Padres to Honor Alumnus Trevor Hoffman

Congratulations to alumnus Trevor Hoffman, who is being inducted into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame tomorrow. Hoffman, after whom Major League Baseball named an award earlier this year, played for the Cypress College Chargers in 1985-1986. He was also the Cypress College Foundation’s Americana Awards Man of the Year in 2013.

You can read more about Hoffman’s career at Cypress College in an earlier @Cypress Online post about his retirement announcement.

Chargers Baseball Alumnus Featured by

Alumnus Brandon Barnes is the subject of an feature by Thomas Harding which covers his amazing path from Katella High through Cypress College, and finally Major League Baseball, where Barnes is currently finding success with the Colorado Rockies.

The sight of Barnes covered in dirt is a reminder that baseball does have room for the late bloomer.

To think, Barnes, 28, gave up the sport during his senior year of high school — at a time when some folks were being drafted by pro teams — because of circumstances out of his control. Yet here he is. …

“There are a lot of times when I go out there and I’m like, ‘How did I do this?'” Barnes said. “I step out on the field and say, ‘Wow. This is what I dreamed of when I was a kid, and I don’t know how I did this.'”

Following his lone season at Cypress College, Barnes was a sixth-round selection of the Houston Astros in 2005. He made his MLB debut with the club on August 7, 2012 — at that point, the 17th Cypress College Chargers alum to reach “the show.” With the lone exception of former Anaheim Angels catcher Brian Downing, each of Cypress College’s MLB players have been coached by Scott Pickler, who has won five state championships (1991, 1994, 1997, 2003, 2013).


Educator Rosas is Recipient of 2014 Outstanding Alumna Award

Reyna Rosas, 2014 Outstanding Alumna
Reyna Rosas, 2014 Outstanding Alumna

Reyna Rosas ended up at Cypress College because that’s what she told a Los Angeles Superior Court judge was her intention. Her statement — and, the way Rosas tells the story, it was more declaration than promise — became reality thanks to the intervention of a stranger, who paid Rosas’ tuition. In 1980, Rosas took a job working overnight in a fast food restaurant as employment and a safe haven for shelter, and showered in the campus locker room before morning classes. To supplement her income and help pay for classes, she also worked on campus.

That was her humble introduction to higher education.

Rosas continued her education since earning her associate’s degree here at Cypress College in 1982. Four years later, she earned her bachelor of arts in Physical Education and Kinesiology at California State University, Long Beach. In 1998, she earned her master of arts in the same field, with an emphasis on Sports Management. She also earned a single-subject teaching credential in physical education from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Today, Rosas is a decorated middle-school teacher with over 20 years of experience as a mentor, and coach of multiple sports for boys and girls teams at Jessie Elwin Nelson Academy, in Signal Hill. She is a four-term union board of director for the Teachers Association of Long Beach. She has also coached community college basketball and worked as an adjunct faculty member at Southern California community colleges, including Cypress College.

She has one son, Aiden, who is 7.

Alumnus Peter Brandon to Play at Cypress Community Festival

Peter Brandon

The Orange County Breeze reports that Cypress College alumnus, and Chargers baseball champion, Peter Brandon will perform at the Cypress Community Festival this summer. From the publication:

Country artist Peter Brandon will be performing live in Cypress on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at the annual Cypress Community Festival. In 1993 Peter attended Cypress College and played for the Charger Baseball team. In 1994 the Cypress Chargers won the State Championship, and Peter earned a scholarship to the University of Nebraska to pitch for the Nebraska Huskers.

Read more of the article at:

If you’re interested in more about Brandon, the Orange County Register featured his transition from athlete to artist in this 2007 article.

MLB Creates New Award Honoring Alumnus Hoffman

Trevor Hoffman, Cypress College
Trevor Hoffman

Major League Baseball announced today that it has created two new annual awards — one of which honors Cypress College alumnus Trevor Hoffman.

Each season the National League relief pitcher of the year will receive the “Trevor Hoffman N.L. Reliever of the Year” award. Hoffman, who earned 601 saves during his MLB career, is one of nearly two dozen Chargers who have gone on to play Major League Baseball. He retired following the 2010 season as the all-time leader in saves, a mark that was later passed by Mariano Rivera, for whom the American League award will be named.

According to the article:

“Both Mariano and Trevor represented our sport magnificently on and off the mound and earned the universal respect of our fans in their legendary careers,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “I believe it is appropriate to redefine an existing award in honor of their contributions to baseball, and I am delighted that many of the most decorated relievers in history will select the winners.”

Hoffman was honored last year by the Cypress College Foundation as the Americana Awards Man of the Year.

