Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to proudly present to you the 2012 California Golden Blogs Hall of Fame Class. It was a long summer of profiles and voting but after starting with 64 candidates we managed to whittle the group down to four members from the four regions and then we we added a fifth member in the Last Chance vote. And now I give you your class:
Out of the Pete Newell Region we have Nathan Adrian, swimmer extraordinaire. From the Joe Kapp Region we have Joe Kapp himself, a favorite part of Cal football for decades. Ron Gould, our esteemed running backs coach, survived the Pappy Waldorf Region to make the class. And legendary band director Robert O. Briggs rounded out the regional electees, taking the Brick Mueller Region. And then last, and certainly not least, we have epic Cal fan and former Mic Man Ken Montgomery, who won our Last Chance vote.
You can read all about each one of these amazing people and what they've done to deserve induction in our Hall of Fame after the jump. If you have an interest in seeing the bracket and how all the match-ups went down, you can check it out here and see the route each one of our inductees took to get here. Special thanks goes out to each of you that voted and made this so much fun for all of us, and also thanks to all of the members that wrote profiles and helped nominate people for this small honor. We could not have done it without you.
Cal Mens Swimming vs. USC 100y Freestyle (via AquaVolo)
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Adrian swam in the heats of the 4×100 m freestyle relay and earned a gold medal when the United States won in the final. He has won a total of twelve medals in major international competition, ten gold, one silver, and one bronze spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan Pacific Championships.
paleodan adds: "And he helped out on Mythbusters. (A Bay Area show about nerds that like to blow stuff up with robots-and you can't get much more Cal then that.)"
• 2010 NCAA champion in the 100 free
• Member of 2010 NCAA champion 200 free, 400 free and 400 medley relays
• 2010 Pac-10 champion in the 50 and 100 free
• Member of 2010 Pac-10 champion 400 free and 400 medley relays
• 2009 NCAA champion in the 50 (American record 18.71) and 100 free (American record 41.08)
• 2009 Pac-10 champion in the 50, 100 and 200 free
• Member of 2009 Pac-10 champion 200 and 400 medley relays
• Named 2009 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year
• Named 2010 CoSida ESPN The Magazine All-Academic All-American and first-team Pac-10 All-Academic
• Cal school record-holder in 50 (18.71), 100 (41.08) and 200 free (1:32.98)
• On Cal school record-holding 200 medley (1:22.50, freestyle leg), 400 medley (3:01.69, freestyle leg), 200 free (1:15.13, lead-off leg), 400 free (2:47.61, lead-off leg) and 800 free (6:19.79, lead-off leg) relays (joins Graeme Moore as only people to be on all five school record relays)
• Pac-10 record-holder in 50, 100 and 200 free, 200 and 400 free and 200 and 400 medley relays
And of course you can check out his Olympic profile here. (Of course, since his election he's won 2 gold medals and a silver at the 2012 Olympics.)
fb Where are they now? Joe Kapp OSU (via calathletics)
Led Cal to the 1959 Rose Bowl
Member of the '56-57 and '57-58 basketball teams that won the Pacific Coast Championship
Led the Minnesota Vikings to the SuperBowl
Named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in his first year coaching at his alma mater
Coached The Play
Not afraid to throw down at the age of 74
Former the head coach of the California football team...Kapp quarterbacked the Bears to their Rose Bowl appearance in 1959...earned first team All-American honors following the '58 season named by Time magazine and the Football Writers Association...was the starting quarterback for three years, leading a miraculous turnaround from a 1-9 team in '57 to the 1958 PCC title and a Rose Bowl appearance in 1959...Kapp is the only man ever to appear in the Super Bowl, Grey Cup, and Rose Bowl...also lettered in basketball in 1956 and 1957 in which the Bears made two NCAA Tournament appearances...had a fine pro football career, spending eight years in the Canadian Football League and leading the BC Lions to a pair of Grey Cup appearances before moving on to the NFL, where he led the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl in 1970...voted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1984...served as President and General Manager of the British Columbia Lions in the CFL in 1990.
Reader TheScientist019 gives his two cents:
"He may not be able to drink tequila anymore, so let's give him the CGB HOF instead!"
