Wild Card Candidates
Last weekend we held the Final Four matchups to determine who earned spots in the 2014 Class of the CGB Hall of Fame. We're not done yet, however! We have room for one more candidate in our Wild Card Round. To qualify, the candidate must have reached the Sweet Sixteen. Now it's an all-out brawl for that final spot. Who will emerge victorious? We will introduce the 2014 Class next weekend, so get your votes in before Friday at noon.
(7) Russell White
(7) Anthony Ervin
Anthony Ervin (California) (via SwimmingWorldSPI)
LEastCoastBears gives us tons of good info from the Calympics post on Anythony:
The feel good story of the US Swim trial, Anthony Ervin is again an Olympian. After winning a gold medal in the 50 freestyle at the 2000 Olympics, Tony (his preferred name to friends) retired in 2003 (after the end of his Cal career) when he was 22 years old to explore "other interests".
After joining a rock band in New York and various other youthful exploits (that some articles try to make a bigger deal than others), he eventually found himself teaching swimming to kids in both New York City and Oakland. Last year he began training again, and qualified for London by finishing second in the 50 free (by narrowly edging out fellow Cal bear, Nathan Adrian). Between his colorful sleeve tattoos and a more slender body type, Anthony stands out in the pool.
Also of note, Anthony auctioned off his 2000 Olympic gold medal on eBay to aid survivors of the 2004 tsunami. Anthony did eventual finish his Cal degree in English in 2010 and is now currently in the Cal graduate program for sport, culture and education.
- Event: 50 freestyle
- 2nd time Olympian (In Sydney 2000 Olympics won gold in 50 Free and silver in 4x100 Free relay)
- Cal career: 1999-2002
- A great sentimental comeback story (which NBC will surely milk in the Olympics), Anthony won a gold back in 2000 and proceed to take almost a decade off from swimming. After teaching kids to swim an year ago, Ervin decided to make a comeback and was able to finish second in 50 Free (narrowly edging out Nathan Adrian by 8/100th of a second).
Anthony's slightly different training method/mentality is nicely explained in this USA Swimming article here. Interestingly, the article also conjectured about the success of Cal swimming:
Cal Swimming has long been at the forefront of alternative training approaches. Which could explain why they are – and have been -- so successful. Their two most individualistic and strongest personalities, Ervin and 29-year-old Natalie Coughlin, are also two of the sports most inventive, innovative thinkers. They tinker. They ask. They learn. They reflect. It’s no secret they both are still involved in the sport at an age once considered "ancient."
Read more about Anthony in this SFGate article here.
Grantland has the following interesting short blurb about him:
Enigmatic 31-year-old who won gold and silver in Sydney, retired from swimming in 2003 at age 22, and sold his gold medal to raise money for the Indian Ocean tsunami relief. (Lost his silver medal during his notoriously nomadic travels.) Returned to competition last year. Has such poor eyesight that a competitor had to tell him he had qualified; when Brendan Hansen congratulated him afterward he squinted and responded, "Who is that?" Speaks in full paragraphs, but also says things like "I just want to keep this fun train chugging."
(4) Cameron Jordan
"Jordan is an athletic marvel, with incredible arms he can whip around offensive linemen. He's prototypically perfect, the type of defensive linemen you could put on any front and he'd probably succeed. Perhaps Jordan's greatest assets are his arms, those million dollar arms. If he manages to make contact with you on your side when pass-rushing, he will utilize that deadly swim move, cycle that arm around, and get into the backfield and make a play. You have to defeat him and lock him up early. And when he finds you and tries to make a tackle? Might as well get your mind set for the next play, because you're not escaping."
NorCalNick: I loved many things about Cameron Jordan. For one thing, he went to more Cal games than I did. Cal vs. Stanford rugby at Witter field? Cam was there. Cal women's basketball versus, well, a bunch of teams? Cam was there. And he always showed up pretty noticeably at football games too. College fans have this ideal that the players they root for love their university as much as they do, and it's not a realistic or fair ideal most of the time. I'm pretty sure that it describes Cameron Jordan.
Solarise: I think Cam was an ideal teammate. You can tell from his easy smile that he just enjoys playing football. Coaches asked Cam to bring more intensity his senior year and he delivered. Cam was dynamic crashing through the line pursuing QBs, even earning a LIFE photo for his heroic harassment of Nick Foles in a bitter loss.
(5) Dave Durden
Dave Durden is now eligible for our Hall of Fame tournament, and not a moment too soon. Durden has quickly established Cal as one of the top men's swimming programs in the nation. CalBears.com highlights his accomplishments:
David Durden, beginning his sixth year at the helm of the California men's swimming and diving program, has led the Golden Bears to back-to-back national team titles in 2011 and 2012, and has been named NCAA Coach of the Meet and Pac-12 Coach of the Year three seasons in a row.
In just five years Durden has brought the Cal program to the pinnacle of college swimming as he coached the Golden Bears to their first NCAA team title since 1980 in 2011, and then guided his squad to another national crown this past March in Federal Way, Wash.
