SCU Athletic Hall of Fame
Nov. 20, 2003
Kathy Kale, Executive Director, Alumni Relations
"Good evening and welcome to the 2003 Santa Clara University Athletic Hall of Fame dinner. I'm Kathy Kale, the new Director of Alumni Relations for SCU. I emphasize the word "new" since for 25 years, those of you who've attended this event have been welcomed by my predecessor, Jerry Kerr.
"And if you've been involved with this event in any way, you know Jerry is the one individual most responsible for it's success through the years. We're fortunate to have Jerry here tonight and I'd like him to stand so we can give him a warm welcome and a big thank you for everything he's done and will continue to do for this university.
"I would also like to extend a special welcome to our (8) Hall of Fame Inductees: Brandi Chastain ... Bill Connolly ... Bill Duffy ... Gary Hoffman ... Paul Holocher ... Melissa King Fisher ... Gary Podesta ... and Eric Yamamoto.
"Since you will hear more about these amazing individuals later in the night, let me just say that as a former student-athlete myself, I admire your achievements and appreciate what your success has meant to Santa Clara. You have earned this recognition and I hope you can sit back, relax, and enjoy an evening in your honor."
Fr. Peter Filice
"...the measure and purpose of a Jesuit university lies in what our students become ..." (Kolvenbach, S.J., Peter Hans, The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice in American Jesuit High Education [SFPJ], Santa Clara University, October 2000). In these words, the Very Reverend Peter Hans Kolvenbach , S.J., superior general of the Society of Jesus, described one of the dimensions of Jesuit higher education. This evening we gather to celebrate and give thanks for who and what the 2003 Hall of Fame Inductees have become. So, let us pray:
"Good and gracious God, we thank you for Brandi, Bill Connolly, Bill Duffy, Melissa, Gary Hoffman, Paul, Gary Podesta and Eric. We thank you for the gifts you have given to each of them and for the ways they have chosen to use them; namely, for your greater honor and glory. We thank you too for the honor they have brought to Santa Clara by the way they have represented the university both in competition and in the public arena. We thank you for their continued support and for their "being persons of solidarity who take responsibility for the real world." (SFPJ)
"Bless our inductees, O God. Bless all who have stood by them, trained and influenced them, and bless each one of us who are privileged to call them friend. Finally, bless our gathering and the meal we are about to eat. May it renew our resolve to show our love and appreciation to those whom we honor and to express our dedication to Santa Clara University by being men and women "...who seek ... to make the world more humane and just, more faith- and peace-filled" (Locatelli, S.J, Paul., Convocation 2003 , conclusion). Amen."
Cheryl Levick, Director of Athletics & Recreation
"I'd like to welcome everyone to our beautiful new arena.. The Leavey Center. What a great facility we are fortunate enough to call home. During the past three seasons in this building, we have watched great teams and outstanding student-athletes. However, there have been none greater than the collection of honorees assembled on this arena floor tonight.
"Among the great athletes we honor tonight are some of our nation's best. National soccer standouts such as Eric Yamamoto, Paul Holocher and Brandi Chastain. A women's basketball player that had no peer of her ability during her time in the WCC Melissa King-Fisher. Gary Hoffman, who's leadership and determination under Pat Malley was a guiding force for Bronco football. Bill Duffy, one of the world's most respected sports agents in a time where athletes are under incredible scrutiny . Gary Podesta, who continually shows us that giving your all to a sport you love does make a difference. And, Bill Connolly, who's positive impact on Bronco baseball has been felt throughout five decades.
"As you will be reminded throughout the evening, Santa Clara Athletics has a proud and tradition-rich history. We also have an incredibly talented current group of student-athletes who represent you and your institution every day. They are the ones, just like tonight's inductees, who someday will be sitting in these chairs and enjoying the fruits of their hard work and dedication. It is the legacy of tonight's eight inductees that make Bronco Athletics such a special place.
