JUNIOR ROSE BOWL WAS ONE GREAT MEMORY '67 MATADORS HAD UNMATCHED SPIRIT, MADE BIG IMPACT.
It was just one game.
Cal State Northridge went by a different name back then and the Matadors didn't even win.
Yet, the 1967 Junior Rose Bowl remains the most important, memorable and binding experience in the program's history.
San Fernando Valley State College - as the school was known then - received an invitation to play in the most coveted bowl for smaller schools. The Matadors earned the chance to play in Pasadena under coach Sam Winningham, who started the program in 1962. The final: West Texas State 35, San Fernando Valley State 13.
Not that the final score was indicative of its impact.
``That was a nice effort that got started through that 1967 Junior Rose Bowl team,'' Winningham said. ``That's a special group. They've stuck together and kept in touch with each other. I'm always proud of that bunch. A lot of them went on to become coaches.''
Winningham had nearly doubled the roster from his first season in 1962 - from 30 to 52.
The Matadors finished that year with a 6-4 record, the most victories in a season to that point. CSUN lost to San Diego State 30-21 that season, a team that eventually won the mythical national title for small schools.
Although the game against San Diego State was pivotal, the news that the Matadors were invited to the Junior Rose Bowl made the Aztecs game pale in comparison. Drew Yellen, now a Northridge clinical and sports psychologist, was a defensive tackle on that team. He remembers Winningham's locker-room announcement.
``Sam walked in and said, 'Guys, we're going to the Junior Rose Bowl,' '' Yellen recalled. ``We all had to pinch each other to believe it. Being a small college and playing in that facility, you grow up looking at those kinds of things on TV. It was wonderful.''
As was the crowd of 23,802 people.
``Playing in front of all those people, that was a lot of fun,'' said Mike Hannin, a tight end. ``It was a special feeling when the game started and then when the game ended, we realized where we'd been and what we'd done.''
Winningham, 75, remembers the game as though he paced the sidelines in Pasadena yesterday. So does Alan Aldrich, who scored the game's first touchdown on a fumble recovery.
``A West Texas running back came through the line and fumbled the ball through my lap,'' Aldrich said. ``I was the smallest guy on the team. I was about 5-9 and 180 pounds dripping wet. I had to run about 25 yards. It wasn't far, but it was about as far as I could run.
``I felt good about that. Myron Bayless was running behind me and he kept yelling at me to give him the ball.''
Bayless has since died, but he and the Junior Rose Bowl team were honored at the Myron Bayless Scholarship Award banquet last May. Team members also meet at the CSUN Hall of Fame banquet, scholarship dinners and Junior Rose Bowl reunions. Truth is, they never need an excuse to reminisce.
Some believe former quarterback Bruce Lemmerman, now an NFL scout, would have won the Heisman Trophy that year had he been at a big-time program.
So many members of that team still live in the San Fernando Valley. Guys like Hannin, Yellen, receiver Gerry Peters, a personal trainer in Glendale. There's Dick Billingsley, the football coach at Oak Park High; Doug Hill, a CPA in Camarillo, and Al Racius, among others.
``Those were some of the best memories,'' said Racius, who owns an advertising agency in Thousand Oaks. ``Sure, the Rose Bowl was great. It was nice to be part of the team to play in it, but I think it was a lot more than just the Junior Rose Bowl. We played our hearts out every week. We probably weren't the biggest, fastest or strongest players, but we jelled as a team and we had confidence in one another.''
