The student news site of Skyline College.

The Skyline View

The student news site of Skyline College.

The Skyline View

The student news site of Skyline College.

The Skyline View

    Hall of Fame Wall up at Skyline

    The Hall of Fame in building 3 at Skyline College. (Natalie Christine)
    The Hall of Fame in building 3 at Skyline College. (Natalie Christine)

    The Skyline College Athletic Hall of Fame has recently been re-established in the entry way of the first floor in building 3 after the renovation. The hall of fame was in the athletic building before the renovation took place. However, when the athletic department moved back into the building the hall of fame along with other similar issues were not a priority. “It was one of those things that as we moved in it wasn’t a priority to the function of the building,” Joe Morello, dean of physical education, dance, and athletics said. “But it really got to a point where it could be addressed and that’s why we chose to put it up right now.” In terms of selecting the most appropriate wall to place the hall of fame, Morello explains that where they have chosen to put it is really the best spot for people to look at it, so we are able to recognize the importance of who is actually apart of the wall. “It’s great to recognize excellence performance,” Morello said. “Not everyone is going to be a hall of fame member, but I think it reflects well on the whole athletic program for anyone who has ever participated here.” The hall of fame was started in 1985 under the leadership of Andrew Ruiz. Ruiz served as athletic director at Skyline College from 1984-1990. On the current hall of fame wall, there is a plaque in dedication of his honor. During the time that Ruiz was athletic director, they inducted members for 6 consecutive years which made up 90 of the 100 plaques on the wall. Ruiz had established a committee from within the department which also involved community members and other people on campus. After Ruiz had left in 1990, the hall of fame temporary stopped inducting people. In 2003, Andreas Wolf, Skyline’s athletic director and division dean at the time, started it up again and inducted another class which filled in the last 10 plaques to complete the wall of 100. There are three plaques that currently do not have photos. Those plaques include Roger Homer and Rich Adkisson from baseball and Nelson Arcaya from soccer. Morello explains that he has contacted two people and will hopefully get photos from them soon. However, one person remains to be unreachable at this point. Due to the loss of digital photos and the loss of photos from the move, Morello has had to track down many people. “I am pleased we got 97 out of 100,” Morello said. Yaacov Yami, one of the soccer players on the wall, has a team picture for his plaque. Morello says that he couldn’t be tracked down at all and that was the picture available with Yami included. The criteria to be inducted into the hall of fame is athletic excellence, an athlete of two years at Skyline, planning on transferring to a 4-year college or entering a vocational program and they also have to be considered as a good representative of the institution. “You want to make sure your inducting good people,” Morello said. “People that represent the school well, that’s important.” One of those people selected to be on the wall is actually one of Skyline’s physical education teachers, Mike Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald played tennis at Skyline in 1973 and 1974. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 1986. “It felt great,” Fitzgerald said, “Not only have I been a student at Skyline, I graduated from Skyline and I had two twin sons who attended Skyline College.” Fitzgerald continued his education to San Francisco State where he received his B.A. and later his masters in physical education. Right out of San Francisco State, he was offered a job at Skyline. Fitzgerald has been a classified employee for 8 years, a certificate employee for 20 years, has taught weekend classes for 10 years, and has taught summer school for 30 years at Skyline College. He explains that he continues to compete in different leagues for the past 30 years. He has also coached for 21 years including the Women’s softball team and the Men’s and Women’s cross country team. “Skylines my home,” Fitzgerald said. Morello feels that it is time to induct another class into the hall of fame. “Are we going to do something every single year?” Morello said. “Probably not, my hope is that over the summer I can talk with the faculty, involve some people that were originally on the hall of fame committee and hopefully do something in the next year where we could go on ahead and induct another class.” They will eventually run out of space on the wall. However, Morello would like to continue to recognize people even though he doesn’t plan on making the hall of fame ceremony an annual event. Fitzgerald explains that the wall looks fantastic. “It’s how it should be, a commandment for its effort and commitment to having the hall of fame re-established for past generations and future students,” Fitzgerald said. From a financial aspect of the hall of fame, there were a multitude of sources including fast signs, alpine awards and electrical work that needed to be done. “It was well worth it for a few reasons,” Morello said. “Just in the time it’s been up many people have stopped and had to look at it, it’s an eye opener, an attention getter and it reflects the excellence that Skyline has had as an institution.” According to Morello, they are dealing with a similar situation with the team championship banners. Before the renovation, there had been about 50 championship banners hanging the gymnasium. However, there is more work still being done in the gym. Morello said that instead of placing 50 banners up again, he’s looking to lower it to about 13 by having team banners with the years. However, he plans on holding onto the original banners. The Garlington award is also given as an athletic award to those of the same criteria. It is given in honor of our first president at Skyline College, Phillip Garlington. He was president from 1962-1972. The head coaches of each sport chooses a nominee that they believe qualifies. One male and one female is chosen every year. Morello’s goal is to have each team will have their own trophy case at some point and plaques will be made for things like the Garlington award and MVP awards. That way each team could have their awards in their own cases. “The biggest thing I look at in a person is can they get it done?” Morello said, “I think student-athletes learn that skill, how to get it done. For sports, there are things you hate to do but you got to do it and if you don’t its not going to get done. But that’s what those people on that wall were able to do it at a very high level.”

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