August 21, 2013

NFL Coach Mora Headlines 2013 HOF Class

More news about: Occidental

LOS ANGELES — A former NFL head coach, a silent film actor, four Olympians, a business tycoon and a pair of Occidental's greatest female athletes make up the second annual class of the Occidental College Athletics Hall of Fame.

The group includes Alphonzo Bell, Class of 1895, for whom the town of Bel Air was named; track stars Percy Hagerman, Class of 1906, Fred Thompson, Class of 1910, and Cliff Argue, Class of 1924; legendary Oxy coach and athletic director Grant Dunlap '46; 15-year NFL coaching veteran Jim Mora '57; 1983 NCAA Division III women's tennis champion Jean Marie (Sanders) Szakovitz '84; and two-time NCAA track champion Jacqui (Dent) Ivey '92.

The group will be inducted with a dinner ceremony on Oct. 18, during homecoming weekend.

The first year's ceremony was a huge success. Oxy's had several single-sport hall of fames, but it wasn't until athletic director Jaime Hoffman spearheaded an effort to begin a department-wide hall of fame that the Tigers could truly celebrate their incredible tradition.

"It was a definitive way of paying tribute to the college's rich history of athletic excellence," Hoffman said. "Watching it come to fruition is one of my prouder accomplishments."

 

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Alphonzo Bell 1895 – A tennis and business legend who won two medals at the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis – a bronze in the men's singles event, and a silver in the men's doubles tournament. During his time at Oxy, Bell was an Inter-Collegiate Tennis Champion, a Pacific Coast Tennis Champion and earned national rankings of fifth in singles and eighth in doubles. Bell eventually became an oil multi-millionaire and renown philanthropist. The Westside Los Angeles residential community Bel Air is named after him.

J. Percy Hagerman 1906 - Was one of Oxy's first great track and field athletes. A perennial contender in three events, Hagerman captained the Tigers his senior year, when he set an Oxy record of 23' 4.5" in the broad jump. He joined Alphonzo Bell 1895 at the 1904 Olympic games, where he finished in sixth place in both the long jump and triple jump as a member of team Canada. He was once named the Southern California Athlete of the Year and also Oxy's Athlete of the 1900 Decade. 

Fred Thomson 1910 – A three-sport athlete at Oxy – a four-year letterman in football, he also played baseball -- Thomson was best known as a record-breaking track athlete who could do it all: run hurdles, high jump, pole vault, shot put, or throw the hammer. Thomson won the 10-event, all-around national Amateur Athletic Union championship in Chicago (a predecessor to the decathlon) the summer he graduated (future Olympic president Avery Brundage finished third). Thomson went on to win two more all-around titles while a student at Princeton Theological Seminary. Thomson became a popular silent film cowboy actor before passing away tragically at the age of 38.

Cliff Argue '24 – Cliff Argue played football and basketball for Oxy and was offered a pro contract in baseball, but it was as a sprinter that he lead the Tigers to three consecutive conference championships and set a college record of 9.8 seconds in the 100. He competed in the 1924 Olympic games in the pentathlon and later served a member of the Southern California Committee for the Olympics. His son John, also an Oxy grad, became a leading civic figure who was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Los Angeles in 1984.

Grant Dunlap '46 - A legend at Oxy for his incredible career as an athlete, coach, administrator and faculty member for 40 years. As an athlete, Dunlap was an All-Conference baseball and basketball player for the Tigers who went on to play Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals for one season in 1953. In 1955, Dunlap came back to coach at Oxy where he led the baseball team to nine conference championships and the basketball team to five. Dunlap was awarded faculty emeritus status by the time he retired in 1984.

Jim Mora '57 – played tight end for the Occidental football team and later served as Oxy's head coach for three seasons before moving on to a very successful 15-year head-coaching career in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts. Mora's NFL teams advanced to the playoffs six different times and the former roommate of Oxy legend Jack Kemp finished with an overall regular season NFL record of 125-106. Mora also enjoyed success as a coach in the United States Football league, earning coach of the year honors in 1984 and leading the Philadelphia Stars to three championship games and one USFL title.  

Jean Marie (Sanders) Szakovits '84 – Szakovits is arguably Oxy's most dominant women's tennis player since Pat Yeomans '38. She led the Tigers to four consecutive appearances at the NCAA Division III nationals, winning a national championship in doubles in 1982 – the same year Oxy won its first-ever national championship in women's tennis -- and a national singles title in 1983.

Jacqui (Dent) Ivey '92 – Perhaps the greatest female track and field student-athlete in Oxy's storied history. Dent stole the show at the 1992 NCAA Division III Outdoor National Championships, winning national championships in the 400 and 800-meter events and a third as the anchor of Oxy's first-place 1,600-meter relay team.  She also earned All-American honors in the 200 that year. She holds Oxy records in the 400, 400 relay, 1,600 relay and the 800.

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