"Tonight, you will hear plenty about the great past of Bronco Athletics. I'd like to take a moment to brag a bit on our successful present. We have had four of our six fall sports team ranked throughout the season in the national top-25. Both of our soccer teams won West Coast Conference championships and are currently playing in the NCAA Tournament. Our women's cross country team is our Cinderella story, ranking ninth in the NCAA West region with only one scholarship to spread among the entire team.
"In the classroom, we have the highest graduation rate in the West Coast Conference and we rank second among Division I institutions in the state of California. The last two seasons, we have finished second in the WCC Commissioner's Cup race that rewards the team with the highest success rate in league competition. This year, we hope to bring the trophy home to Santa Clara.
"We are proud of the direction of Bronco Athletics and realize we could never be in the position we are in without such an incredible past as is represented here tonight. Congratulations to all eight inductees. Enjoy tonight because you will remember it for a lifetime."
Paul Locatelli, University President
"Let me add my welcome to all of you and thank you for your support of Santa Clara and our athletics program. A special welcome to this year's inductees. Thank you for the contributions you made to your teams and the University during your playing and coaching years and thank you for your continuing connection to Santa Clara.
"Santa Clara's distinctiveness in rooted in its Catholic, Jesuit identity. Our identity is expressed in a religious imagination found in the arts and literature, in a Catholic humanism built on history and the sciences, philosophy and theology, and in the dialogue among faith, reason, and culture. It is characterized by a rigorous academic program and by engagement of ethical issues, emphasis one a student's growth as a thinking and moral person, care for the individual person, and faith-based reflection and action.
"The Jesuit mission establishes a specific direction that is defined by the priorities and core values of the Ignatian vision, a vision that affirms the world and our relationship with God, that finds God in all that is good, and that is committed to the integrating principle of the service of faith and promotion of justice. Our Jesuit mission fulfills its distinctive orientation by educating students for the contemporary world, with all its promise and problems. It integrates excellence (competence), ethics and values (conscience), justice and concern for the less fortunate (compassion), compelled by our faith commitment.
"A hallmark of the Jesuit educational tradition from the days of Ignatius has been a commitment to the education of the whole person -- mind and body, heart and hands. Development of the physical as well as the intellectual dimension of our humanity has always been an important dimension of the education of the whole person. This includes participation in sport.
"This tradition has been a part of Santa Clara since its founding and lives on today at Santa Clara in our vibrant intramural and recreational sports programs and in our intercollegiate athletics program.
"The long line of former student-athletes and coaches at Santa Clara have helped to advance its mission. Many student athletes, taking what they have learned in the classroom and on the court or playing field, have brought their leadership, team work, and desire to always do their best to their families, careers, and communities. Those honored tonight join a distinguished group who have brought special honor and renown to Santa Clara both as outstanding athletes and as committed citizens.
"Each of you honorees, through your dedication, hard work and commitment to excellence, serve as an inspiration to Santa Clara's current student-athletes. As you know, athletic success isn't only measured in wins and losses. It's measured in the character of its teams and participants. Character development is a dimension of education that is readily identified with Santa Clara.
"The people whom we honor tonight, have demonstrated that a Santa Clara education has provided a wealth of experiences that build great character. You have succeeded on the field and the court, that is clear. However, you have also succeeded in the classroom and in life.
"Santa Clara University remains committed to the idea that athletics provides a key component of its overall educational experience. It is certainly important to the participants in athletics. But it is also a rallying point for everyone associated with the University. The long-term growth and development of our Division I athletics programs is a priority. And as long as we keep producing teams and students who play and live like champions, we will demonstrate to colleges and universities across the country, and to the general public, that it is possible to have a successful program that emphasizes both the student and the athlete and that gives real meaning to the term student-athlete.
"To all of you, both Bills and both Garys, Brandi, Melissa, Paul and Eric, my congratulations and thanks for all you have done and continue to do for Santa Clara.
Heidi Leupp, Alumni Board of Directors President
Honoree: Brandi Chastain, Soccer, Santa Clara '91
"Brandi Chastain is one of the top players in Santa Clara women's soccer history, and continues to be one of the sport's most recognizable figures. She became a household name when she scored the decisive penalty kick at the 1999 Women's World Cup against China, clinching the championship for the United States.
