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Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
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Mr. Gaucho Turns 80

UCSB throw a birthday party for long-time supporter Phil Womble on Sunday. Womble has been an ardent fan of Gaucho athletics since the 1960s

Phil Womble is joined by long-time friends John Zant, left, and Donn Bernstein at his 80th birthday party. Zant is a local sports writer and Bernstein is a former director of sports information at UCSB. They all met at UCSB in the 1960s. Click to view larger
Phil Womble is joined by long-time friends John Zant, left, and Donn Bernstein at his 80th birthday party. Zant is a local sports writer and Bernstein is a former director of sports information at UCSB. They all met at UCSB in the 1960s. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk photo)

It’s been a milestone year in the life of long-time UC Santa Barbara super fan and inspiration Phil Womble.

In June, his beloved Gaucho baseball team advanced to the College World Series for the first time.

And, on Sunday, he celebrated his 80th birthday with friends and UCSB staff at the Phil Womble Hall of Champions in the university’s Intercollegiate Athletics building.

Womble has been an ardent support of the Gauchos for nearly 50 years. He was inducted into the UCSB Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005 and had the Hall christened in his honor in 2008.

The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table each month presents the Phil Womble Ethics in Sports Award, to a high school junior for setting a good example on the field and in the classroom and always doing the right thing to help the team, school and community.

Womble wrote a book, “Never Give Up,” in which he tells his story about living with cerebral palsy. He’s lived decades beyond his projected lifespan.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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