Thursday, February 22 , 2018, 4:40 pm | Fair 59º

Time Out

Paul Yarbrough: Mike Moropoulos, Ed DeLacy Epitome of Class Acts

What was the top local sporting event of all time? Other than Larry Crandell's touch-football games at Montecito Union School?

» In all of my travels, I still have never met anyone classier than Mike Moropoulos or Ed DeLacy. Moropoulos was the longtime athletic director and football coach at Santa Barbara High, and DeLacy led SBCC to unparalleled basketball success before heading to UCSB where the results were mixed, at best. I sure miss our spontaneous off-the-record lunches at a greasy spoon restaurant on the Mesa ...

Paul Yarbrough
Paul Yarbrough

» What do you think the top local sports event of all-time is? I think mine’s gotta be one of UCSB’s basketball wins over the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV. There was a stretch of years when that was the toughest ticket in town. Every now and then, I toss a VHS tape of the wins at the Thunderdome into the VCR and reminisce. Two to choose from: that first win at home against UNLV on a Saturday afternoon in the late 1980s, with Mike Walden and Lynn Shackelford covering it for television, or that memorable Big Monday game on Feb. 26, 1990 — what would end up being the Runnin’ Rebels’ last loss in a run to the NCAA championship ...

» There was never anything more enjoyable than rounding up the rest of the sports staff on a Sunday afternoon and running up to Montecito Union School to take on Larry Crandell and his sons — Larry Jr., Michael and Steven — in a touch-football game. Larry’s daughter, Leslie, may have played, too. There were also confrontations with Larry on the basketball floor, including more than a few as halftime entertainment during UCSB games, both at Rob Gym and the Thunderdome. Sad thing is, Larry — at 86 years young — could probably still take me one-on-one ...

» Checking the mailbox, er, inbox: Received a nice note from Don Young, Dos Pueblos High Class of 1975, after he read last week’s column. Young is arguably the best baseball player in Dos Pueblos history and was selected by the Atlanta Braves (through scout Eddie Mathews) in the first round of the 1975 major league draft. He received a $40,000 signing bonus (today, add a few zeroes) and the Braves agreed to pay for a good part of his college expenses. He reports that he played three seasons of minor-league ball, “sort of Bull Durham-style but without Susan Sarandon.” He says, “I played three seasons ... I didn’t hit for average or power and struck out a lot — I don’t even think steroids would have helped.” Young graduated from Harvard University in 1982 and Harvard Business School in 1984. He’s now the president and CEO of Aspen Aerogel Inc. in Northborough, Mass. ...

» Another Noozhawk reader, “Dave,” reports that the June edition of Golf Digest has a great Q&A with Phil Mickelson. “Knocked my sox off,” Dave says ...

» DCP writes, “I still miss hearing Chick Hearn from ‘The Fabulous Forum.’” Me, too, DCP. He is looking down and smiling after the team’s latest championship ...

» Martha Lannan reminds that Scott O’Leary Stadium at Dos Pueblos is also a soccer field. Dos Pueblos annually fields strong soccer teams ...

» You have been around awhile if you remember the San Marcos Golf Course, just off Highway 154 above Foothill Road. As with many things, just a neighborhood of houses now. And how long has the pitch ‘n’ putt golf course that used to be on Ward Memorial been gone?

» Where are they now: Frank Carbajal. The highly successful coach brought slow-tempo, but winning, basketball to SBCC. I often reminded him that I had four years of eligibility left, to which he always replied, “And you always will.” Ouch ...

» John Zant was the most amazing, creative writer/reporter I ever worked with. A very close second: Mark Patton. Mark’s dad, Phil, was the Santa Barbara News-Press’ sports editor when I was first hired in 1971. An inspiring, class act himself ...

» What a thrill it was as a teenager to play Junior League baseball games, in full uniform, at Laguna Park. What a shame the city tore it down without much fanfare and that generations followed missed out on the experience.

Noozhawk columnist Paul Yarbrough can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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