"A San Jose native, Chastain attended the University of California and earned All-America honors as a forward while being named Soccer America's Freshman of the Year. She sat out the next two seasons, after having reconstructive surgeries on both knees. Chastain returned with a bang, becoming a two-time All-American for Santa Clara. She led the Broncos to their first-ever postseason appearance in 1989, as the team reached the national semifinals and a final ranking of number three in the nation.
"The following season, Santa Clara posted its first-ever number one national ranking, and again, advanced to the NCAA semifinals. Chastain's career was capped-off as the National Collegiate Player of the Year and placing third on the school's all-time leading goal scorer list.
"Chastain debuted with the U.S. National Team in 1986, and now has more than 150 appearances with the squad. She switched positions to defender, and participated in three World Cups, winning championships in 1991 and 1999, while earning a bronze medal a couple of months ago. She has two Olympic medals, a gold from the 1996 Summer Games and a silver from the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
"In 2001, Chastain became one of 24 founding players for the Women's United Soccer Association and was chosen to play for the Bay Area CyberRays, San Jose's professional team. It marked the realization of her childhood dream, to play professional soccer at Spartan Stadium, where she was an NASL season ticket holder and grew to love soccer. Chastain and three other former Broncos earned the inaugural Founders Cup Championship that season for the CyberRays. Chastain entered the collegiate coaching ranks as an assistant coach for the Broncos in 1994 and remained in that position through the 2000 season.
Bill Connolly, Baseball, Santa Clara '65
Bill Connolly came to Santa Clara from nearby Bellarmine Preparatory, where he was an All-Northern selection in baseball and basketball. He was a member of the 1963, '64 and '65 Bronco baseball teams, all of which were at one time ranked as the number one team in the nation. Despite injures which kept him out of a dozen or more games each season, Connolly twice finished among the top 10 in the nation in home runs. In 1964, he batted .298, teaming with All-American Tim Cullen in the middle of the No. 1 ranked Bronco line-up, where they led the nation in home runs and RBIs. A long-ball and clutch hitter, Connolly also played errorless ball at various positions, as shown in 1964, when he led the nation with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
"The following season, as a senior, Connolly and the third-ranked Broncos set all-time season records for base hits and home runs, and came within one game of returning to the College World Series. He was instrumental in the Bronco pennant drive. In one three-game period, he hit five home runs and drove in 15. He finished second in the nation that season in home runs, behind teammate Ray Pennington.
"He was also a two-year member of the Bronco men's basketball team, earning All-Northern California freshman team honors.
"After graduating with a degree in finance, Connolly signed a contract with the Minnesota Twins and stayed with the organization through 1968. He then turned to the business sector and became a stockbroker in San Francisco and New York. He retired as a managing director of Robertson, Stephens & Co., an investment banking firm he co-founded. He is currently the Board Chairman of the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
"Connolly and his wife Pam plan to move soon and live on a vineyard in Saint Helena. Their four sons became stars in their own right on the basketball court. Jon is with the Denver Nuggets, Brent is with the Seattle Super Sonics, and Scooter and Drew are playing in Europe. The Connolly's also have a daughter, Shannon, who resides in Pennsylvania.
"Tonight, Connolly becomes the second member of his family to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Pam's father, Bruce Hale, a basketball student-athlete from the Class of '41.
Honoree: Bill Duffy, Basketball, Santa Clara '82
"Bill Duffy was one of the top basketball recruits in the state of California, and first signed to play at the University of Minnesota. In fact, his roommate at Minnesota was future NBA Hall-of-Famer Kevin McHale. The Bay Area, however, became Duffy's home, as he transferred to Santa Clara to play his final two seasons for head coach Carroll Williams.
"Duffy led the Broncos in assists and steals as a junior and, despite suffering a broken wrist, scoring as a senior. He was a team captain and a two-time all-Northern California selection while playing on the Mission Campus. Although he did not play professionally, Duffy was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the fifth round of the 1982 draft.
