Orange Coast College will induct five athletic standouts and one team at the 2016 Athletics Hall of Fame Induction at the David A. Grant Rowing Center Friday at 5 p.m.
Inductees include longtime crew coach David A. Grant, men’s golf state champion Michael Reehl, gymnastics standout Robyn Tomlinson, men’s soccer great Andy Strouse, Pirate football star Jack Clark and the 1968 men’s varsity eight crew which won the Western Sprints Championships.
“It’s an amazing, diverse group of former athletes, which makes this year’s group extra special,” Hall of Fame Committee Chair and Assistant Athletic Director, Laura Behr, said.
Here is a biography of each Hall of Fame inductee. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the event. For more information, contact Behr at (714) 432-5112.
OCC Student, Women’s Gymnastics Athlete, 1978-1980
Holder of several individual gymnastics records at OCC, Robyn Tomlinson was a leader for the Pirate program for both of her two seasons. In 1979, she helped OCC to a 6-3 record, second place overall at the South Coast Conference Finals and sixth place in the state. In her first season with the Pirates, Tomlinson set four new high marks in four individual events including an 8.45 on the vault, 8.3 on the uneven bars, 8.1 on the balance beam and notched an all-around score of 32.8. In a dual matchup with Grossmont College, Tomlinson helped the Pirates set a team record with 117.05 points. After earning all-conference honors, Tomlinson finished 10th all-around in the state after qualifying on the uneven bars and floor exercise, an event which she finished fifth in the state. As a sophomore, Tomlinson was team captain and helped guide the Pirates to first place overall at the SCC Championships. Again earning all-conference honors, Tomlinson was a state silver medalist on the floor exercise and a bronze medalist on the balance beam. She also qualified for the vault and finished fourth and was sixth all-around in the state. After her career at Coast, Tomlinson earned a degree in sociology and psychology from Cal State Fullerton. Tomlinson is now the Director of Entertainment Operations at Disneyland Park and has been a member of the Walt Disney Company of Parks and Resorts for 35 years.
OCC Student, Football Athlete, 1974-1976
Clark will forever be associated with one of the top football teams in California Community College history. Playing tackle on the Pirates’ offensive line for two seasons, Clark helped Coast advance to the state championship game in 1974. Clark and the Pirates also rolled through the competition in 1975, going 11-0 and winning the national title. His hard work earned him a scholarship to the University of California Berkeley, where he was the starting left tackle in 1976 and 1977. In addition to football, Clark competed on Cal’s rugby squad. Clark had a brief career of professional football with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League. He also had a professional rugby career where he was named the MVP at the 1979 National Team Trials and was later named to the World XV team that played at Cardiff in 1980 for the Welsh centennial celebration. Clark returned to UC Berkeley, where he was named assistant rugby coach in 1982 and later named head coach in 1984. During his 33-year tenure as head coach, Cal won 27 national collegiate championships. Clark has an all-time collegiate rugby coaching record of 614-80-5 (.878) in the traditional. Clark was also the head coach of the U.S. National Team from 1993 to 1999 and helped the Americans to 16 international test matches, the most ever by a U.S. National Team head coach. In 2014, Clark was inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame and in 2016 he was enshrined into the Cal Hall of Fame.
OCC Student, Men’s Soccer Athlete, 1989-1991
After a stellar prep career at Edison High School, Andy Strouse forever left his mark in the OCC men’s soccer history books. In a season that had not been seen on the OCC soccer fields, Strouse helped lead the Pirates to the school’s first men’s soccer state title. Coast finished the season 18-4-2 and notched a 1-0 win over American River in the state semifinals and a 3-2 win over Fresno City College in the title match, a match that saw Strouse collect a pair of goals to lead Coast by the Rams. Strouse was named the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year, a collegiate Far West All-American and was the 1989-1990 OCC Male Athlete of the Year. The numbers continued to grow for Strouse as a sophomore as he collected 29 goals and 13 assists to lead Coast to its third straight OEC title (shared with Irvine Valley in 1990). Once again, Strouse was named the Orange Empire Conference Player of the Year as the Pirates finished 15-5-3 overall and reached the Southern California Regional finals before falling to eventual champion East Los Angeles College. OCC was a combined 33-9-5 during Strouse’s two years on the team and from there he continued his playing career at Southern Methodist University in 1991 and 1992. As a senior for the Mustangs, Strouse scored a team best 12 goals and added seven assists and helped SMU reach the “Elite 8” of the playoffs in both of his seasons, while compiling a two-year record of 31-7-4. Strouse earned a spot on the U.S. National Team in 1992, where he competed in three matches and from there he played professionally for the Anaheim Splash of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1994. In 1995, Strouse played with the Los Angeles Salsa of the USISL before returning to the Splash in 1996.
