As a husband and father of six children, C.J. Mitchell attended Columbia Basin College over a
14-year period, earning an AA Degree in 1970 while working multiple jobs. Involvement in sports is the name of C.J. Mitchell’s game – from playing, to coaching, to officiating, and promoting sports, C.J. has had continuous sports involvement with Columbia Basin College for over 50 years. His achievements are too numerous to list, but highlights include:
C.J. served on the Columbia Basin College Board of Trustees from 1971-1976. He was selected as the Alumnus of the Year in 1997, and honored with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit Award in1998.
Larry Hattemer worked at CBC from 1967 to 1979, spending eight of those years as the Athletic Director. A man of many hats, Hattemer served as an assistant coach for football, baseball, basketball, and track. He performed in each of these coaching roles in 1972 and 1973, after he had assumed the role as AD. Hattemer also served as the head coach for tennis.
During his administrative and coaching careers, Hattemer was an integral part of 12 NWAACC championships. Ten of those were claimed while serving as Athletic Director at the college.
In 1979, Hattemer joined the football coaching staff at Eastern Washington University, where he served as the Assistant Athletic Director in addition to his coaching duties. He retired from EWU in 1991.
Hattemer was also recognized in 1992 by the WIAA Football Coaches Association, receiving the “Gold Helmet” award for his contributions to high school athletics.
His accomplishments as a coach and administrator were officially recognized around the northwest when he was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 1989. Hattemer was inducted into the EWU Hall of Fame as an administrator and coach in the fall of 2013.
Clint Didier - Football
football career began at Connell High School before he took his talents
to junior college powerhouse Columbia Basin College. In 1978, Didier and
his Hawk teammates brought home the National Junior College Football
Championship. Didier was recruited to Portland State University
by run-and-shoot passing guru Darrel "Mouse" Davis. As a senior, Didier
was the favorite target of All-American quarterback Neil Lomax, leading
the team with 67 receptions for 1,091 yards. Didier still ranks among
the top 10 in receiving in PSU history despite playing only two seasons.
Didier played nine seasons in the National Football League
with the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers. In Super Bowl XVII
in 1983, Didier threw the block that helped spring John Riggins'
game-winning touchdown run in the 27-17 victory over Miami.In Super Bowl
XXII in 1988, Didier caught a touchdown pass from Doug Williams to cap a
Super Bowl record 35 point outburst in the second quarter as Washington
clobbered Denver 42-10. Clint Didier is a member of the NWAACC Hall of
Fame, PSU Hall of Fame, and the Central Washington Sports Hall of Fame.
After an injury-plagued season at Washington State
University, Ramberg transferred to Easter Washington University where he
was reunited with former CBC football coaches Dick Zornes and Larry
Hattemer. Tom Ramberg was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 2012.
Mark Kafentzis - Football
Kafentzis, the oldest of five brothers to star at the University of Hawaii, excelled in wrestling, track, and football during his high school days at Richland. As a Bomber, Kafentzis shone primarily in football, where he garnered All Big-Nine Conference and All-Area honors on both sides of the ball his senior year. His talents led him to junior college powerhouse Columbia Basin College where, in 1978, Kafentzis and his Hawk teammates brought home the National Junior College Football Championship. In his year at CBC, Kafentzis was named All-Conference defensive back and All-American as a kick return specialist. Kafentzis' success at CBC drew the interest of several big name colleges, but Kafentzis opted for lesser-known Hawaii. His decision paid big dividends. Playing under Coach Dick Tomey, Kafentzis' stellar career at UH culminated in his being named to the "All-Rainbow Team" of the 1980s. The success he had at Hawaii led to a seventh-round selection by the NFL's Cleveland Browns. After a year with the Browns, Kafentzis moved on to play (and start) in the defensive secondary for the Baltimore, and then later, Indianapolis Colts. With the Colts, Kafentzis was known for his work ethic, toughness, and willingness to sacrifice for his team. After a short stint with the Houston Oilers, Kafentzis' NFL career came to an end in 1987 due to injury.
