Announcing the CGB 2011 Hall Of Fame Class!

Just as the off-season is winding down and the fall season starts up, it is time to finish up our CGB Hall Of Fame Class for 2011.  We've already had the auto entries for Jill Costello and Brent Woodall.  They were automatically added in, because of their importance outside of the Cal Sports Arena.

Today, we talk about the 5 people who made it in based on your views.  Yes, you!  You voted all spring long and many, many thanks!  You can see the full bracket here and see how we ended up with our Top 4.  Plus, after the Top 4 were selected, we had a Wild Card voting round to see who might slip in.  That one came down to the wire, too!

So, without further ado, here are the entrants into the CGB Hall Of Fame:

Deltha O'Neal

Matt Biondi

Kevin Johnson

Dana Vollmer

And the Wild Card winner with another late surge:

Chancellor Tien!

A few thoughts:

For the second year in a row, DeSean Jackson got knocked out by a non-athlete.  First, Glenn Seaborg and now the kind Chancellor.  There were several times when it looked like Chancellor Tien was going to lose, but had a late surge to pull ahead.  Voting irregularities???  Who knows?  All I know is that the votes have been cast and he is in!  The Comeback Kid!

Also, only 1 of the eventual winners was a football player.  We had 1 footballer, 2 swimmers (!), a basketball player, and the Chancellor.  If you look at previous years, you can see that the vast majority of winners are footballers.  What does this years results mean?  That all the elite level footballers have been voted in?  I don't believe so as there are still many great footballers (like DeSean) on the outside looking in?  That the CGB readership loves Cal in general.  It is not just Cal football and MBB to the readers.  They love, appreciate, and respect all the amazing athletes that come through Berkland.  It makes me happy that we have a readership that sees the big picture.  Thank you very much.  

After the jump, the full write ups on the entrants.  I know it is just an unimportant internet poll, but it is a fun off-season activity and many thanks to all the votes and discussion.  GO BEARS!

Matt Biondi 

 

Mattbiondi_medium

via www.h2opolo.be

Scootie provides the defense of Biondi.

I have to right an egregious wrong that was committed last year with the admission of Natalie Coughlin to the Hall of Fame before Matt Biondi.

Matt Biondi is, quite simply, the most accomplished individual athlete to ever graduate from Cal.

Why?
> NCAA Swimmer of the Year in 1985, 1986 and 1987
> Eight individual NCAA swimming titles, 13 overall titles including relays
> Twelve individual world records
> By the time he graduated from Cal, he had the ten fastest times ever swum in the 100m freestyle. Ever. In the world.
> World swimmer of the year in 1986 and 1988

Oh, did I forget to mention the Olympics? Silly me. He competed in three Olympic games, winning golds at each. He was the most decorated athlete at the Seoul Olympics, the summer after his graduation. By the time he retired, he had won ELEVEN Olympic medals,EIGHT of them gold.

Oh, and what’s that? You heard he might have played a bit of water polo in the offseason to keep himself interested in things aquatic? Well, yes, indeed he did. In fact, he was a water polo star. And the boys in Speedos brought home three NCAA water polo championships with him on the team.

Fix the injustice! It’s no Hall of Fame without Matt Biondi.

 

 

Dana Vollmer

 

OaktownAggie: NCAA swimmer of the year.
Olympian. Forgot to add:
Overcame adversity, having undergone heart surgery in 2003.
NCAA Swimmer of the Year during a National Championship season.

From her CalBears.com bio:

"Claimed numerous awards in a stellar final season as a Bear - named the 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and Honda Sports Award winner for Swimming...nominated for a 2009 ESPY Award in the Best Female Collegiate Athlete category...won four national titles and was key member of Cal's first NCAA team championship"

 

From espn:

" Cal's Dana Vollmer has won the Honda Award as the nation's top swimmer.
Vollmer helped her team capture the Pac-10 and NCAA titles. She was chosen NCAA swimmer of the year Wednesday after winning the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, and she also contributed to two relay titles in the 400 and 800 freestyle.


