SANTA BARBARA - Booker Brown played three sports in high school but once he focused on football, it was all over for the opponents.
"When I used to sit in this center and look out on that ocean, I'm thinking, 'Hey I grew up in Mississippi as part of a sharecropper family and we didn't have running water in the house. But we had food on the table and we had love,' " said Brown.
"I love playing football because it gives you the ability to beat people up. I've always enjoyed beating people up playing football because it's legal. I always enjoyed winning and being the best at what I was doing. And I had great coaches and players who helped me do it. Guys like Sam 'Bam' Cunningham who's here tonight. This guy was jumping over the top of people in the Rose Bowl with the biggest crowd in history.
"The opportunity to play at Santa Barbara City College in one of the greatest environments on this Earth is something I'll never forget. The love that you have is transferred between everyone here, even the people you don't know. That makes it a family and when you say I'm part of this family, that's one of the greatest blessings and one of the most special things you could have ever done for me."
Brown was one of seven coaches and athletes inducted into the first SBCC Vaqueros Hall of Fame on Saturday night at the SBCC Campus Center. The Class of 2019 featured four athletes, three coaches and the Vaqueros' first state championship team, the 1977 women's track & field squad.
The HOF athletes are Booker Brown (football), Gary Woods (baseball), Marina Gomez (volleyball, basketball, track & field) and Debbie Ekola (tennis). The coaches/administrators are Bud Revis, Bob Dinaberg and Pat Moorhouse.
It was an interesting dynamic as Dinaberg and Moorhouse had coached three of the inductees – Brown, Gomez and Ekola.
"Establishing a Hall of Fame has been a goal of mine since my first day on the job," said Rocco Constantino, who just finished his second year as Director of Athletics. "I am thrilled with the support I have gotten from our coaches, staff and the community for our first Hall of Fame banquet.
"Santa Barbara City College has such a rich history of excellence in athletics that it's only right to recognize the elite players, coaches and contributors that are part of our legacy."
SBCC Vaqueros Hall of Fame
Class of 2019
Bob Dinaberg: The Vaqueros longest-tenured football coach and 22-year athletic director was the first one inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He came to SBCC as the head football coach in 1969 and compiled a 119-62-3 record in 18 years, capturing eight WSC titles. He led the 1982 squad to a 38-20 victory over L.A. Harbor in the Mission Bowl.
He was named College Coach of the Year three times by the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table and was the first chair of the CCC Football Coaches All-State selection committee.
Dinaberg served as athletic director from 1978-2000 and received numerous accolades. Among his accomplishments were starting the Vaquero Classic golf tournament, founding the Student Athletic Assistance Program to help combat substance abuse, starting four sports without college funding through fundraising efforts, building an all-weather track and forming an important joint-use facility agreement with the city of Santa Barbara.
He's been married to his wife Joan for 60 years and has two daughters, Leslie and Pam.
Pat Moorhouse: Moorhouse won an amazing 90% of the games she coached in women's volleyball and women's tennis with a record of 378-44 and an eye-opening 19 WSC titles in 21 years.
Her proudest achievement is having a role in the development of the Women's Sports program at SBCC as a coach and administrator.
Moorhouse won WSC titles in five of her six seasons as women's volleyball coach. In her second season, she guided the Vaqueros to a 30-4 record and third place in the state tournament. Her record was 128-16 (.889).
She was even better in 15 years as the head coach of women's tennis. Her teams went 250-28 (.900) and won 14 of 15 WSC championships.
Moorhouse was a pioneer in women's sports. She was WSC Coach of the Year 10 times in tennis and four times in volleyball. She was the CCC State Coach of the Year in 1991.
She entered her fifth Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Moorhouse is the proud mother of Jeff Moorhouse and Pam Naylor and has six grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Bud Revis: Known as the George Washington of SBCC athletics, Revis was a pioneer in the 1950s when he started the athletic program and served as coach of many of the teams he founded. At one point, he was the head coach of football, men's basketball and baseball at the same time.
He worked at SBCC from 1951 to 1976 and in his 25 years, he gave hundreds of student-athletes a chance to play for the Vaqueros. In addition to serving as athletic director, he was also the chairman of the Physical Education department, chairman of the Athletics Committee, commissioner of the South Central Conference, was on the selection committee of the Junior Rose Bowl and Potato Bowl, served as lecturer and professor of Physical Education and Health and was on the planning committee of the SBCC Athletics Complex.
Revis, who passed away in 2002, was inducted into the SBART Hall of Fame in 1978.
At the time of his retirement, the SBART remarked that Revis, "saw the program grow from two sports that freelanced to a full sports program that is a power to be reckoned with in their conference."