Ron Gould speaking (via GoldenBlogs)
Entering his 15th year at Cal, Coach Gould has proven himself repeatedly to be one of the best in the business. Cal's ground attack has been one of the consistent strengths of the team for the past decade. When combined with solid line play and competent quarterbacking, the results have been a dominant running game. He's done it with blue chip talent and with little-known prospects that no one else wanted. Here are the running backs that he's sent to the NFL:
Tarik Smith - 7th Round, (Dallas) 1998
Adimchinobe Echemandu - 7th Round, No. 208(Cleveland) 2004
J.J. Arrington - 2nd Round, No. 44(Arizona) 2005
Marshawn Lynch - 1st Round, No. 12(Buffalo) 2007
Justin Forsett - 7th Round, No. 233(Seattle) 2008
Jahvid Best - 1st Round, No.30(Detroit) 2010
Shane Vereen - Projected 3rd round 2011 (Edit: He was chosen in the second round by New England)
And let's not forget Big Game hero Joe Igber, or all the walk-on fullbacks that he developed into solid players: Chris Manderino, (also played 3 years in the NFL), Will Ta'ufo'ou, Byron Storer, and Brian Holley. As good as he is as a position coach in teaching balance, ball security, and fundamentals, he might do his best work and building character.
The hallmark of a Ron Gould-coached back is a complete player who can block as well as run and receive. Players are taught that details matter and learn to maximize their talents instead of solely relying on raw physical gifts. He's been deservedly promoted to Associate Head Coach and this year also carries the title of Running Game Coordinator.
Robert. O Briggs
Cal Band 1974 - Halftime LA Coliseum (via PRD74)
"The University of California Marching Band is under the direction of Robert. O. Briggs..."
Those words were as much part of the Cal football game experience as the drum major throwing the baton, the cannon firing on Tightwad Hill, or the "Roll On You Bears" chant the first time the Bears crossed midfield. Dr. Briggs was the director of the Cal band from 1971 until his retirement in 1995. A Cal alumnus himself, Briggs was an undergraduate during the glory years under Pappy Waldorf -- Briggs had the great privilege of marching in three consecutive Rose Bowls as a member of the Cal Marching Band.
Dr. Briggs died on September 17, 2008, at the age of 81. Oski.com paid tribute to Cal's longtime band director:
During Bob's time as director of the Cal Band, the Band made an extensive national tour in honor of the Bicentennial of the United States in the Summer of 1976 . The Cal Band's opportunities to perform at bowl games improved during his tenure as well, as the fortunes of Cal Football improved; in 1979 the Cal Band performed at its first bowl game since the 1959 Rose Bowl, the Garden State Bowl in New Jersey. During Bob's time, the Cal Band would march in three more bowl games and make an appearance at a conference game in Tokyo.
Because of the unique organization of the Cal Band as a student-run University activity, Bob Briggs had to balance the dynamics of a vigorous and youthfully demanding student government with the requirements and politics of the larger university administration. In a position fraught with potential conflicts and burdened with competing and often contradictory demands, Bob's non-confrontational style served the Cal Band and the University well.
In his earlier days as director, Bob was more formal and reserved in his relationship with band members. He was most often addressed as "Mr. Briggs." In later years, Bob developed a more casual style and later generations of Cal Band members know him best as simply, "Bob."
Upon his retirement in 1995, at the recommendation of Chancellor Tien, President of the University Peltason appointed Bob Director Emeritus of the University Of California Band. In retirement, Bob r emained active in music, helping to organize the Solano Winds, a community musical ensemble, and serving as its conductor for the past 13 years. In 2005, Bob celebrated his fiftieth year as a director with a special Solano Winds concert.
On December 1, 2006, the Cal Band Alumni Association presented Bob with its Tony Martinez award in recognition of his many contributions to and accomplishments with the Cal Band during his long association.
Bob was an avid enthusiast of automobiles, both the classics and more modern creations. He often used one or another of his antique sedans to transport Cal Band brides and grooms to their wedding ceremonies, acting as chauffeur, a role he relished.
In his six decades of association with the Cal Band, Bob touched thousands of lives. He will be long remembered by generations of Cal Band members and Cal Band fans.
Via Leonpowe: I think it's really important for me to talk about how much his (Ken) being mic-man impacted my Cal fandom. I grew up a pretty big sports fan - my dad and I went to lots of pro sports when I was growing up - Lakers, Clippers, Dodgers and a couple of UCLA games (pro sports . . get it?). But, my high school was terrible at major sports, my junior and senior years we won a total of 5 football and basketball games combined. So I was really looking forward to attending Cal as a freshman in 1992 - I mean we'd have Heisman Candidate Russell White with a team coming of a National #7 ranking . . . what could go wrong? (Oh Cal Sports, always ready to teach a life lesson).