Vollmer is the third athlete from Cal to win the Honda Award, joining Mary T. Meagher (1985, '87) and Natalie Coughlin (2002, '03).

The Honda Award is given annually to the top female athletes in 12 NCAA sports."

As a member of the US Swimming Team, she was a member of the world-record-setting 800m free relay at the 2007 World Championships, earned gold as a member of the 800m free relay at the 2006 Pan Pacifics, and was gold medalist on the 800m free relay that broke a 17-yr-old world record at the 2004 Olympics.

 

 

Chancellor Tien

 

Cl_tien_medium

via upload.wikimedia.org


From wikipedia


Known for his "Go Bears!" spirit, Tien was very popular with students, often showing up at student rallies and sporting events wearing his "Cal" baseball cap. He was not uncommonly sighted picking up trash in Sproul Plaza, appearing in the library in the middle of the night during finals week, or checking up on students in the residence halls and classrooms.

He was the eighth Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley (1990-1997), the first Asian to head a major university in the United States.

Tien was an expert in thermal science and researched on thermal radiation, thermal insulation, microscale thermal phenomena, fluid flow, phase-change energy transfer, heat pipes, reactor safety, cryogenics, and fire phenomena, authoring more than 300 research journal and monograph articles, 16 edited volumes, and one book.

 

From LeonPowe: I think more than any other post-FSM Chancellor, Chancellor Tien was the embodiment of the campus spirit. He not only fought vigoriously to protect the academic strength of the University, while being the first Chancellor since the FSM to support the idea of top flight athletics co-existing harmoniously with Cal's reputation as one of the top universities in the world. I first met Chancellor Tien at the Chancellor's reception my freshman year in the Fall of 1992. He was actually talking to about 30 freshmen about his time at Louisville - he said the reason he earned his BS, MS and then PhD in such fast time (Louisville, then Princeton) is because he was so poor as an international student, he only had one bowl of plain rice to eat a day, and he wanted to get into the work force so that he could afford to eat! Once Tien got to Cal, he didn't waste any time. Starting as an associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering in 1959 at the age of 23, three years later he became the youngest professor in Cal history to win the Distinguished Teaching Award. From there he moved on to becoming a full professor, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Vice Chancellor of Research - two years at UC Irvine as executive Vice Chancellor, before returning to Cal as Chancellor in 1990.


While he was a unversity administrator for much of his career, at his heart he remained a professor and a mechanical engineer. He continued to teach classes while he was the Cal Chancellor, while his expertise on heat transfer technology was significant in solving some of the Space Shuttle cereamic tile issues.


During his time as Chancellor, Cal was undergoing a lot of changes - the two biggest the regents of the University of California banning affirmative action and the other being an 18% budget cut. In order to preserve Cal's diversity - Tien began the ambitious program "The Berkeley Pledge" aimed at pushing students from economically disadvantaged areas towards a college (and Cal) education, while to combat the budget cuts and retain the young professors who would usher Cal into the next century, he began a program called "The Promise of Berkeley - Campaign for the New Century" which raised a then-unheard of 1.44 billion dollars for the University (including my $100/year!)

But more than that, the man loved Cal. I'm not alone in having seen him pick up trash while walking around campus. I'm not the only student to have eaten his fresh baked cookies while he walked around Moffitt during Finals with a big box, exhorting us "STUDENTS! STUDY HARD! GO BEARS!" As a big basketball fan (he used to claim that if he had grown taller than his 5'4", he would've gone on to play professionally in Taiwan), he would occasionally get into the layup line with the Cal team. In fact, if you watch the end of the Cal-Duke game, while Coach K is walking off the court, Chancellor Tien comes over to shake his hand, and Coach K is VERY confused as to why this random Chinese guy with a Cal hat is on the court. Stories like him changing his flight returning from a University Presidents and Chancellors Conference to catch Cal vs. Kansas football. Him leading the 1-2-3 Go Bears! cheers at rallies, on the sidelines, the man's spirit was infectious. Unfortunately for Cal and the world at large, Chancellor Tien was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2000, three years after he retired as Cal's chancellor. He passed away at the age of 67 in 2002.


