Athletes Named to Whittier College Hall of Fame

Whittier College News Release

Whittier College
Office of Public Relations
13406 Philadelphia St.
P.O. Box 634
Whittier, CA  90608-0634

Oct. 28, 2002     

Reference: 02/03: 28     

  Judy Browning at (562) 907-4216

Athletes Named to Whittier College Hall of Fame 

          Six Whittier College alumni and one beloved coach will be inducted into the Whittier College Athletic Hall of Fame at the 17th biennial Purple & Gold Club Hall of Fame Dinner beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Whittier Hilton. 

          The new Hall of Famers are Bill Johnston ’61 of Escondido, Calif.; Leon

Kelsoe ’65 of El Centro, Calif.; Herm Mason ’60 of Walnut, Calif.; Charlotte (Michel) Kochman ’91 of Aurora, Colo.; Steve Sanborn ’84 of Whittier; and Lisa Scott ’93 of Pomona, Calif.  The late Dave Jacobs, athletic director of the college when he died last year, will be inducted posthumously as an honorary member.

          According to George Tenopir ’48, chairman of the Hall of Fame committee, candidates are nominated and selected on the basis of their athletic accomplishments while attending Whittier, or their later demonstrated success as a professional athlete.

          Johnston, who also lettered in golf, lettered in men’s basketball and was named to the All-SCIAC (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) three times during his Whittier career, as well as being named to the All District NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) team once.  His team traveled to Kansas City two years in a row for the NAIA National Tournament.

Kelsoe played on the offensive line for the Poet football team.  He lettered two years and was co-captain of the team during the 1963–64 season.  He was named to the All-SCIAC team twice, and made NAIA All-America, NAIA All-District and the UPI All-Pacific Coast teams during his senior year.

Mason was also on the Poet basketball team that went to Kansas City two years in a row.  He lettered two years, and was twice named All-SCIAC and NAIA 1st Team All-District.  He was also named to the NAIA 3rd Team All-American and received NAIA honorable mention All-American honors once.  Mason was team captain during his senior year.

The youngest inductee this year, and a resident of Aurora, Colo., Kochman lettered in swimming and diving all four years at Whittier.  She holds the college record in all four springboard dives—1 meter 6,1 meter 10, 3 meter 6 and 3 meter 11—and was named All-SCIAC all four years.  She participated in the NCAA championships three years in a row, and she was named SCIAC swimmer and diver of the year in 1991.  Her other honors include being named as an All American, team MVP and President’s Scholar Athlete of the Year when she was a senior. 

One of the all-time leaders in track and field at Whittier College, Sanborn lettered and was named Whittier College track and field MVP in each of his four years at the college. He was twice named NCAA All-America in the 400m hurdles, and was named to the All-SCIAC 1st team in the 110m hurdles once, and the 400m hurdles twice.

Scott was outstanding in three different sports at Whittier.  She lettered in softball four years, in women’s volleyball three years and in women’s basketball twice.  In softball, she was named to the All-SCIAC team three times and made the NCAA All-West Region First Team and the All-American 2nd team during her freshman year.  That same year, she was the Purple & Gold Freshman Female Athlete of the Year, and she was Female Athlete of the Year when she was a senior.

Jacobs’ 30-year career at Whittier College began in 1971 when he joined the college as head men’s basketball coach and associate professor of physical education and recreation. He was named director of athletics in 1974, and continued to coach men’s basketball until 1995, when he retired from coaching to devote more time to his other responsibilities.

During his 24 years of coaching, Jacobs’ teams won seven SCIAC championships, competed in six NAIA district championships (winning one) and three NCAA III Western Regionals (winning one).  While Jacobs was head coach, his teams had more than 300 wins, and he was named District Coach of the Year five times.             

Jacobs served as chair of the SCIAC Athletic Directors and the NCAA III Men’s Basketball Committee and as a member of the NCAA Council and the NCAA Championships Committee.  He also established the Whittier College summer sports camp, which has served area youth since the 1970s. 

Located 18 miles east of Los Angeles, Whittier College is an independent, four-year college offering traditional liberal arts majors and strong pre-professional programs taught in the context of the liberal arts.  Whittier Law School, which is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools, is located on a separate campus in Costa Mesa.

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