Dave McKay - Baseball
David Lawrence McKay (born March 14, 1950 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a former major league baseball player and a longtime coach. Despite not having a baseball team at his high school and only playing about 12 games a year as a teen, McKay evolved into a big league prospect. After receiving scholarships from Columbia Basin Junior College (’69 and ’70) and Creighton University, the determined Canadian signed with the Minnesota Twins on June 20, 1971. As an active player, he was an infielder for the Minnesota Twins, Toronto Blue Jays (where he was a player for the maiden edition of the Jays as an expansion team) and the Oakland Athletics. He is the father of Cody McKay. The 2011 season marked McKay's 28th consecutive campaign as a major league coach, a tenure spent with two teams: the Athletics ('84-'95) and St. Louis Cardinals (since 1996). He has a total of 35 major league seasons. Every year of his coaching career has been spent as a first-base coach. He has been associated with Tony LaRussa since the midpoint of the 1986 season, and has coached on six pennant-winning and three world championship teams: the 1989 Athletics and the 2006 and 2011 Cardinals. One of the game’s hardest working and most respected coaches, McKay owns six World Series rings and 3 for winning the World Series. LaRussa has retired and McKay is now with the Chicago Cubs. He and his wife, Lena, live in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, elected in 2001.
Byron Beck - Basketball
Byron Beck was the most dominant inside force in the history of CBC basketball. He led CBC to the Washington Junior College Association championships in 1964 and 1965. The 6’8” center from Kittitas led the Hawks in rebounding and was second in scoring over his two-year career at CBC. He recorded 26 points and 22 rebounds in his final home game and went on to be named the 1965 state JC tournament MVP after scoring 32 points in the championship game. Beck then starred at the University of Denver and was the first player chosen by the Denver Rockets in the 1967 American Basketball Association draft. He played ten years for Denver (Rockets/Nuggets) and was a two-time ABA all-star. Beck was considered one of the best pure shooters in franchise history and his sweeping hook shot was nearly impossible to defend. He was the first player to have his number retired by the Nuggets. Beck set the standard for athletic excellence at CBC.
Darrell Keller - Wrestling Darrell Keller was one of the most prolific athletes in the history of CBC. His prowess on the wrestling mat was unequaled in the 40 years of the CBC Wrestling program. Keller excelled at every level of the sport. He went 22-0 as a high school senior in winning the state crown. As a CBC freshman, Keller went 20-0 while winning the National Junior College Championship with a 22-0 decision in the title match. He was selected as the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the National Tournament. Keller transferred to Oklahoma State University where he was a two-time All-American for the Cowboys. In 1970, Keller won the NCAA championship, as well as the U.S. Wrestling Federation Freestyle National Championship. The following year he won the Big Eight Conference title, a second NCAA National Championship, and was named the NCAA’s Outstanding Wrestler in 1971.
1978 Football Team
The 1978 CBC Football team gave the College its only national championship in school history. The Hawks went 10-0 and were voted the top junior college football team in the nation by the two national J-C football publications at season’s end. Led by an airtight defense that limited opposing teams to an average of less than 150 yards of total offense per game, and a high powered running game on offense; the Hawks demolished their opponents week after week and beat Mt. Hood in the NWAACC championship game. The Hawks claimed four All-Americans from that team: offensive tackle John Little, running back Tom Ramberg, defensive back Mark Kafentzis, and defensive lineman Dave Schneider. CBC was proud to induct them as the first team into the Wall of Fame.
1963-64 Basketball Team
The 1963-64 CBC basketball team won the Washington Junior College Association Championship with a perfect 27-0 record. The crown was the fourth of five championships in a row for Coach Jim Rodgers and assistants Len Pyne and Dale Gier. The ’63-’64 Hawks put up incredible numbers, averaging 85 points per game while giving up just 62 per game. CBC scored 100 or more points three times, including a record 112 in one game. The Hawks dispatched Grays Harbor in a best-of-three championship series in two straight games – both on the Chokers’ home court in Aberdeen. It was the third time CBC defeated Grays Harbor during the year. For the season, John Rucker led a balanced CBC attack averaging 15.2 points per game while Byron Beck averaged 14.3, and Jerry Skaife and Theartis Wallace, 12.2 apiece. The Hawk roster also included Larry McIntyre, Mike Dahl, Dave Simpson, Bob Stromer, Wendell Jones, Jim Cox, Dick Brown, and Don Detrick.