If anyone could truly truly be a Golden Bear, Chancellor Chang-Lin Tien was that guy. Go Bears!

 

 

Kevin Johnson

 

 Here's the Oski-friendly summary of one of the most exciting points to ever play ball at Harmon.

Despite excelling at two sports in high school, Johnson decided to play basketball exclusively at the collegiate level, and accepted a scholarship to play basketball for the University of California at Berkeley . Playing all four seasons, Johnson ended his college basketball career in 1987 as the school's all-time leader in assists, steals, and scoring (since eclipsed by   Lamond Murray). He was also the first player in the Pac-10 Conferenceto post a "triple-double" in the statistics, and he was named to the Pac-10's all-conference First Team in both his junior and senior seasons, averaging 17.2 points and 5.0 assists in his final basketball season. His number 11 is retired.

California Pete's favorite lineup while at Cal involved Johnson running point, mainly because they ended a long streak of misery to UCLA.

11 – Kevin Johnson 
22 – Chris Washington 
33 – Eddie Javius
44 – Leonard Taylor 
5 – Dave Butler

I still don’t know why Butler didn’t change his # to 55. It’s a toss-up for me between KJ and Jason Kidd as far as the most entertaining player I’ve seen wear the Blue and Gold.

JoshinPortland:  Best player on that team. Glorious day in a packed Kips watching UCLA go down for the first time in my lifetime.

Here's the only Cal footage I could find of KJ, from the 1987 NBA Draft (starting at about 3 minutes in).

 

 

 

 

The announcers were surprised he was drafted so high at 7th. I was surprised too. He should've been drafted 3rd.

 

 

Now the mayor of Sactown, KJ still reps the Gold and Blue as often as he can. Here he is at Cal's Pac-10 championship celebration, as ebullient as can be.

 

 

Deltha O'Neal

 

 

A-oneal-111399_medium

O'Neal's NFL career is well known, but it might surprise some of you young ones how much of an impact he had with the Bears.

Tony Macaroni: What some may not know is that Deltha entered the program as a reserve tailback and got pushed into duty as a freshman when the other backs went down with injuries. He had a serious fumbling problem (I heard that Bobby Shaw encouraged him to carry a football around with him as he went to class). He fumbled the opening kickoff in the ‘96 Big Game, setting up the first of what seemed like 20 Stanfurd TD’s. But Holmoe eventually moved him to CB, and he was instantly a force to be reckoned with. He had eight (!) interceptions his senior year, four of which he returned for touchdowns. He was also a rediculous return man, his two return TDs accounting for Cal’s only points in the 1999 Big Game.

dballisloose: And in that 1999 Big Game, it should be noted that Stanford was trying to kick AWAY from Deltha, absurdely so to the point where they would kick all but 2 out of bounds….the 2 that he fielded (and maybe the years are making me exagerate that he only fielded the 2) he took all the way, and those of us in the stands would prepare for the kicks with our thumbs and index fingers together in a triangle, cheering "Deltha, Deltha, Deltha".

I think Deltha may be the most impactful Cal player ever. Ever.



Kodiak:  A converted running back, he might have had the had the best post-interception running ability of any Cal DB...well, ever. With our Holmoecaust offense being so woefully inept, Deltha was often our only real threat to score any points.

Deltha holds Cal records for most interceptions in a season (9), most interceptions returned for a touchdown in a season (4), most interceptions returned for a touchdown in a career (5), and is one of the 4 Cal players who has returned an interception 100 yards for a TD. Most of this took place in 1999, when O'Neal had an absolutely fantastic season that catapulted him into a first-round draft pick of the Denver Broncos.

O'Neal was the Pac-10 defensive player of the year in 1999. That he did it on a team that went 3-8 is remarkable.

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