Former NFL Punter Saxon Leads Group of 10 Inductees for 2018 PCC Sports Hall of Fame Class

Former NFL punter Mike Saxon is one of 10 new inductees to the PCC Sports Hall of Fame.
Former NFL punter Mike Saxon is one of 10 new inductees to the PCC Sports Hall of Fame.

Former NFL punter Mike Saxon is one of 10 alumni athletes/coaches making up of the 2018 class to be inducted into the Pasadena City College Sports Hall of Fame. The ceremony is scheduled to take place Saturday, Aug. 25 at the hall of plaques on the first floor of the GM Building.

Saxon punted for the Lancers in 1980-81 before an 11-year pro career with the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings. Joining Saxon are former athletes in men's track and field stars Greg Tinnin (1972), Edino Steele (2006-2007), football lineman Ned Vessey (1974), swimmer Per Kersmark (1977-78), softball player Sarah Sherman (2004-2005), and soccer player Rebecca Hidalgo (2000-2001). Three retired coaches are also being inducted in softball coach Sandi Iverson, men's basketball coach George Terzian, and four-sport coach Myron Tarkanian, the younger brother of Court of Champions/Hall inductee Jerry Tarkanian. So far, nine of the inductees have committed to attend the ceremony where they will also speak on their accomplishments at PCC.

This will be the first PCC Hall of Fame induction since 2016.

"I can't say enough about how special this is to be inducted into the PCC Hall of Fame," said Saxon, who now lives in Texas but is planning on attending the August ceremony. "I played on some great Lancers teams and playing there gave me a foot in the door to eventually become good enough to make it in the NFL. You have a kicker in the Hall in Mike Lansford (1977, also played in the NFL), so I guess it's time for a punter."

HISTORY OF PCC SPORTS HALL OF FAME

The original PCC Sports Hall of Fame began with the inaugural Class of 1961 inductees, including the great Jackie Robinson. The Athletics Division continued this Hall through 1966. The PCC Sports Hall of Fame became dormant until 2000 when then PCC Foundation President Dick Ratliff developed the Athletic Recognition Program and helped raise money for the original funding for a new HOF. A Court of Champions and Wall of Fame was added to the mix and the first Court of Champions busts were displayed in 2000. The last time a Court of Champions bust was introduced was in 2013 of state champion and legendary men's basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

With the new class, there are now 94 athletes, nine coaches, and one administrator or 104 individuals selected to the PCC Sports Hall of Fame. 

Here are capsule bios of the 2018 PCC HOF Class:

STUDENT-ATHLETES

REBECCA HIDALGO, 2000-2001, WOMEN'S SOCCER

Hidalgo, a forward, played on the two winningest women's soccer teams in PCC's intercollegiate history in the sport, dating back to 1998. In 2000 as a freshman, she scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0, SoCal Playoff upset over Santa Ana. The team's 16 wins remains a school record, matched again in her sophomore year of 2001. She he led the Lancers in scoring with 24 goals and again kicked in the winner in a 2-1 upset playoff over Rio Hondo. Those two wins remain through 2017 as the last two playoff victories in PCC women's soccer history (the other 1999). Hidalgo finished as the school's third all-time leading scorer (37 goals, 9 assists) and was named NSCAA All-American. The 2-time, All-South Coast Conference First Teamer went on to lead San Jose State in scoring as a junior in 2002. Rebecca then transferred to Cal State Northridge and in 2004 was an All-Big West 2nd Team selection as she helped the Matadors set a school record for wins (12) while scoring four game-winning goals. Hidalgo played for then PCC head coach Cherif Zein.

PER KERSMARK, 1977-1978, MEN'S SWIMMING

An international student from Sweden, Kersmark was on the mark as a key member on back-to-back, Pasadena City College men's state champion swim teams in 1977 and 1978 under Court of Champions legendary coach Ron Ballatore. As a freshman, he anchored a national best swim by the Lancers in the 400-yard freestyle relay and individually was a JC All-American in six different events. As a sophomore, he was even better, capturing the 200 free state title with a still-standing school record and then national record time of 1:41.08. Also at the '78 state meet, He helped set two other national records in PCC's state title swims in the 400 and 800 freestyle relays. Per scored silver medals in both the 500 freestyle and 200 butterfly. Kersmark went on to swim at the University of Cincinnati.

MIKE SAXON, 1980-1981, FOOTBALL

Saxon was the punter on the 1980 Metropolitan Conference champion Lancers football team and twice was selected All-MC in his two seasons. After PCC, Saxon went on to set numerous school records including highest average yards per punt and longest punt (80 yards) as a walk-on at San Diego State University, earning All-American honorable mention as a senior. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 1984 NFL Draft by Detroit. Embarking on an 11-year NFL career for three teams, Saxon had a major highlight in playing in Super Bowl XXVII as he earned a champion ring, punting for the Dallas Cowboys. Fittingly for Saxon, the 1993 contest was played just down the road from PCC at the Rose Bowl. Mike was best known for his ability to land punts consistently inside the opponent's 20-yard line. Saxon played for Coach Harvey Hyde, who is also in the PCC Hall of Fame.

SARAH SHERMAN, 2004-2005, SOFTBALL

It was most petite of student-athletes who performed the biggest feats as the 5-foot-2 Sherman did in her two All-State seasons on the PCC softball team. Sherman was a double threat as a dominating pitcher and top-flight hitter for the Lancers. As a freshman, she earned NCFA All-American honors and was the SCC Pitcher of the Year. In her PCC career, she set school records for highest batting average in a season at .470 and most strikeouts in a season with 173 Ks as a sophomore. She won 28 of her PCC teams' 50 victories in the circle. Her 303 strikeouts is an all-time school record. For two years, she led the team in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, triples and she stole 30 bases her first season. She went on to become a NAIA All-American at Cal Baptist University. Sarah made news when she slugged an extra-inning, walk-off home run for CBU at the 2006 National Championships. She was on a team that set a then NAIA record for most consecutive wins at 32. Sherman has the thrill of being inducted along with her then PCC head coach Iverson.

