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CGB Hall of Fame: (3) Kirk Everist vs. (14) William Hung

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As we begin the final weekend of the Joe Kapp region, men's water polo head coach Kirk Everist battles American Idol sensation William Hung. Check out the recently updated bracket here.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week's results

  • In a shocking upset (and our closest match of the week), 16-seed Lamond Murray (52%) upsets 1-seed Jahvid Best (48%).  This is the second consecutive year that Jahvid Best has been upset as a top seed.
  • In another upset, 9-seed Bobby Shaw (57%) defeats 8-seed Thomas DeCoud (43%).
  • 5-seed Bob Melvin (73%) cruises to victory over Tony Renda (28%).
  • 4-seed Cam Jordan (66%) defeats fellow lineman Mike Tepper (34%)

(3) Kirk Everist

MSS: Kirk Everist (via swimmingworldtv)

The Cal water polo program has a storied history and Kirk Everist is one of the program's all-time greats. Everist has won four national championships as a Cal Bear: two as a player in the 1980s and two more as Cal's head coach.


Producing back-to-back NCAA titles, two Mountain Pacific Sports Federation crowns, 29 All-Americans and numerous academic honorees, Kirk Everist has proven to be the perfect individual to perpetuate the tradition of excellence that defines California water polo. In six seasons (140-40, .778) Everist has twice led the Golden Bears to the pinnacle of the sport; last year directing his alma mater to its NCAA-record 13th national crown with a 8-6 win over USC after a thrilling 7-6 last-second national championship victory over the Trojans in 2006.

A former three-time All-American, 1988 NCAA Player of the Year and two-time United States Olympian, Everist, 41, earned the 2002 MPSF Coach of the Year honors in his inaugural season when he guided Cal to the MPSF Tournament title and a national runner-up finish. Then in 2004, he was inducted into both the Cal Athletic and the USA Water Polo Hall of Fames. In 2006, Everist was selected USA Water Polo's Elite Co-Coach of the Year after leading the Bears to both the MPSF and NCAA titles. On July 29, 2002 Everist returned to his alma mater and immediately led the Bears to a 20-7 mark and Cal's first MPSF title and national runner-up finish since 1995. Now after guiding the Bears to the school's first back-to-back NCAA trophies since the early '90s, Everist and his troops are in a position to vie for a third-straight national crown in 2008.

Before his successful return to Berkeley, Everist had contributed to eight CIF North Coast championships as an assistant coach at Miramonte High School. During Everist's 11-year tenure at Miramonte, the school also produced nine league titles and three third-place finishes in the California State Tournament. He helped develop 22 high school All-Americans, and three of his former players went on to earn NCAA All-American recognition, while two ex-pupils have played on NCAA championship teams.

Two time national champion as a player. Two time national champion as a coach. Three time All-American. On top of all of that, Everist was twice a member of the United States Olympic water polo team. Certainly, Everist has Hall of Fame credentials.

Plus, we totally interviewed him and he had this great answer:

17. How many times do you run around the office in your swim trunks with the trophies laughing hysterically?

Not very often but it is a great job and I love it very much. CAL is an amazing place and I am very lucky to be here.

(14) William Hung

TheBuckeyeBear fills us in on Mr. Hung.

This nominee steps outside the success framework we see with the athletic and Nobel Laureate candidates. William Hung achieved fame at the turn of the century when he auditioned for American Idol in 2003. At the time, The Daily Californian writer Alicia Wittmeyer described the cult following that emerged despite judges’ brutal comments about Hung’s audition. A Berkeley original through and through, William Hung decided to try out for American Idol after singing Ricky Martin’s "She Bangs" in the Clark Kerr residence halls talent competition--and winning.

In the days before YouTube, Hung’s audition tape still "went viral," with audiences around the world seeing his self-described "not horrible" singing accompanied by "silly" dancing.  Although the judges responded harshly, Hung inspired his fellow Golden Bears and people everywhere when he explained, "I already gave my best. I have no regrets at all."

William Hung would not be a Berkeley story without inciting discussions of social justice. Organizations like the Philadelphia 76ers invited him to perform and DJs remixed his song, but some Cal students worried that he was being exploited as a "comedy act" when he returned to Clark Kerr. In The San Francisco Chronicle, Emil Guillermo criticized the prolonged "sideshow" for promoting the stereotype of an ineffectual Asian male engineer, just the most recent media caricature in the family of Mickey Rooney’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Hung’s Civil Engineering professor Shaofan Li took a dim view of the public ridicule his student faced and disliked that Hung’s lack of facility in singing and dancing were assigned to an entire race.

Still, William Hung experienced monetary success with the sales of three albums and achieved worldwide notoriety during his time as an ersatz pop sensation.  The days of starring in movies with legendary Hong Kong actresses are in the past; Hung has since taken a more technical job as a statistical analyst with the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.  Although Hung feels he "showed that even the Average Joe could succeed," he is proof that Golden Bears are not average; we are extraordinary.