OCC Student, Men’s Golf Athlete, State Champion, 1969-1970
Michael Reehl has been a golfing legend around the local area and beyond for over six decades. After earning all-league honors for four years and winning a pair of individual league titles while at Corona del Mar High School, Reehl competed with the OCC men’s golf team. After losing only two matches through the 1970 season, Reehl finished fourth at the South Coast Conference Championships to earn a spot at the State Tournament. In fact, to qualify for state, Reehl had to go into a playoff with two other competitors and earned the spot by winning on the second extra hole. With 160 of the top golfers in the state, Reehl shot a two-round total of 148 (76-72) and again finished in a three-way tie and had to go to extra holes to decide the state champion. On the second hole, Reehl calmly rolled a 40-foot putt that lipped out for a tap-in par, topping his two competitors for the state crown. Reehl’s strong play earned him a spot at Long Beach State, where he played on the 49ers’ golf team from 1971 to 1973. He was an all-conference selection in 1972-73 and an All-American in 1972 as he won the individual conference championship that season. In 1973, Reehl was named team captain and helped Long Beach State to the conference championship. A PGA member since 1982, Reehl became the Director of Golf at Santa Ana Country Club in 1984, a club where he first began working as a bag boy back in 1967. He remained the SACC’s Director of Golf until 2010. Named Professional of the Year by the SCPGA, Reehl was a Daily Pilot Hall of Fame selection as well as an inductee of the Southern California Junior College Golf Hall of Fame.
OCC Men’s Crew/Sailing Coach, 1963-present; OCC President Emeritus, 1990-1996
David Grant has been a fixture of Orange Coast College crew and sailing for over five decades and his hard work and leadership transcends throughout the entire campus. Grant’s tenure on the water began in the fall of 1962 when he took over a struggling crew program as well as its sailing team. Despite a lack of early experience as a crew coach, Grant quickly helped turn OCC into a national rowing power, taking on some of the country’s top four-year programs. Year in and year out the Pirate rowing teams have travelled the country and even the world to compete against the best of the best. Coast crew has taken part in such prestigious regattas as the Dublin Regatta and the Henley Royal Regatta in Great Britain, the world’s premier rowing event. In 1985, the OCC crew became the first American crew to ever visit and compete in the People’s Republic of China. During Grant’s tenure, dozens of his former rowers have continued in the sport as head coaches at the four-year level, including greats like Wisconsin head coach and OCC Athletics hall of famer Chris Clark and Stanford’s Craig Amerkhanian. The Pirates won over 80 percent of the time during Grant’s coaching tenure. In 1984, Grant was a member of the coaching staff on the U.S. Olympic Rowing Team that competed in the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. In addition to his coaching success, Grant has been a professor, associate dean of students and dean of students for several years before becoming the college’s fifth president on July 1, 1990, a position he held until 1996. Grant has devoted his time and efforts throughout the local area, including being the president of the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, the Newport Beach Aquatic Center and has been a president of the Friends of the OCC Library. The current president of the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees, Grant is a member of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) Hall of Fame as well as the Newport Harbor High School Hall of Fame. In 2009, Orange Coast College renamed the boathouse and sailing center after Grant for his tireless work and dedication to the school and to the sport.
THE 1968 MEN’S VARSITY EIGHT CREW
Undefeated Western Sprints Champions; Silver Medalists – IRA National Championships
It was a slow rise to the top in the history of OCC’s men’s crew in the early 1960s before the arrival of coach David Grant. A few years later, the Pirates began to find success and a winning tradition developed. After a solid third-place finish at the Western Sprints Championships in 1967, Coast put together the strongest varsity squad in the school’s history and in 1968, the Pirates dominated all of their competition. Coast set the tone for a memorable season by setting a new course record against Long Beach State, conquering the 2,000-meter Lido Channel race with a time of 6 minutes, 15 seconds, breaking the old record by a full eight seconds. Coast then set a new course record at the Long Beach Regatta (6:00.3) before heading up to the University of California Berkeley for the first time in school history. There, the Pirates continued to rule the waters and topped the Golden Bears by over a boat length. At the Newport Regatta, Coast hosted Loyola Marymount, UC Irvine and San Diego State and cruised to victory, nine seconds ahead of the runner-up Anteaters. At the San Diego Regatta, it was another OCC-UCI, 1-2 finish as the Pirates cruised to a 17-second victory. Against mighty UCLA, not only did the Pirates topple the Bruins, they also topped their own Lido Channel course record with a time of 6:11.5 (just under six seconds ahead of UCLA’s 6:17) and headed into the Western Sprints Championships, in Washington, with plenty of confidence. Against the best of the West, the Pirates performed at their best and in the finals against UCLA, Cal, Washington, Stanford and British Columbia, OCC topped the “big boys” with a course-record time of 6:07.2, open water ahead of the runner-up Huskies’ crew. After raising enough money to compete in the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championship in Syracuse, N.Y., Coast became the first community college to compete at the IRAs. In front of over 70,000 on the shores of Lake Onondaga, the Pirates battled the nation’s top crew, the University of Pennsylvania and other top Ivy League schools. Falling to fifth place early in the race, Coast fought back to third at the halfway point before edging out Navy and finishing just two boat lengths behind champion Penn.
1968 OCC’s Men’s Varsity Eight Crew – Jay Amestoy, Ron Lindsey, Phil Peterson, Cary Simonds, John Baie (Captain), Dave Halliday, Geof Strand, Jim Jorgensen, Al Pierce (Coxswain).