Dale Gier - Coach, instructor, administrator
Dale Gier was elected into the NWAACC Roll of Honor in 1991 after an illustrious career at CBC. When Gier came to CBC in 1963, he was hired as an assistant coach for football, basketball and baseball. He was promoted to head coach in 1965. During the six years he coached athletics, CBC accounted for 12 league championships. In 1969, Gier took a two-year leave of absence to earn his Doctorate of Education from Washington State University. Upon his return to CBC, he was placed in charge of a new state mandate to extend adult education programs. He did this by establishing Adult Basic Education, English as a Second Language, General Education Development, and social and human services programs. Gier also wrote curriculum for many courses and taught an array of subjects as an instructor. As Dean for Community and Continuing Education for 18 years, Gier worked with the community to meet emerging needs, establish new programs, coached AAU as well as Junior Olympics, and volunteered throughout the Tri-Cities.
Edward Maxwell - Coach
During his 29 years of service to CBC, Edward Maxwell played an instrumental role in the growth and success of the school’s Athletic department. Maxwell began his career at CBC in the fall of 1966 and retired in the spring of 1995. During his five-year tenure as head baseball coach, the Hawks compiled a record of 90 wins and 58 losses. His teams never had a losing season. In 1967 and 1970, his teams posted identical 21-9 records with second place finishes in the East Region. In 1971, his team finished third in the NWAACC playoffs. Twelve of his players went on to sign professional contracts. During his tenure at CBC, Maxwell served as the head women’s basketball coach, head men’s track coach, head baseball coach, women’s assistant golf coach, and assistant football coach. Maxwell served five years as the Division Head of the Health and Physical Education department and founded CBC’s intramural program, of which he served as the coordinator and director. After receiving nominations by his department and a presidential recommendation, the Board of Trustees granted him Faculty Emeritus status in October of 1995.
Jim Rodgers - Coach
Jim Rodgers left his position as an assistant basketball coach at the University of Washington to take over the fledgling program at CBC in 1960. After an incredibly successful seven-year run at the helm of the program, his overall record stood at 155-33. Rodgers’ coaching career was off to a memorable start with three consecutive NWAACC titles in his first three seasons. At the end of his third season, Rodgers’ players were getting recruited everywhere and almost all went on to success at four-year schools. In 1964, with a team of all-stars, nearly every game was a lopsided win. The Hawks completed a perfect 28-0 season with the program’s fourth consecutive title. The word around the northwest was that the second best junior college team in the state was the non-starters at CBC. In 1965, Rodgers’ program won its fifth NWAACC Championship in a row, a record that remained unbroken at the time of his induction. Over the course of Rodgers’ seven years at CBC, he led his teams to five championships, one runner-up finish, and one sixth place finish.
Ray Washburn - Baseball
Ray Washburn played collegiate baseball at CBC in 1959 before signing an amateur free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960. Washburn, a right-hander, pitched for the Cardinals from 1961 to 1969, and the Cincinnati Reds in 1970. He was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 1998. Washburn won 12 games for the Cardinals as a rookie. He also won 21 games in a two-year stretch after recovering from a serious shoulder injury, ultimately helping the Cardinals defeat the Boston Red Sox in the 1967 World Series. 1968 was Washburn’s best season; he won a career high 14 games while posting a career low 2.26 ERA. His 124 strikeouts that season were also a career high. Washburn also made history on September 18th by no-hitting the San Francisco Giants 2-0 at Candlestick Park, just 16 hours after Gaylord Perry no-hit the Cardinals the previous day. Over his major league career Washburn won 72 games with a 3.59 earned run average over 1,210 innings pitched. He also pitched in three World Series with the Cardinals and Reds.