"Currently, Duffy serves in a role that is considered an oxymoron in today's professional sports world... that of a respected sports agent. He has represented more than 75 athletes over the past 15 years, including 11 first-round draft picks. In the 2002 draft, his company had three of the top four picks, including China's 7-foot-5 center, Yao Ming. Duffy is also the agent for former Bronco and current NBA All-Star Steve Nash, as well as rookie sensation Carmelo Anthony, who led Syracuse to the national championship last season.
"Even as a player at Santa Clara, Duffy had a knack for recruiting. Stories have it that within days of arriving on campus, he lured a St. Francis High School prospect away from Stanford and Washington after just two meals and a shoot-around.
"He is president of his own company, BDA Sports Management, and has expanded his business to include divisions in Europe, Asia, and South America. B-D-A was recently named the Top Global Sports Agency in the world by Street and Smith Sports Business Journal.
"Duffy was named the 1998 and 2002 Black Sports Agents Association's Agent of the Year, and more recently, was named the first-ever inductee of the Damien High School Hall of Fame. Last year, he was named to ESPN the Magazine's "Power Pack," its list of the NBA's top 25 "shapers and shakers." Additionally, Sports Illustrated named Duffy the 20th Most Influential Minority in the world of sports-the highest-ranking agent on the list.
Honoree: Gary Hoffman, Football, Santa Clara '83
"Gary Hoffman was a four-year offensive tackle for the Broncos and was known as a ferocious competitor and a tireless worker. As a sophomore, he became the first underclassman selected to be a team captain, an honor he held for three years. He was considered one of the best tackles in Bronco history and one of the main reasons the Broncos earned 24 victories during his career.
"A heralded prep player at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, Hoffman lettered four seasons at Santa Clara under legendary head coach Pat Malley.
"Individual honors came as an upperclassman. Hoffman was recognized as a first-team Associated Press Little All-American, and also earned first team All-Western Football Conference honors. Hoffman was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 1984 draft and also played professionally for the San Francisco 49ers in 1987.
"He then settled in Eugene, Oregon, his home for the past 15 years. He is the general manager of the nation's largest RV dealership, RV Corral. He and his wife Stephanie have two young children.
Honoree: Paul Holocher, Soccer, Santa Clara '91
"A strong-willed and fiery competitor, coaches that recruited Paul Holocher to play men's soccer at their campus were warned that he was too passionate and intense. Former Santa Clara head coaches Steve Sampson and Mitch Murray knew that Holocher's competitiveness, attitude and confidence were just what the Broncos needed at that time and brought the talented student-athlete to the Mission Campus.
"Holocher proved everybody wrong, ending his four-year career in 1991 as the Broncos' scoring leader, team captain and an All-American. As a junior, he helped lead the Broncos to the school's first-ever national title and was named the WCC Offensive Player of the Year. He was also twice named to the All WCC team and was a recipient of Santa Clara's Vincent Corsiglia's Scholar-Athlete award. Holocher's career goals and assists marks both remain near the top of the SCU record books.
"After graduation, Holocher spent seven years playing professionally. During his first year with the San Francisco Blackhawks, he was part of a team that captured the 1991 American Professional Soccer League National Championship. He also became the first Bronco to play overseas when he competed for Admira Wacker in Austria. He returned to the States and capped off his professional career as a USISL All-Star for the Monterey Bay Jaguars before playing for the San Jose Clash and Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer. He also made his debut with the U.S. National Team in 1996.
"In 1999, Holocher retired from playing professionally, and founded the Catalyst Soccer Club for youth players in Santa Cruz County, which has been featured nationally in Soccer America Magazine. He is currently in his fifth season as the head coach of the U-C Santa Cruz men's soccer program. His teams have amassed an impressive record of 70 wins, 20 losses and 7 ties. His most recent squad finished the season with a 19-1 record, and ranked second in the country in offensive production and fifth in fewest goals allowed. Holocher has led UCSC to three NCAA playoff appearances in his five years as a coach.
"Paul is also currently the Boys Coaching Director for the Santa Cruz Premier Soccer Club, which was recently ranked the number one Boys soccer Club in Northern California."