Anyways, behind Gilby and some injuries, we floundered to a 4-7 record. And while I remember some lingering gut punch defeats from that season - what stands out in my memory a lot more was just how much fun it was to attend a college football game - even though the product on the field was less than spectacular, the guy standing on the boards made the games fun.
And that guy was Ken Montgomery. How did he do it? He knew the game - that much was clear - especially in the interceding years when we've had a lot of other mic men (and women) who have ranged from pretty good to terrible. The first and most important part was knowing when to cheer and make noise and when to shut up and when to crack jokes. It was really the last part - not that he was cracking jokes, but he was definitely having a lot of fun with the opportunity to be mic-man. It was a constant conversation with the student section, knowing what to say, commanding, but friendly hat really enriched my game experience as a freshman. And when I speak to alums who are slightly older than I am (my freshman year was the last year Ken was mic man) they mainly remember the same thing. Ken made the game fun. And that, more than anything, contributed to being a Cal fan for life.
But lest you think that he is just about Cal sports, Montgomery too has dedicated much of his time and energy to philanthropic efforts in Africa. He spent a year volunteering at Malawi Children's Village, a village based orphan and other vulnerable children support program in Mangochi, Malawi. It now supports over 2,000 HIV/AIDS orphans living with members of their extended family in 37 villages. MCV supports children from birth to eighteen years providing, shelter, food, safety, health care and education until they can live independent healthy lives. There Montgomery designed and implemented intensive math and English tutorial programs for the high school aged children. These efforts helped MCV orphans pass the national exam (similar to the US SAT) at a rate four times greater than the national average! Upon returning to the United State Montgomery served as president of the board of the US Non Profit that over saw it and along with other board members spearheaded efforts to raise funds which built a new high school and vocational training center. In a small coincidence, one of Montgomery's students just recently graduated from University and in July will be making his first trip to the United States to train for the Clinton Global Initiative!
There are few legends among the Cal spirit squads, but Montgomery is one of them. Long considered the Teddy Roosevelt of Cal Mic Men (for being thoroughly awesome in every way, and a pioneer of sorts), Montgomery is the man current Mic Men should idolize and replicate. His passion and love for all things Cal translated into some of the most raucous student sections that ever populated Memorial Stadium and Harmon Gymnasium in the early 90s.
He explains how he fell into the role:
So, I hate to sound like one of those people living in the past, but I remember it like it was yesterday. CAL was down by I think 7. So I turned to the crowd, which had been apathetic, and said "Hey Everyone. We are playing the defending national champions... we are only down by 7. The team is playing great. But you don't seem to be in the game. Listen, we come here to have fun right?" And to my surprise a lot of people shouted back "YEAH!" And then I said "So are you ready to start making some noise and getting behind the team?" And again, more people shouted "YEAH!" So then I said "O.K., here's what we're going to do. It's an oldie, it's simple and effective. On three, everyone yell GO BEARS!.... One, two, three", and then you know what, everyone yelled "GO BEARS!!!"
I can't explain what a high it was and how exhilarating to have everyone do what I just told them to do. Then I said "You can't cheer sitting down, you all need to stand up!" That's right, back in the day people actually sat down during the games... So then everyone got up... again, I was thinking to myself "wow, they're doing what I'm saying." So we did another Go Bears! and that is how it all started... So a little later Miami was about to punt and I got everyone chanting "Block that kick! Block that kick!" and you know what, we blocked the punt!!! The crowd went wild, and while I am sure it was unrelated, it got everyone thinking they could have an impact on the game. It was awesome.
He shares one of his favorite memories:
On our way back we stopped by the office where I worked while I was at CAL. Now across Harrison Street was the GAP HQ. So from my office I could see Don Fisher, CEO and founder of the GAP as well as huge CAL alum - was in his office. So down on the street I had the band play the fight song up towards Don's office... He looked out his 6th floor window and pumped his fist, which was cool. But as we were getting on the bus, Don came running across the street to thank us and play another song. I mean, how cool is that? This titan of American business, the owner of one of the iconic American brands that is - literally - a part of the very fabric of America, dropped what he was doing and rushed down to the street because he was so excited about hearing the CAL band! That is the kind of stuff I just love.