SAN JOSE, CA – Four South Bay sports icons that made their mark in professional, college, and Olympic sports make up the 2013 Class of Inductees of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
The 19th class, which will be inducted on November 20 at a ceremony at SAP Center in San Jose, CA, includes:
· Frankie Albert: Innovative All-American Quarterback
· Paul Child: San Jose’s First Professional Soccer Star
· Gary Cunningham: High School Baseball Coaching Legend
· Tara VanDerveer: Collegiate & Olympic Basketball Coach
The November ceremony, presented by Hewlett-Packard, celebrates 19 years of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The event kicks off with a reception followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Each inductee will be recognized with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at SAP Center at San Jose. Individual tickets begin at $250 each and sponsorship and table packages are available ranging from $3,000. For information and to purchase event tickets call (408) 288-2936.
With the induction of the class of 2013, there will be 89 South Bay sports icons enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, SAP Center Management/San Jose Sharks, and the City of San José. The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.
About the San Jose Sports Authority
The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility, and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City's sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract and host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay. The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, The First Tee of Silicon Valley, and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit www.sjsa.org.
Frankie Albert was born on January 27, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Glendale, California, he was a charismatic leader, a multi-talented and ingenious quarterback who earned All-America recognition at Stanford University and Pro Bowl honors with the San Francisco 49ers.
At only 5’9” and 130 lbs., Albert played only one year of varsity football at Glendale High School and was named CIF player of the year. At Stanford Albert became the first T-formation quarterback in college football. Coached by the innovative Clark Shaughnessy, he played an integral role in popularizing this offensive strategy that revolutionized the game. Shaughnessy described Albert as “a superb ball handler, a magician with the ball and a gifted field general, wonderfully observing, a great left-handed passer and a great kicker. He was neither strong nor fast. His talents were intellectual and psychological; he could fool people, and by temperament he ate up that sort of assignment.”
A two-time All-America in 1940 and 1941, Albert was also credited with inventing the bootleg play, in which the quarterback fakes a hand off and then runs wide with the ball hidden on his hip. In addition to his quarterback duties, Albert also played defense and served as the team’s place kicker and punter, still holding the record for the longest punt at Stanford at 79 yards. In 1940 he led the Stanford “Wow Boys” to a 10-0 record, including a 21-13 victory over Nebraska in the 1941 Rose Bowl.
After serving in the Navy in World War II, Albert signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1946 for their debut in the All American Football Conference, becoming the first in a long line of great franchise quarterbacks. In 1948 he led the AAFC with 29 touchdown passes and shared the MVP award with Cleveland’s famed Otto Graham; in addition he was named Pro Football Player of the Year by Sport Magazine. Albert played for the 49ers from 1946 to 1952 and then for the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL in 1953. At age 36, he returned to the 49ers as head coach, compiling a 19-17-1 record over three seasons.
After retiring from football, Albert acquired a minority share in the 49ers. He was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 1956 and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1989. He and his high school sweetheart Marty were married 60 years and raised three daughters, all of whom attended Stanford. Albert died in Palo Alto in 2002.
Paul Child emerged as the first superstar for the San Jose Earthquakes in the North American Soccer League (NASL), leading the league in scoring in 1974 with 15 goals and six assists and propelling San Jose to the playoffs, earning First-Team All-Star honors in the process.
A native of Birmingham, England, Child came to the United States in 1972 from Aston Villa’s youth system to play for the NASL’s Atlanta Chiefs. After two seasons in Atlanta was traded to San Jose, where he excelled and played for the next six seasons, electrifying the Quakes’ offense with his prolific scoring touch and finishing as franchise’s all-time leader goal scoring leader with 61.
Paul Child said, “I loved playing for San Jose in front of the great fans. There were a lot of great players there that made me a better player and were a joy to play with. This is a special honor because San Jose is where it all started for me.”
Child appeared in 149 outdoor games for San Jose, and in 1975, he was named Most Valuable Player of the NASL Indoor Tournament, leading the Quakes to the title at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and scoring seven goals in four games.
Child was named to the U.S. National Team and earned two caps in 1973. Over his career, he played 239 games for four different NASL teams and scored 102 goals, ranking fifth all-time in NASL history. He was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003 and into the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame in 2012.
A South Bay coaching legend, Gary Cunningham retired in 2008 after serving as Bellarmine College Prep’s head baseball coach for 21 seasons, amassing 526 career victories.
Cunningham’s baseball career began at Menlo-Atherton High School where he graduated in 1966. He went on to play centerfield for the San Jose State Spartans for two stellar seasons, establishing a career batting average of .332 while setting three single season and seven two-year batting records.
In 1971, after a brief stint in professional baseball with the San Diego Padres, he began his coaching career at Lynbrook High School. He later taught and coached at Del Mar High School and Mission College, where he was named 1983 Community College Coach of the Year as softball coach, before taking the reins at Bellarmine.
At Bellarmine, Cunningham coached the Bell’s to nine WCAL titles in the extremely competitive West Catholic Athletic League. His teams won the CCS Championship three times and had an overall win-loss record of 526-185. Some of his fondest memories include coaching his sons Kevin, Kelly and Patrick. He also coached several Major League Baseball players including Kevin Frandsen who currently plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, and Pat Burrell, who earned a World Series title with the San Francisco Giants.
In the coaching community, Cunningham was known as an expert and connoisseur of trick plays, and while he was also a brilliant tactician and teacher of baseball fundamentals, he enjoyed springing the occasional surprise on an unsuspecting opponent, usually with great success.
Cunningham coached baseball and softball in high school and community college for 38 years (1971 – 2008) where his teams won league and divisional titles in each sport at both levels. His overall coaching record stands at 823 – 375.
His countless honors include CCS Honor Coach for Baseball in 2006, American Baseball Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year in 2006, California Coaches Association Baseball Coach of the Year in 2007 and Santa Clara County Hot Stove Lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2009. San Jose State also presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In 2012, Cunningham was inducted into the Bellarmine College Preparatory Athletic Hall of Fame.
In a storied 33-year coaching career, Tara VanDerveer has established herself as one of the top coaches in the history of collegiate and international women's basketball.
An ambassador for Stanford University and the sport of college basketball, VanDerveer has enjoyed an unprecedented level of success, with an energetic and positive approach to the game as her trademark. A 14-time conference coach of the year (12 Pac-12, two Big Ten), VanDerveer has accumulated an impressive 861-200 record during her career.
VanDerveer possesses the third-highest career winning percentage among Division I women's basketball coaches, and has won two NCAA Championships and 23 conference titles (20 Pac-12, three Big Ten). Her team’s 2013 trip to the NCAA Tournament was the 26th postseason appearance and 10th Final Four trip of her career.
In 1996, VanDerveer led the USA Basketball National Team in a undefeated season, going 60-0 and ultimately winning the gold medal in Atlanta, and VanDeerver was honored as the 1996 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year. She was also selected as the 1996 USOC Elite Basketball Coach of the Year.
On December 22, 2010, VanDerveer became the fifth Division I women's basketball coach to win 800 games with a Cardinal win over the University of San Francisco. Entering the 2013-14 season VanDerveer is six wins shy of becoming the fifth Division I women's basketball coach to win 900 games.
Regarded in the sport as one of the most well-respected and dynamic coaches in the country, Vanderveer’s coaching tree includes many of the brightest minds in the sport, as eighteen of her players and assistant coaches have gone on to pursue their careers in coaching and basketball management. VanDerveer was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, and in 2011 she was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.