The CCCAA Sports Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed in California community college athletics. It honors those who have made the most of their experiences as California community college student-athletes, coaches and administrators while maximizing their own potential to better themselves along with those with whom they come in contact.
This year’s class will be inducted on March 29 at the Hilton Concord during the organization’s annual convention. It will add to a Hall of Fame which was founded in 1984 and currently numbers 131 members.
“We’re honored to recognize an impressive class of Hall of Fame inductees,” said Carlyle Carter, Executive Director and CEO/President of the CCCAA, who announced the class on Thursday. “Their achievements and contributions have benefitted our community colleges directly and brought prestige to our institutions, and we are thrilled to honor them.”
HERMAN EDWARDS (Monterey Peninsula College; Monterey; 1973; football student-athlete)
Before Edwards was an All-NFC defensive back for the Philadelphia Eagles - who he helped lead to a berth in Super Bowl XV in 1981 - and before he coached in the NFL and a TV analyst, he was a star football player at Monterey Peninsula College, where he played around two stints at nearby Cal and a senior season at San Diego State.
Edwards only played for Monterey Peninsula in 1973 but he made an indelible mark on the program, both on and off the field. On the gridiron, Edwards earned all-state honors after intercepting 10 passes for head coach and mentor Chris Pappas, including a season-high four in a single game.
But the Lobos, who went 7-2 that season, benefitted from Edwards’ leadership in other areas. His positive attitude and encouragement and motivation for every player – particularly the reserves – set him apart and left a lasting impression on his hometown college.
Edwards eventually went on to an NFL career that saw him pick off 33 passes and become a defensive force for the Eagles’ team that advanced to the Super Bowl. He later coached the New York Jets, became an author and is currently a football analyst for ESPN.
DERRICK DEESE (El Camino College; Torrance; 1988-89; football student-athlete)
Like Edwards, Deese has experienced the Super Bowl, the pinnacle of professional football. It is just one proud moment, however, among many for the 14-year San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers former offensive lineman, who not only earned his associate of art degree from El Camino in just three semesters but has remained close to the college in his retirement.
Deese earned All-Mission Conference and All-America honors for the Warriors over his two-year El Camino playing career in 1989-90. He helped lead the team to a 19-2-1 record in those two seasons but, just as importantly, he credits community college for teaching him about “work ethic, victory and success.”
Deese’s success at El Camino led to a scholarship to nearby USC and later a decorated NFL career primarily spent with the 49ers. He was a rookie starter at right guard when San Francisco beat the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. Deese started 132 games in his long career.
He’s already a member of the El Camino College Athletic Hall of Fame and the California JC Football Hall of Fame. Deese has helped conduct football camps at El Camino and assisted in campus foundation and athletics events. He earned further distinction last year when he was invited to deliver the keynote address during El Camino College’s commencement.
JESSE OROSCO (Santa Barbara City College; baseball student-athlete)
Orosco was the definition of longevity and durability during his 24-year Major League career. He pitched in a record 1,252 games - almost exclusively as a left-handed relief specialist – and had 144 career saves. Orosco, who was an All-Western State Conference pick that helped lead Santa Barbara City College to the 1978 league title, was also a two-time MLB All-Star.
But, to the casual baseball fan, Orosco is probably best remembered for striking out Marty Barrett of the Boston Red Sox for the final out of Game 7 of the 1986 World Series, dropping to his knees in front of the mound while throwing his glove into the air, and waiting for his New York Mets teammates to pile on him to celebrate their title.
It was the first of two championships for Orosco, who added another one in 1988 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He won 87 career games, including 13 in 1983 when he added 17 saves for the Mets and finished third in the voting for the Cy Young Award.
A 1978 draft pick of the Minnesota Twins, Orosco made his Major League debut a year later and contributed to nine different teams before retiring in 2003 at the age of 46. His connections to Santa Barbara City College continued with his daughter, Natalie, who was a key player for the Vaqueros’ softball team from 2012-13.
MARILYN WILLIAMS (Butte College; Oroville, softball coach/administrator)
Butte College was barely five years old when Williams joined the campus faculty in 1972 but it didn’t take long for her to put her stamp on its future when she was charged with starting the women’s athletic program in 1974. It is a stamp that continued to deliver during her nearly 30 years of involvement as an administrator, coach and faculty member.
A graduate of nearby Chico State, Williams joined Butte College after several years as a teacher at the junior high school, high school and community college levels. But it was her role in building Butte’s women’s program where her legacy has been felt the most. Williams was a successful softball coach in the Golden Valley Conference and was the women’s sport representative to the GVC for 23 years.
Her interests took her to statewide service as the women’s golf and basketball representative to the Commission on Athletics (COA) – the predecessor to the CCCAA – from 1980-88. Williams held roles during her career as the first-ever treasurer of the State Committee on Physical Education, was elected Vice Chair of the COA in 1986 and was later selected as chairperson of the COA.
Williams’ contributions and achievements have already been recognized with her induction into Hall of Fames for Chico State Athletics (1997), Butte Community College (1999) and Chico Community Sports (2008).