famers to 31 individuals and one team.
There were terrific stories, laughs and heartfelt moments in what has become the marquee event and a staple of Homecoming Weekend under athletic director Jaime Hoffman.
"In our fifth year of celebrating our hall of famers, we are committed to making sure those who came before are remembered and that we are connecting our greats of today to greats of the past," Oxy athletic director Jaime Hoffman said. "You; JoAnn, Don, Tod, Bob, Ty, Loren and all the members of the '57 team, are our giants."
President Jonathan Veitch joked about his failures as a Little League coach, talked about the pool project and gave praise to Oxy's coaching staff.
"We are a liberal arts college and some of our best coaches are some of our best professors," Veitch said. "Athletics plays a profound role in student success and like our longtime basketball coach Brian Newhall once told me, 'Athletics is the sweatiest of the liberal arts.'"
Some of Oxy's best current student-athletes were in attendance, bringing them closer to Oxy's unusually impressive athletic history for a small liberal arts college.
The Occidental Glee Club opened the evening with a mix of some of Oxy's best fight songs.
Former Occidental track athlete and trustee John McGrath '63 closed the show with some passionate words about his experience with Occidental.
The event was hosted by Oxy's Mitchell Spearman.
2016 Occidental Athletics Hall of Fame Class
JoAnn (Brobst) Hirsch ’58 was Oxy’s “water queen of the 1950s” and a member of the 1956 U.S. Olympic team in synchronized swimming. As a synchronized swimmer and member of the Athens Athletic Club while at Oxy, Hirsch was a Canadian national team champion (1955), a U.S. national team champion (1956-59), a Pacific Coast solo champion (1957) and a Far West solo champion (1957). Hirsch and her club represented the United States as a demonstration sport at the 1956 Olympics and at the 1959 Pan American Games.
Don Hagen ’64 posted a career record of 23-1 over two seasons as the Tigers’ ace, pitching a pair of no-hitters in the same week in 1962, including the only perfect game in Oxy history against Redlands. He went 12-0 in 1963, earning SCIAC Player of the Year honors as well as being named to the 1963 College Baseball All-America Team. Hagen was a member of Coach Grant Dunlap ’46’s 1962 and 1963 SCIAC championship teams and finished his career an ERA of 1.05 and the best strikeouts-to-walks ratio (13:2) in school history. He was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in December 1963.
The 1957 Occidental Track and Field Team did just about everything a team could, winning the SCIAC championship, beating defending NCAA champion UCLA in a dual meet, setting four NCAA records and winning the NAIA National title by outscoring the next five teams combined. Led by Coach Chuck Coker (who died in 2015), the team also featured world record-holders Bob Gutowski ’58 in the pole vault and the 4-x-880-yard relay combo of Ty Hadley ’58, Tod White ’59, David Reisbord ’58 and Larry Wray ’57.
The full roster includes: Rudy Alston ’58*, Amand Ardaiz ’59*, Dennis Bambauer ’58, Russ Bennett '59*, Ed Bixler ’59, Loren Brodhead ’59, team manager Lanny Carter ’57, Dan Couchman ’58, Karl Dreher ’59, Don Embury ’58*, Dave Goodenough ’58*, Bob Gutowski ’58*, Dick Haddon ’57*, Ty Hadley ’58 P'00, Jon Jamison ’58*, Gary Jeffries ’58*, Jack Kemp ’57* H'90, John Kerr ’59, Dennis Lanterman ’57, Jack Lawrence ’59, Pat Logan ’58*, Bob Lord ’58 M'61, Bob Nini ’59, Mike Quint ’58 P'87, Bill Reay ’57, Alex Reisbord ’59 P'89 '90, Dave Reisbord ’58 P'87, Rick Schmidt ’58*, Edward Schoerner '60, Ken Shannon ’59, Dick Shoemaker ’59*, Stu Thomason ’57, George White ’59*, Tod White ’59, Jim Williams ’59*, Walt Williamson ’58, Larry Wray ’57 and John Zetzman ’58. (An * indicates a deceased teammate.)
Current Student Athletes in Attendance
Gabriel Barrett-Jackson – Junior men’s soccer and men’s track and field athlete. Gabe is an All-SCIAC men's soccer player and a four time All-American with the Oxy track team in the 400, 4x100 and 4x400.
Alex Battest – Senior softball player who is a career .300 hitter and the team captain.
Aria Blumm – Sophomore All-SCIAC and All-West Region cross country and track athlete.
Paul Charbonneau – Sophomore track and field and football athlete. Paul is also the student body president.
Devon DeRaad – Senior baseball player. Devon was a First Team All-American, and a CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2016, leading Oxy to its first SCIAC baseball championship since 1982 last year.
Mel Devoney Senior captain of the women’s cross country and track teams. Mel is 8th all-time on Oxy's top 10 board in the 5k and 3rd all-time in the 10k, and also an All-SCIAC performer in track and cross country.
Adam Florsheim – Senior men’s water polo goalie who set the Oxy single game save record with 26 in a game earlier this season.
Andrew Johnson - Senior captain of the men's basketball team and a two-time All-SCIAC selection.
Jeh Johnson - Senior captain of the men's track team and a three-time All-American in the 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
Keenan Leary – Junior All-West Region cross country runner and an All-SCIAC track runner in the 10K.
Jay Miller - Senior captain of the men's basketball team and a First Team All-SCIAC selection.
Onye Nwabueze - Senior Captain of women's track and field team and an All-SCIAC sprinter.
Hugh Pegan, - Junior on the men’s track and field team. Hugh was the SCIAC Track Athlete of the Year and a National Champion in the 200-meter during 2016.
Rose Seabrook – Senior women’s swimmer who is the school record holder in the 1,650, 1,000 and 500-yard freestyle.
Sierra Slack – Junior women’s lacrosse player. Sierra is a two-time All-SCIAC and All-Region selection.
Bryan Scott – Senior quarterback and captain of the football team. Bryan is a First Team All-SCIAC QB and the SCIAC's career passing yards leader.
Eva Townsend – Junior captain and All-SCIAC and All-West Region cross country runner.
Emma Yudelevitch – Sophomore women's track athlete who was All-SCIAC in the 100m. Her best 100 time is second on Oxy's top 10 list in the event.Follow Oxy Athletics on Twitter Sign Up for Newsletters Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram