SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Two-sport star Ed Galigher, standout gymnast Christine (Tanaka) Jang, outstanding track and field athlete Aisha Maston, longtime Orange Coast College football coach Dick Tucker, and former NFL coach Dick Vermeil, comprise the distinguished 2018 California Community College Athletic Association Sports Hall of Fame Class, which will be enshrined this month.
The CCCAA Sports Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed in California community college athletics. It honors those who have made the most of their experiences as California community college student-athletes, coaches and administrators while maximizing their own potential to better themselves along with those with whom they come in contact.
This year’s class, announced on Friday, will be inducted on March 28 at the Hilton Concord during the organization’s annual convention. It will add to a Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1984 and currently numbers 135 members.
“We’re honored to recognize an impeccable class of Hall of Fame inductees, who through their own paths in life have brought distinction to their colleges while fulfilling their own potential from the opportunities provided them through our colleges," said Carlyle Carter, Executive Director & CEO/President of the CCCAA. "We look forward to honoring their achievements.”
ED GALIGHER (Chabot College, football and wrestling student-athlete, 1968-69)
Galigher was a two-sport star for the Chabot College Gladiators, excelling on the defensive line for the football team and on the mat as a champion wrestler.
His career eventually landed him as the New York Jets’ fourth-round draft in 1972, where he played alongside legendary NFL stars Joe Namath and John Riggins.
Galigher entered Chabot with impressive credentials in those two sports, as well as baseball, from nearby Sunset High School, and even played all three during his freshman year in college. However, it was with football and wrestling where he found the most success. In two years at Chabot, Galigher was all-conference first-team and All-America honorable mention selections.
As a heavyweight wrestler, he finished third as a freshman at the state championships after capturing league and regional titles. He started 10-0 his sophomore campaign – even twice defeating the eventual state champion – before leaving to join the UCLA football team where he was an All-Pac 8 honorable mention.
Following his NFL career, which also included three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Galigher returned to Chabot where he helped coach the football and wrestling teams before beginning a career as a real estate advisor for a major investment company.
Galigher, who earned his undergraduate degree from the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science and, subsequently, his master’s in education from the University of Redlands, is a member of the Chabot College Athletic Hall of Fame and the CCCAA Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
CHRISTINE (TANAKA) JANG (Cosumnes River College, gymnast student-athlete, 1977-79)
Former Cosumnes River College gymnastics coach Gert Larsen found herself a gem when Jang decided to enroll at the school in 1977 and compete for the Chiefs, despite never doing so for Kennedy High School where she had graduated.
When her career was over two years later, Jang had made her mark as the first women's state champion in school history and the first CRC athlete to capture two state titles. Jang, now a doctor of obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Hospital in south Sacramento, earned her first community college state championship in the advanced class in 1977.
An ankle injury in late 1977 sidelined her for a year but after encouragement from Larsen, she returned to competition in 1979 where she was community college state champion in the all-around after winning the balance beam and parallel bars, and taking second in the vault.
Jang won all four events at the Valley Conference Championship earlier in 1979, earning the league's Most Valuable Gymnast award. She was later tabbed Gymnast of the Year by the Sacramento Athletic Hall of Fame. Cosumnes River College selected her winner of both the Most Outstanding Athlete and Most Valuable Athlete, the only time in school history a student-athlete has accomplished the feat.
Jang earned her degree in physical therapy from Cal State Northridge in 1981 and later graduated from medical school at UC Irvine.
AISHA MASTON (Bakersfield College, track and field student-athlete, 1996-97)
To say that Maston led Bakersfield College to the 1997 women's track and field state championship might be the biggest understatement ever. She did more than just lead the Renegades to the title; she downright delivered it by helping account for 40 of her team's 82 points.
Her performance, which included individual titles in the long and triple jumps, and the 100-meter hurdles, and a runner-up finish in the 200, likely didn't surprise her teammates especially considering her award-winning multi-sport exploits as a prep at nearby Wasco High School.
What she did prior to competing with the Renegades only set the table for a memorable performance at the 1997 state championship meet. For good measure, Maston also ran on the 4x100 relay. She was named MVP and Athlete of the Year for her accomplishments, holds four Bakersfield College stadium records and continues to hold the CCCAA state championship record for most individual points. She also won several Western State Conference and Southern California Regional honors.
Maston earned a scholarship to the University of Nebraska but injuries forced her to end her career after just her first season with the Huskers. She did not slow down in the classroom, however, where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology. She is currently a behavior specialist to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness.
DICK TUCKER (Orange Coast College, football coach, 1962-85)
Character shows as much in defeat as in victory, so it is not surprising that Tucker, the most successful football coach in Orange Coast College history, left an indelible impression on one of his players from his 1981 team that finished 3-7.
"Sometimes, even in defeat, we left the locker room feeling like we had won," the player was quoted.
Tucker, whose optimism and calmness during competition was his hallmark trait, compiled a 129-105-5 record during 24 seasons at Orange Coast. His teams won two national championships, including an undefeated 1963 season in which the Pirates capped a perfect 10-0 record with a 21-0 win over Northeastern Oklahoma A&M before an estimated 44,000 people in the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Tucker added another national title in 1975 when Orange Coast went 11-0 and outscored its opponents an average of 27 points per game.
Tucker, a World War II Navy veteran, was a highly successful football coach at Brea-Olinda High School where he won 97 games in 11 seasons, as well as eight league titles and two section championships. He began his long OCC tenure in 1962 and had the privilege of coaching two of his sons: Clay, a quarterback on the 1981 and 1982 teams, and Rhett, a linebacker who set a still-standing single-season record for tackles with 179 as a sophomore in 1976.
DICK VERMEIL (Napa Valley College, football coach, 1963-64)
Vermeil was one of the most recognizable head coaches during an NFL career that spanned nearly 30 years and included a Super Bowl XXXIV championship in 1999 with the St. Louis Rams. However, before he made it to the top tier of the sport, he was an assistant coach at the College of San Mateo before becoming head coach at Napa Valley College (then called Napa Junior College).
Vermeil, who attended Napa Valley College before transferring to San Jose State, became the head coach at Napa Valley in 1964 at the young age of 27. He tirelessly recruited throughout Northern California to form a team that lost just one game in the Golden Valley Conference and helped him earn coach of the year accolades in the league.
That success led to coaching jobs at both the collegiate and professional levels before he took over as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1976 and his first appearance in the Super Bowl in 1981. Vermeil left the NFL and became a television broadcaster before heeding the call to return to the sidelines with the Rams in 1997.
He led the Rams to the pinnacle of the sport in 1999 when they amassed a 13-3 record on their way to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title with a 23-16 win over the Titans. He left coaching again after that season and after earning his second NFL Coach of the Year honor. Vermeil was later the head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, posting at least 10 wins twice during five seasons.
Today, Vermeil is a highly successful winemaker in his native Napa Valley. He is still the only coach to be named conference coach of the year at the high school, community college, Div. I and NFL levels, and is enshrined in several Hall of Fames including Napa Valley Community College Athletic Hall of Fame.
(Mike Robles, CCCAA)