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Santa Barbara High School Starting an Athletics Hall of Fame

First induction class includes Randall Cunningham, Ryan Spilborghs, Alison Hardey, Peter and Gerd Jordano

Committee vice chair Joby Nunez expresses his excitement about the start of a Santa Barbara High Athletics Hall of Fame as committee head David Bolton looks on during a press conference in the school’s Alumni Room. Click to view larger
Committee vice chair Joby Nunez expresses his excitement about the start of a Santa Barbara High Athletics Hall of Fame as committee head David Bolton looks on during a press conference in the school’s Alumni Room. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

It’s been long overdue.

Santa Barbara High School is starting an Athletics Hall of Fame.

David Bolton president of the long-time Dons athletics booster group, Ye Olde Gang, and head of the Hall of Fame committee, made the official announcement during a press conference Tuesday in the school’s Alumni Room.

Gerd Jordano and her husband, Peter, are members of the 2017 induction class. The Hall of Fame also will formally enshrine those athletes and coaches recognized by the Dons boosters group Ye Olde Gang. Click to view larger
Gerd Jordano and her husband, Peter, are members of the 2017 induction class. The Hall of Fame also will formally enshrine those athletes and coaches recognized by the Dons boosters group Ye Olde Gang. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

“For decades, the school has produced so many outstanding individuals and so many outstanding achievements,” Bolton said. “And it’s fitting that today, we’re here to announce the official Dons Athletic Hall of Fame.”

The first induction ceremony is set for Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion.

At that event, 77 Dons athletes and coaches who have previously been recognized for their outstanding achievements by Ye Olde Gang, will formally be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, along with the 2017 induction class.

“It is fitting that an athletics department so rich in history, tradition and success establishes a Hall of Fame to honor these outstanding achievements,” said Santa Barbara High Principal John Becchio.

This year's inductees are football and track and field standout Randall Cunningham, tennis star Alison Hardey, baseball player Ryan Spilborghs, and community leaders Peter and Gerd Jordano.

Bolton said all five honorees have confirmed they will be attending the event.

Santa Barbara High has paid tribute to several distinguished student-athletes and coaches of the past in its Walk of Fame in the hall of the administration building. And Ye Olde Gang has honored athletic standouts over the years at special fund-raising dinners.

“We’re going to begin by bringing into the Hall of Fame all of those who have been honored in the past — 40-plus years of Ye Olde Gang,” said Bolton, a Santa Barbara alum.

“The Ye Olde Gang is a group of former Dons that got together back in 1974, celebrating everything that is so special about Santa Barbara High athletics,” he explained. “This small gathering that started out as a barbecue grew into a large dinner, featuring hundreds of people and also resulted in several hundreds of thousands of dollars being contributed by former Dons athletes to the athletic program, the facility infrastructure and other things here at Santa Barbara High School.”

Joby Nunez, a Ye Olde Gang honoree and the vice chair of the Hall of Fame committee, said the Hall “has been a long time coming. I’m real proud to be on this committee. I’m looking so forward to the evening of Jan. 26 to induct this year’s nominees.”

Gerd Jordano, a song leader for the Dons during her high school years in the 1950s, called the induction “an incredible honor. We were so pleasantly surprised to get this invitation."

The Jordanos are involved in the Peabody Stadium renovation project.

“We’re delighted with the work that’s going to be done. We’ve seen the plans for the Peabody Stadium, it’s going to be outstanding,” Jordano said. “It’s going to serve the future athletes of Santa Barbara High School in a great way. The community also will benefit from this beautiful stadium.”

Bolton said the Hall of Fame inductees fall into three categories: athletic achievement, coaching achievement and community leaders. 

“The community leadership category is for those individuals that have done so much for athletics in upholding the tradition and helping the infrastructure and the other things that are so important to continuing the success of Santa Barbara High athletics,” he said.

Tickets for the Hall of Fame Induction Dinner can be purchased at yeolegang.com, or by calling the high school at 805.966.9101, ext. 5006.

Seating is limited to 200; reservations close by Jan. 19. Any questions can be emailed to [email protected]

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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