Booker Brown: The former Santa Barbara High star played for SBCC in 1970-71, right as Dinaberg was starting his coaching career and dominated a football game the way few offensive linemen can. He was named Offensive Player of the Year in the Western State Conference, the rarest of feats for an offensive lineman.
He was first-team All-State and the top vote-getter in the state as well as first-team National JC Gridwire.
"He played offensive tackle in his first year," Dinaberg recalled. "In his second year, we moved our offense around, so he was at the point of attack 80% of the time. I tried to run those same plays years after he left and it just didn't work. He was so quick and talented."
Brown got a scholarship to play for legendary coach John McKay at USC and was a key member of their 1972 national championship team. He was the most decorated offensive lineman in the country as he was named to six All-American teams.
In 1974, he signed what was at the time the richest contract for an offensive lineman with the Southern California Sun of the new World Football League. The league folded after two years and he joined the San Diego Chargers in the NFL in 1975, blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts.
Brown currently resides in Mojave, Calif., where he's a pastor. He's been married to Jacqueline for 26 years and they have seven sons and 23 grandchildren.
Gary Woods: The former San Marcos High standout played for the Vaqueros in 1972-73 and was All-WSC both years. He became the first Vaquero to play in the Major Leagues when he was entered a game in the seventh inning on Sept. 14, 1976 as a member of the Oakland A's against Minnesota. The 22-year-old singled in his first Major League at-bat in the ninth.
He played nine years in the majors with Oakland, Toronto, Houston and the Chicago Cubs. He made history after being selected by the Blue Jays in the 1977 MLB Expansion Draft. He was their starting center fielder in their first game and had the first stolen base in Blue Jays' history.
"Gary was an outstanding runner, he was like a gazelle," said Bill Pintard, the manager of the seven-time national champion Santa Barbara Foresters. "He was a cut above who carried himself like a Major Leaguer. He had a quiet dignity about him."
Woods was an outstanding defensive outfielder and earned a spot on the Astros' postseason roster after batting .377 in the last month of the 1980 season. He started in center field in Game 1 of the NLCS and went 2-4 off Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. Woods hit .353 against the talented lefty in his career, the fourth-highest mark of any batter.
After his career ended, he became a respected scout for the Chicago White Sox and also was an assistant with the Foresters. In 1994, he was inducted into the SBART Hall of Fame. A father of three with his wife Susan, he passed away in 2015.
Debbie Ekola: Extremely proficient at tennis and fitness, Ekola came to SBCC in 1978 after an outstanding career at Carpinteria High that saw her earn eight varsity letters in three sports (tennis, track & field, gymnastics).
Moorhouse said Ekola had nearly perfect fundamentals on tennis court. She was the WSC Player of the Year in 1979 and 1980. She didn't lose a regular-season match in singles or doubles in her two seasons.
In 1979, she teamed with her sister, Sherrie Lipson, and was a doubles finalist in the Ojai Tournament. She went on to play at Fresno State.
Ekola returned to SBCC as an assistant tennis coach and then took the head coaching job from her mother, Louella Parsons, in 2009. She went 36-19 in four seasons. She just completed her 36th year as a Physical Education instructor at SBCC.
She and her husband Pete have three sons, Jordan, Jared and Spencer, and two granddaughters. Jared and Spencer both played tennis for the Vaqueros.
Marina Gomez: She was a six-time All-CIF athlete at Bishop Diego High in basketball, volleyball and softball. She didn't start competing in track & field until she arrived at SBCC and she helped the Vaqueros claim their first state title in 1977.
In her first year of track & field, she took second in the state in the shot put (37-0) and she still ranks seventh on SBCC's all-time list in the shot put and discus (130-10¾).
Moorhouse said Gomez was the best athlete she ever coached.
Gomez was the Vaqueros' team MVP in both seasons of her basketball career and led the team to a WSC championship and a 20-7 record in 1978-79 in just their fourth year of existence.
As a sophomore in 1977, she guided the women's volleyball team to a 30-4 record and third place in the state. She went on to play at San Jose State before returning to Santa Barbara to serve as Moorhouse's assistant coach.
She was inducted into the SBART Hall of Fame in 1998.
1977 Women's Track & Field team: Gomez was a member of the six-woman squad that had to overcome the favorites, Ventura and Compton, to claim the 1977 state title at Hartnell College.
Cindy Banks won the discus with a state-record throw of 133-5 and Gomez got an important second place with a personal-best of 130 feet, 10¾ inches. The Vaqueros needed to finish at least third in the mile relay to leap over Compton into first place. The team of Cynthia Sharp, Colleen Lenci, Banks and Barbara Smith won the race by three-tenths of a second to secure the title for Coach Dave Hamer.
SBCC has won 11 state championships in its 69-year athletic history with the most recent one in 2017 by women's water polo.
(Dave Loveton, Santa Barbara City College Athletics)