Edith Noriega | Sports Editor
Oct. 30, 2014
Gary McCord, Luann Ryon and Dave Almquist went from memorable athletes to immortalized legends Oct. 17. The three were among the members enshrined in the Riverside City College Athletic Hall of Fame as the Class of 2014.
RCC also included four pioneers of women’s athletics in the Contributor category and the Bohling for longstanding support, Riverside educator and community leader Dell Roberts was also honored.
McCord and Ryon were among the most successful stars on the field in the early 1970s, while Almquist was a member of the RCC water polo team as a coach.
Ryon, Olympic Gold Medalist in the 70-meter individual archery competition in the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games, was the first member of the night inducted.
Ryon said during the ceremony that she owed gratitude to a woman that was very instrumental in her start in archery. Sonia Doshna, who was the first archery teacher Ryon had during her first semester of archery practice and was the reason why she ended up joining the RCC archery team.
“I feel really honored to finally get recognized from RCC after so many years,” Ryon said near the end of her speech.
Ryon will go down in RCC history as the 1975 RCC Female Athlete of the Year, five-time California State Champion (1976-1978, 1980 and 1982) and a gold medalist in the 1977 Women’s World Championship, shooting a 2,515 to set a women’s world record.
Ryon, now retired enjoys her days in Riverside with her family and friends.
McCord played in over 400 PGA Tour events. His best two finishes was second at the Greater Milwaukee Open in 1975 and 1977. Two-time Division II All-American at UC Riverside, won the NCAA Division-II individual championship in 1970.
The great mustachioed, one easily flowed into laughter’s with one of his many amusing times at RCC.
“They gave me some money for cleaning all the gym clothes here at RCC,” McCord said. “So when I would go from golf to basketball the same day, I’d sit in the gym underneath (RCC), there are giant washer and dryers. I’d sit there all night washing all the gym clothes and doing my homework.”
“And I’d get on that Honda 50 and go 12 miles freezing my rear end off every night and I’m going this is a little too much you know,” McCord said. “A couple of months prior, I was in high school jacking around doing nothing and then all of a sudden you get all of these things hit you and you go, life’s pretty hard now. It really taught me discipline real quick from doing all that stuff to trying to go to school, paying for the house, child, wife and Honda 50.”
Among many of McCord’s accomplishments on the field he was also a very prominent golf analyst. At age 37 in 1986, he joined CBS Sports as a golf analyst, a capacity in which he still serves. He is noted for his frankness, a characteristic that has seen him grilled from the CBS commentary team for The Masters.
The ceremony wrapped up with Almquist, which is appropriate given how much he’s given to the game and how successful he was as both a player and a head coach.
Before Almquist was head coach, he set the then single-season scoring record for goals (60) at RCC.
Almquist led Riverside City College women’s water polo team to numerous championships in three decades of coaching, including the 2007 team, which went undefeated. He was also the assistant coach of the United States Men’s National team from 1984-1988, which included the 1988 silver medal winning team that competed in Seoul, South Korea.
In Almquist’s 2009 season a winning streak of over 50 straight matches began, which was the longest in the program’s history. Also during the years of the program’s championship run, a big part of the program success has been the coaching philosophy of Almquist, which accentuated team devotedness and unselfish play.
In closing remarks women’s athletics has also been an essential part of RCC since 1921. Thanks to the efforts of pioneering women in physical education and athletics like Catherine S. Huntley from 1926-62, Doshna, from1965-89, Natalie Ringlund and Lois Cregsy.
Charlie Bohling and his wife, Donna were presented the Bengal Award in acknowledgement of their longtime support of Tigers Athletics.
The 2014 President’s Award went to RCC alumnus and former football player Dell Roberts. Roberts build a reputation as a loyal advocate of adolescence activities and sports. He coached football for 21 years, founding the Black Student’s Union in Riverside area schools, and served as a volunteer and on boards of local organizations such as the Riverside City College District foundation.