Honoree: Melissa King Fisher, Basketball, Santa Clara '93
"Melissa King Fisher remains one of the finest basketball players in the history of the West Coast Conference. She completed her basketball career at Santa Clara as the school's leading scorer and the third-highest scorer in WCC history. She rewrote the Bronco record book during her three-year career, and held 19 career, single-season and single-game records when she graduated. Ten years later, she remains at the top of the school charts for scoring, field goals, three-point field goals, free throws and steals.
"A Bay Area native, King originally signed to play basketball at Fresno State. After her freshman season, she decided to transfer to a program closer to home and chose the Broncos. A talented athlete, she played on the soccer team while red-shirting on the basketball court due to NCAA transfer rules.
"A three-time all-WCC selection, King led the Broncos to three-straight league championships as well as the National Women's Invitational Tournament title in 1991. Santa Clara won more than 75 percent of its games while she was on the court, and made its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1992, advancing to the second round after upsetting heavily-favored California in the first round.
"As a senior, King earned her second WCC Player of the Year honor, and also became the first player to ever lead the conference in both scoring and field-goal percentage in the same season. She capped-off her final year earning Kodak honorable mention All-America honors. After graduation, King moved to Berkeley and served as an assistant coach for the Cal Bears squad. She returned to the Broncos before leaving sports for the business world. She worked in web design for Frank Templeton and is now a homemaker. She and her husband Joe Fisher are parents of three young children.
Honoree: Gary Podesta, Men's Lacrosse Coach, Santa Clara
"Gary Podesta joined the Santa Clara University community in 1983 as the men's lacrosse coach and has served in that capacity for 17 years. He had a successful playing career at Washington & Lee University and spent one year as an assistant to U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame Coach Fran McCall at Bethpage High School in New York before arriving on the Mission Campus and leading the Broncos to nine West Coast Lacrosse League playoffs, four league semifinal appearances.
"For the first two years, Podesta's squads managed just two wins, but he didn't mind, as he gained a much more important victory: NCAA Division I status. He and his players cleaned stadiums after football games, sold t-shirts, and did whatever they could to fundraise their own existence through the early years. In all, Podesta has invested more than $60,000 of his own money, showing a devotion to the program and its student-athletes above and beyond the call of any volunteer coach.
"Podesta was a master of developing talent, taking students who had never played the largely-East Coast-dominated sport and creating a championship-caliber program while providing opportunities for a number of deserving student-athletes. Twenty-five of his student-athletes have been named WCLL All-Stars under his tutelage.
"Behind Podesta's coaching expertise, Santa Clara Lacrosse emerged from a two-year 2-31 start to four consecutive WCLL Final Four appearances and the number one ranking in 1993. He left Santa Clara after the 1995 season, only to return again in 2000. He begins his 18th season this spring.
"While coaching, Podesta is also the Director of On-Site Physical Therapy and Ergonomics for Health Fitness Corporation.
Honoree: Eric Yamamoto, Soccer, Santa Clara '90, MBA '95
"Eric Yamamoto is currently in his 13th season as an assistant coach for Santa Clara. He has been a mainstay on the Mission Campus dating back to 1986, when he wore the Bronco uniform. He remains the top goalkeeper in school history and is currently sharing that expertise as the top assistant for the men's team, after spending the most of the 1990s as the goalkeeper coach for both the men's and women's squads.
"Yamamoto is the only multiple Academic All-America selection in SCU soccer history, earning the recognition on three occasions. A four-time all-West Coast Conference and All-Far West selection as goalkeeper, he has the third lowest career goals-against average in school history and his 0.47 mark during the 1989 national championship season is the lowest single-season mark in Bronco history. He capped his senior year anchoring a defense that allowed just 10 goals, while posting an undefeated record, earning the nation's number one ranking, and winning a share of the 1989 NCAA Championship.
"After graduation, Yamamoto was drafted by the San Diego Sockers of the M-I-S-L and played professionally for the San Francisco Blackhawks.
"Yamamoto has worked with both men's and women's programs at his alma mater since his graduation, training multiple WCC Defender of the Year honorees. He is also a member of the U.S. National Team coaching staff and coaches numerous U.S. National Youth Teams on both the boys and girls sides."