Cal State Fullerton Athletics Hall of Fame inducts five new members

In Sports
Courtesy of Cal State Fullerton Sports Media

Cal State Fullerton Athletics will announce its seventh Athletics Hall of Fame class Oct. 27, honoring five alumni who have made significant impacts on the Titans.

The inductees for the 2017 Hall of Fame includes:

  • Softball pitcher Tiffany Boyd (1991-93)
  • Softball pitcher Kathy Van Wyk (1982)
  • Baseball catcher Kurt Suzuki (2002-04)
  • George Horton player (1975-76); associated head coach (1991-96); head coach (1997-2007)
  • CSUF Sports Information Director Mel Franks (who worked at CSUF from 1980-2012)

Although these five inductees will all share the same title, they’ve each made their own contributions that have earned them the spotlight.

Boyd broke records in her first season with the Titans and earned Big West Pitcher of the Year, Big West First Team Honors and a spot on the NFCA All-West Regional Team and All-West Honors that same season.

In her one and only softball season as a Titan, Van Wyk was named the nation’s top softball player and awarded the Broderick Award. As a pitcher, Van Wyk set an NCAA record of 35 wins in a season while only losing one game.

Van Wyk recorded 23 shutouts and 31 complete games, striking out 270 batters in 278 innings. Her play contributed to the Titans making their first College World Series appearance.

During Suzuki’s senior year as a Titan, he earned the Johnny Bench Award and Brooks Wallace Award honors with a .413 batting average, 16 homers and 87 RBIs. Suzuki represents CSUF in the MLB and has played for the Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves.

Aside from playing on the first Fullerton baseball squad to make an appearance at the College World Series, Horton’s coaching assisted CSUF baseball in winning two national championships. Horton eventually became the head coach for the Titans and led his team to the postseason for 11 straight seasons.

Horton was recognized as Big West Coach of the Year five times, and earned the titles of Baseball America Coach of the Year, 2004 ABCA Coach of the Year and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s Coach of the Year throughout his time at CSUF.

In his time at CSUF, Franks was responsible for handling all the teams’ stats. He was deemed a very reliable source by LA Times writer Chris Foster and OC Register sports columnist Mark Whicker.

The Athletics Hall of Fame debuted in 2005 and has now become a biannual CSUF tradition. The hall honors former Titans who contributed to the legacy of CSUF Athletics.

The hall of fame currently consists of six different classes (2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015) and holds 33 athletes, including Titans from women’s gymnastics and football.

Among those inducted are also faculty members and supporters. Neale Stoner (Athletics Director 1972-79) became the first and only administrator to enter the Titan Athletics Hall of Fame in the last ceremony (2015).

Stoner was recognized for hiring two other hall of fame inductees, baseball’s Augie Garrido and basketball’s Bobby Dye.

Both coaches reached outstanding heights in their respective sports. Garrido won CSUF’s first baseball championship in 1979 and three national championships while turning the Titans into an MLB feeder system. Dye transformed CSUF’s Division II basketball team into a Division I team in 1974.

The Titans tradition will continue with a dinner held at the Embassy Suites in Brea to recognize these Titans legends.

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