John Howard - Coach
John Howard, former CBC coach, was elected into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 1997 and the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1980 after an illustrious 38-year coaching career at CBC. When Howard came to CBC in 1964, he revived a wrestling program that became a powerhouse on the west coast. It took him three years to revitalize the program, but in his fourth year as head coach, CBC won 53 straight dual meets, a winning streak that lasted four years. In 1971, he guided CBC to its first championship in the Washington Athletic Association of Community Colleges. During his time at the College, Howard coached eight wrestlers to individual championships, including two national champions, Darrell Keller and Gil Daminani. Howard left an incredible sports legacy when he retired from CBC in 2002. Besides being known for reviving the wrestling program, he also coached football, golf, and tennis while teaching in the Physical Education department. The CBC golf program claimed 10 NWAACC Championships under Coach Howard, and he was part of the coaching staff that placed 16 players in the National Football League.
Joyce Halsey - Humanitarian
Joyce Halsey may not have been a coach at CBC, but her service, enthusiasm, and devotion to the CBC Athletic department was far greater than most of those who spent their time on the field. In 1990, Halsey was recognized for her dedication to athletics and was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame. Halsey was hired as the secretary for the Athletic and Physical Education departments at CBC in January 1963. But acting as the secretary wasn’t Halsey’s only duty; she did much of the work that is now distributed among many people in the Athletic department. Halsey was the stand-in mother for many athletes that were far from home. She often had them over for dinner, holidays, and she treated them like her own children. In fact, the students loved Halsey so much, that during halftime of the championship football game, she was asked to come down to the field where the team surprised her by dedicating their winning year to her.
Leonard Pyne - Coach
Len Pyne worked at CBC from 1956 to 1985, spending seven of those years as the head baseball coach, during which his teams won two Northwest championships. As head golf coach, he took his teams through eight Northwest championships, and during all seven years as assistant coach for men’s basketball, the Hawks won seven straight championships. Pyne was a man of many hats. He was the head of the Physical Education department, athletic director, assistant basketball coach, and head baseball coach all at the same time. His accomplishments as a coach were officially recognized around the northwest when he was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 1990. Pyne emphasized speed, recruiting the fastest athletes he could. He says he figured he could teach them how to hit, as long as they were strong pitchers, catchers, and especially, fast runners. He credits his speedy athletes for his teams’ success. He is proud of the students he coached, including players like Ray Washburn who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds. Fifteen of his former baseball players went on to play professionally.
Margaret Racy - Coach, visionary
Margaret Racy has seen the evolution of women’s athletics. Her contributions were formally recognized when she was inducted into the NWAACC Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1957, Racy came to work as a part-time physical education teacher for CBC. At that time, women’s competitive sports were not sanctioned by the school, but that didn’t stop this pioneer from letting her female students compete. Before the passing of Title IX, Racy joined the Northwest College Women's Sports Association and the Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Women, neither of which was sanctioned by the Washington state community colleges. It wasn’t until 1972 that women’s competitive athletic teams were recognized and supported in the United States; and it was another three years before she was paid for her coaching job. She eventually saw that equality in 1979, when women’s teams were finally recognized by the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges. Racy had to fight the system to get funding, recognition, and equality for women’s athletics. Through her dedication and determination, she was able to build the foundation for the women’s athletic programs we have today.
Dwight Pool - Coach
Dwight Pool began his successful 23-year coaching career at CBC in 1959. During his five years as the CBC football coach, Pool compiled a 40-3-2 record. His brilliant career was rewarded in 1962 when the Hawks were invited to Pasadena to play in the Junior Rose Bowl. The Hawks finished the 1962 season 8-0-1, which was their second straight unbeaten season. CBC was the first and only junior college from Washington to play in the Junior Rose Bowl. Pool was not only known for his great play calling and strategies he used on the field, but for being a “player’s coach.” Throughout his career, Pool was the driving-force in helping numerous young men achieve their goals, both on the football field and in life. During his 15 seasons coaching at the junior college level, Pool compiled a 92-24-3 record, including seven NWAACC titles and the Rose Bowl berth. Pool has been inducted to three additional halls of fame: the Washington Coaches Hall of Fame, the Inland Empire Hall of Fame, and the Junior College Hall of Fame.
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