Titan Athletics Hall of Fame celebrates alumni and supporters

In Sports, Top Stories
Fullerton Athletics recognized past alumni and notable supporters who have contributed in enriching the school’s sporting programs.  (Renzy Reyes / Daily Titan)
Fullerton Athletics recognized past alumni and notable supporters who have contributed in enriching the school’s sporting programs.
(Renzy Reyes / Daily Titan)

The Titan Athletics Hall of Fame honored its sixth class of inductees on Thursday night, adding over 20 alumni and Fullerton Athletics supporters to the list.

The biannual event recognizes those who have made significant contributions to Titan Athletics on and off of the field. Jenny Topping, Mark Covert, Neal Stoner, Paul Folino, Ted Silva and Associated Students, Inc. were this year’s honorees.

Three inductees were honored for their success as student athletes.

Covert ran at least one mile a day for 45 years, earning him national recognition and a world record. As a Titan, Covert was the first Division I All-American in any sport. He said his teammates were particularly special to him during his time at Fullerton, including Tim Tubb who died of cancer two weeks before Covert was inducted.

Topping said that her teammates and mentors were integral to her success as well. She said she came to CSUF to play for her “idol,” Michelle Gromacki, a fellow catcher and former CSUF softball coach. Now, Topping wants to give back.

“When I was a kid, all I wanted to do was play,” Topping said. “I just had this passion, so in my life now all I want to do is help children grow and create bigger dreams.”

Silva also took his success on the field into coaching. The former ace of the 1995 CSUF baseball team — winner of the national championship and considered by some to be the greatest NCAA baseball team ever assembled — is now the pitching coach at the University of Nebraska.

Folino, Stoner and ASI were honored for their contributions away from the field. CSUF Director of Athletics Jim Donovan acknowledged the work of ASI to generate funds for Titan Athletics, like increasing the overall budget by 60 percent over the last four years with its contributions and the help of the Student Success Initiative.

Folino has also made significant financial contributions to Titan Athletics, specifically the golf program. Folino spearheaded the effort to reinstate the golf team at CSUF. The Fullerton women’s and men’s golf teams, who were in attendance, lined up to shake Folino’s hand as he accepted his award.

“He’s never stopped contributing. He’s always made sure we’ve had everything we need,” said Dakota Brown, a senior kinesiology major and CSUF women’s golf team member.

Former Director of Athletics Neal Stoner, on the other hand, was credited with making CSUF a Division I school for athletics and hiring Hall of Fame coaches Augie Garrido and Bobby Dye, among others. Stoner got choked up talking about spending the ‘70s at CSUF.

“It was a magical run and I can’t tell you how much fun it was. It was a great time to be a Titan,” he said. “To go in the Hall of Fame alongside Garrido, Dye, [Lynn] Rogers, Judi Garman, is more than a thrill. It’s really a great honor.”

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