EDINO STEELE, 2006-2007, MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD

Steele made PCC track and field history by becoming the first Lancer to win four gold medals at the CCCAA State Championships in 2007. Named Athlete of the Meet, Steele won the 200-meters dash, the 400 meters, and helped PCC capture the 4x100 and 4x400 state relay titles. He also accomplished that feat at the '07 Southern California Championships. He holds the PCC school record in the 200 at 20.37 seconds. Initially, Steele had helped PCC win the '07 state team championship, only to see the title vacated amid controversy over an ineligible Lancers teammate. He was named the PCC Men's Athlete of the Year for the 2006-07 sports season. Steele was later a member of the 2012 Jamaican Olympic Team, serving as a relays reserve at the London Summer Games. Edino twice was a silver medalist as part of the 4x400 relay squad at the World Championships in 2008 and 2013. Steele competed under then head coach Jim Richardson. 

GREG TINNIN, 1972, MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD

Tinnin was the epitome of the sport of track and field especially with his performance at the 1972 State Championships in Modesto. Tinnin performed a then rarity by winning a state title in both a track event, the 120-yard high hurdles (14 seconds flat) and a field event, capturing the high jump crown with a leap of 7 feet. Tinnin was named the Outstanding Athlete of the Meet. Only one other Lancer, fellow Hall of Famer Juan Tobin (1988) has matched that feat in winning an individual track event and field event at the same state meet. Greg had earlier set Metropolitan Conference finals meet records in the hurdles and high jump. Tinnin went on to run for two PCAA conference champion teams at San Jose State. He was the 1974 conference champ in the hurdles. Tinnin ran under then head coach Larry Knuth. 

NED VESSEY, 1973-74, FOOTBALL

Offensive linemen rarely receive the media exposure or rewards in doing the "dirty work in the trenches" in blocking for their more heralded teammates at quarterback and running back. In 1974, the PCC football team wasn't filled with superstar players, but to this day remains the last Lancers team to finish a perfect 10-0 in the regular season. The only First Team All-American on that Metropolitan Conference-winning squad was none other than offensive lineman Ned Vessey. The 6-foot-2, 245-pound tackle blocked for a potent Lancers rushing attack, led by Metro Player of the Year and 1,000-yard plus running quarterback Jim Lejay. Vessey earned a scholarship to California Berkeley and played on a Bears team in 1975 that was co-Pac-8 Conference champions and led the nation in total offense as he blocked for future NFL back Chuck Muncie and All-American QB Joe Roth. Ned joins his '74 head coach Tarkanian as 2018 inductees.

COACHES

SANDI IVERSON, 1979-2006, SOFTBALL HC

In the history of PCC athletics, no coach has won more games in any sport than Coach Iverson. In a 27-year career at PCC, Iverson directed her Lancers softball teams to 562 victories. She was the architect of six conference titles, including three times performing them in back-to-back seasons in 1980-81, 1985-86 and 1990-91. In 10 other years, her teams finished in second place. Her Lancers squads made the SoCal Regional Playoffs in 15 of her final 16 seasons in charge. Fourteen times she recorded 20-plus win seasons. In 1985, she was named the William Russell JC National Coach of the Year. Four times she was selected Region Coach of the Year and 9 times was a conference Coach of the Year. In 2001, she earned the NCFA Coaching Staff of the Year award. Upon her retirement in 2007, Iverson received the prestigious PCC Risser Outstanding Teacher Award. In 2010, Sandi was inducted into the State's Fastpitch Coach Association Hall of Fame.

MYRON TARKANIAN, 1968-2004, 4 SPORTS HC

For 37 years, Tarkanian served as a physical education instructor and a success story as a head coach in a variety of Pasadena City College sports programs. He has the distinction of coaching conference titles in football (1974), men's tennis (1992, 1998), women's tennis (2000), and won three consecutive men's soccer South Coast Conference titles (1999-2001) as the Lancers administrative head coach. Myron directed the last undefeated PCC football team in 1974 at 10-0-1 when the Lancers captured the Metropolitan Conference championship and were JC Grid-Wire regular season national champions. Only a 14-14, state playoff tie against East Los Angeles spoiled a perfect season (the Huskies advanced based on total offensive yards gained). He also was a key assistant coach on the '72 Lancers conference title team that matched a school record of 12 wins. A coach in five different decades here, Tarkanian retired from PCC in 2004.

GEORGE TERZIAN, 1979-1998, 2002-2004, MEN'S BASKETBALL HC

Terzian is the winningest coach in PCC men's basketball history. In 20 seasons directing the Lancers, Terzian won 332 games. His finest season was in 1982-83 when PCC won 28 games and finished as state runner-up, losing the championship game to Cerritos in a heartbreaking three overtimes. From 1987 through 1994, he coached the Lancers to seven straight appearances in the state playoffs. More than 50 percent of PCC's all-time leading scorers played under Terzian. His connection to PCC goes back to 1954-55 when was a 2-sport star in basketball and tennis. He retired from the college on a winning note in 2004 when the Lancers won 22 games and reached the regional playoffs final 8. Terzian was inducted into the State Coach Association Hall of Fame in 2006. He is also a member of the CIF Southern Section Hall of Fame for his prior coaching at Pasadena High School.


Sandi Iverson, PCC Softball Coach

For more about the PCC Sports Hall of Fame, you can go here on our website:
http://pcclancers.com/hof/index