During his 18-year MLB career, Hoffman was selected for the All-Star team seven times and twice he was the runner-up for the National League Cy Young Award. He retired with Major League Baseball records of fifteen 20-save seasons, fourteen 30-save seasons and nine 40-save seasons. He also retired with the highest career strikeout rate of any reliever. In addition, he was the first player to reach the 500 and 600-save milestones and was the all-time saves leader from 2006 to 2011. His #51 jersey was retired by the Padres.

Hoffman played for the Chargers and Coach Scott Pickler from 1985-1986.

Hoffman is eligible for Hall of Fame consideration beginning in 2016.

“He had it all in perspective,” Pickler said following Hoffman’s retirement announcement in 2011. “It wasn’t an accident that he got his 601 saves. It wasn’t an accident that he’s the best reliever to ever play the game. It’s not an accident that he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame.”


Trevor Hoffman, San Diego Padres
Trevor Hoffman displays his signature windup. Photo courtesy San Diego Padres

Americana Awards a ‘Rousing Success’; Honorees Wow Hoops Crowd

Americana Awards Men of the Year, a pair of NBA record holders and Chargers alums, help raise money and thrill basketball audience.

Cypress College Americana Awards Men of the Year Mark Eaton (center left) and Swen Nater (center right) with coaches Don Johnson (far left) and Tom Lubin (far right) that the 39th Annual Americana Awards on Saturday, February 22, 2013. View more photos here.

Cypress College’s 39th Annual Americana Awards appear to be one of the most-successful events on record — thanks in large part to the participation of Chargers alumni Swen Nater and Mark Eaton. They were honored as the Men of the Year at the ceremony, which were held on Saturday, February 22, at the Disneyland Hotel. [View photo gallery]

The previous night, the pair of NBA record holders stood with their former coach on Don Johnson Court to see their jerseys retired at our first “Legends of Hoops Night.” Coach Johnson was also recognized for his recent induction into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.

Both events highlighted the success of the two alumni, as well as the efforts of their coaches to help them fulfill their potential. Neither Nater nor Eaton were playing basketball when Chemistry Professor Tom Lubin spotted and recruited them to the team, on which he was an assistant to Johnson. Nater, an immigrant from Holland, had never played the sport, while Eaton gave it up after becoming disillusioned in high school. Before becoming standouts in the National Basketball Association, both men furthered their education at UCLA as a direct result of Johnson’s efforts, with Nater playing for the legendary John Wooden.

Also honored at Americana were Irv Pickler and Mary Bouas who both received the President’s Distinguished Service Awards. Both are long-time Foundation Board Members. Pickler is the father of Scott and Brad, the College’s baseball and softball coaches, respectively.

In closing the awards, Nater delivered highlight lines, referring to the “Spirit of Cypress” while lauding employees, classmates, and recalling significant events during his time here at the College.

It was a fitting bookend for an evening that opened with a rousing salute to first responders, and honored eight Citizens of the Year from the cities in the college’s primary service area.

Initial projections show that the event will generate a net outcome of approximately $125,000 — a 9.6% increase over last year’s event. If the projection holds, it would be the second-highest net revenue in Americana’s 39-year history.

Also of note was Union Bank’s announcement that they are extending their title sponsorship of Americana an additional three years. The company’s commitment comes largely through the work of two executive leaders who are both Cypress College alumni. In addition to Union Bank, the College also received generous support from the event’s three Patriot sponsors: Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries, Disneyland Resort, and Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA.

“I could not have been prouder of our achievement in bringing this most extraordinary event together,” Dr. Simpson said. “I especially want to thank (Americana co-chairs) Jenelle Godges and Dave Shawver for setting the standard of excellence so high with their leadership and support of Americana. To those whose efforts are not so obvious but equally important, from soliciting donations to making the phone calls to coordinating silent and live auctions, to… THANK YOU. An event of this magnitude, quality and significance can only happen when each member of the team contributes to the fullest.”

Additional photographs from the Americana Awards are available in a gallery, and video will be added throughout the coming week and linked on the Americana website.

Photos from ‘Legends of Hoops’ Night Available

Students celebrate at the “Legends of Hoops Night” on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Photographs from Cypress College’s first “Legends of Hoops Night” are now available in a gallery on the College website.

Chargers alumni Swen Nater and Mark Eaton, both NBA record holders, stood with their former coach on Don Johnson Court to see their jerseys retired at our first “Legends of Hoops Night” on Friday, February 21, 2014.

Coach Johnson was also recognized for his recent induction into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.

More information about the “Legends of Hoops Night” is available here and our preview story is here.

Retired Cypress College Coach Don Johnson — for whom the campus basketball court is named — speaks at a ceremony where the jerseys of Mark Eaton (left) and Swen Nater (right) were retired. Johnson was also recognized at the event for his recent induction to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.