In his spectacular fifth year at Cal, Durden led his 2011-12 team to the program's fourth NCAA title with a dominating 535.5 to 491 point victory over second place Texas at the national meet. Before his pair of national crowns, Durden led the Bears to an NCAA runner-up finish in 2010 and fourth-place finishes in 2008 and 2009. He now owns an overall dual meet record of 24-9 (.727).
Since his arrival to Berkeley in 2007, Durden's (along with head coach emeritus Nort Thornton) swimmers have established school records in 18 of 19 swimming events, including all the relays. He has guided Cal to 23 NCAA titles, including nine relay crowns and 33 Pac-12 individual and relay titles, in five seasons.
That article is woefully out of date, however, as Durden and the Bears won another National Championship two weeks ago. This is how he celebrated:
This is how a swimming and diving coach celebrates a national title ... pic.twitter.com/R0oilxymN3— NCAA (@NCAA) March 31, 2014
(3) Ron Rivera
Ron Rivera - Training Camp Interview (via nflpanthersO7)
(9) Jolene Henderson
Jolene Henderson's 120 Wins (via Cal Softball)
CAL JOLENE HENDERSON MONTAGE (via espnu)
(3) Shane Vereen
Shane Vereen 2009 Highlights (via HANDSOMElifeOFswing)
Royrules22: "This guy carried the ball 40+ times against a top-10 Stanfurd team on the Farm and helped us pull of a monumental upset. That alone makes him deserve this."
Shane Vereen 2010 Highlights (via HANDSOMElifeOFswing)
Shane's gone on to the NFL and has had a nice couple of years with the New England Patriots, even delivering a highlight reel run against the Houston Texans and developing from a role player to a vital part of the rushing attack.
(16) Lamond Murray
As for Murray, his nomination is all LeonPowe.
RARE Jason Kidd to Lamond Murray for unbelievable dunks (via thebruceblitzchennel)
(6) Steve Bartkowski
Cal Mens Basketball 1998-99. Highlights from NIT Championship Year (via DubOutfit)
For Lampley, as Ohio Bear, said, 4 years at Cal and a Pac-10 POTY. The second leading scorer in Cal history, whose career was mirrored almost to a key by the new scoring leader in Randle. He was balling in Melbourne, Australia, last I checked (well, before he spent much of this season with front row tickets at Haas nervously watching Jerome break his scoring record. He didn't seem too bummed about it though.). Also he and Dennis Gates were best buds.
Twist: It was so many years ago, I struggle to remember, but I feel reasonably confident that I attended the game where Lampley broke the Cal scoring record. I remember nothing about it. I just have this feeling. Man, I'm probably making it all up. But if I was there (I was, dammit!) I saw Cal beat WSU and march towards the first NCAA bid in many years.
It was a move that Sean Lampley had made a zillion times in his four years at Cal.
Receiving the ball on the right block, the senior forward spun around his defender and banked a quick shot from the edge of the lane.
But this basket was far from ordinary. With 10:03 left in the game and the noise-level at Haas Pavilion approaching unbearable, Lampley's bucket pushed his career-point total to 1,689-one more than Lamond Murray's 1,688-and gave Lampley the prestigious honor of being Cal's all-time leading scorer.
Yes, Sean Lampley, who would have a rough career in the NBA before going to the Australian Basketball Association. But at Cal, he's still the best. Note this from his Wikipedia page: Lampley ended his career as the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in points (1,776, 1st), rebounds (889, 4th) and assists (295, 10th).
(3) Mike Montgomery
Bear in Mind: Mike Montgomery (via CalTV Berkeley)
NorCalNick shares his perspective:
Mike Montgomery has been at Cal for five years now, which means he has now reached the threshold of CGB hall of fame eligibility. Thankfully, Monty has been successful enough that such an achievement is very low down on the list of things he should be celebrating.
It's way too early to get nostalgic about the Monty era, seeing as how it's still going strong. But I suspect that in a decade or two, I'll look back and remember how much fun his teams were to follow. Granted, that's in no small part due to the players themselves. But how much did you love watching Jerome Randle get unleashed for two years under Monty, or how he helped turn Jorge Gutierrez from a defensive specialist into a Pac-12 player of the year? How much did you enjoy watching Allen Crabbe these past few years, and how much fun do you think Jabari Bird is going to be?
Monty has made four NCAA tournaments, won a Pac-10 title, finished in the top 4 of the conference every year, and consistently made basketball games fun, win or lose. That last part tends to get short-shrift, but this is an entertainment business, isn't it?
We might not have Monty for much longer - if he decided tomorrow to spend the rest of his life sipping wine and occasionally sitting in a Pac-12 network studio with Ernie Kent, it would be well deserved. But we still have him and he's going to have some talent over the next few years. Monty may not make the CGB hall of fame this year, but I'd like to think that he will add to his resume very shortly.
Nick was wise to cherish the time Monty was with us, as the legendary coach has since retired. Will his retirement propel him into the Hall of Fame? His challenger may have something to say about that...