1961 - First junior varsity football season, played at Granada Hills
1962 - First football season, played at Monroe High of North Hills
1965 - First season in California Collegiate Athletic Association
1966 - Games played at Birmingham High of Van Nuys
1967 - First and only Junior Rose Bowl appearance; lost to West Texas State in front of 23,802
1969 - First season as NCAA Division II
1971 - First season at North Campus Stadium
1982 - First season in Western Football Conference
1990 - Lost to Cal Poly SLO in only Division II first-round playoff game
1993 - Finish 4-6 in first season in Division I-AA
1994 - Former Matador punter Bryan Wagner starts for San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl
1996 - First year in Big Sky Conference
1998 - Finish 7-4, best season in I-AA, including two wins over nationally-ranked opponents
1999 - Internal investigation uncovers numerous NCAA and school violations, prompting the firing of coach Ron Ponciano
2001 - School moves into Big West Conference and football becomes I-AA independent
2001 - Oct. 1, athletic director Dick Dull recommends football be eliminated due to a growing budget deficit
2002 - Scheduled demolition of North Campus Stadium; scheduled to play games at Pierce College
1980 - Alvin Hooks
1981 - Dana Teasley
1982 - Steve Duddy
1983 - Mike Kane
1984 - Mike Kane
1985 - Chris Parker
1986 - Mike Kane
1987 - Brian Clark
1988 - Albert Fann
1989 - Sherdrick Bonner
1990 - Albert Fann
1991 - Cornell Ward
1993 - Robert Trice
1994 - J.J. O'Laughlin
1995 - Chad Marsalek
1996 - Aaron Flowers
1997 - Aaron Flowers
1998 - Marcus Brady
1999 - Marcus Brady, Aaron Arnold
2000 - Marcus Brady
1980 - Tim Maulhardt
1981 - Phil McPherson
1982 - Mark Streid
1983 - Mark Streid
1984 - Pete Teutonico
1985 - Reggie Wauls
1986 - Darrell McIntyre
1987 - Tracy Anderson
1988 - Dennis McConnaughy
1989 - Daved Benefield
1990 - Ken Wallace
1991 - Ken Vaughn
1993 - Angel Chavez
1994 - Joe Vaughn
1995 - Teddy Mack
1996 - Marc Goodson
1997 - Marc Goodson
1998 - Brennen Swanson
1999 - Brennen Swanson
2000 - Jason Nicastro
1982 - Bryan Wagner, punter/kicker, Division II, honorable mention
1983 - Bryan Wagner, punter/kicker, Division II, first team
1991 - Don Goodman, offensive lineman, Division II, first team
1994 - Joseph Vaughn, safety, Division I-AA, first team
1996 - David Romines, Division I-AA, second team
1975 - Mel Wilson, defensive back, Division II, first team
1983 - Bryan Wagner, punter/kicker, Division II, first team
1987 - Kip Dukes, defensive back, Division II, first team
1989 - Albert Fann, tailback, Division II, first team
1981: Bernard Hicks, Bill Fournell, Steve Martin, Dan Charnitski
1982: Steve Duddy, Geoff Resnik, Mark Streid, Bryan Wagner
1984: Ron Colarossi, Bryan Wagner, Pete Teutonico
1985: Ray Oregel, Simon Goss, Steve Benjamin, Eric Davis
1988: Dennis McConnaughy, Rob Huffman
1989: Richard Ane, Sherdrick Bonner, Albert Fann, Preston Hayslette
1990: Clayton Bamberg, Tom Berry, Sherdrick Bonner, Albert Fann
1991: Eric Treibatch, Marty Fisher, Ken Vaughn
1992: Tyrone Dorsey, Jamal Farmer, Marty Fisher, Eric Treibatch
1993: Victor Myles, Robert Trice, Coley Kyman, Joseph Ojomoh
1994: J.J. O'Laughlin, Tony Simon, Edvin Babayova, Vincent Johnson
1995: Clayton Mills, Chris Love, Andrew Rose, Richard Pesti
1996: Aaron Flowers, Marc Goodson
1997: Aaron Flowers, Marc Goodson, Paul Sauter, Jerome Henry, Dan Lazarovits
1998: Jaumal Bradley, Drew Hill, Vito Clemente, Brennen Swanson
1999: Jaumal Bradley, Ethan Beck, Brennen Swanson
2000: Marcus Brady, Keith Kincaid, Gil Rodriguez, Cos Abercrombie, Erik Gardner
2001: Marcus Brady, Cos Abercrombie, Lewis Blanton, Drew Amerson
By year, with average home attendance
1980 - 2,000
1981 - 2,404
1982 - 1,782
1983 - 2,751
1984 - 1,910
1985 - 3,301
1986 - 4,969
1987 - 4,170
1988 - 4,781
1989 - 3,411
1990 - 4,202
1991 - 4,591
1992 - 3,488
1993 - 3,343
1994 - 3,268
1995 - 2,240
1996 - 4,261
1997 - 4,187
1998 - 4,482
1999 - 4,013
2000 - 2,740
Most statistics and awards prior to 1980 are not available.
Year coach record
1962 Sam Winningham 3-6
1963 Sam Winningham 2-6
1964 Sam Winningham 4-6
1965 Sam Winningham 1-9
1966 Sam Winningham 2-7-1
1967 Sam Winningham 6-4
1968 Sam Winningham 5-4
1969 Leon McLaughlin 4-5
1970 Leon McLaughlin 4-6
1971 Rod Humenuik 4-7
1972 Rod Humenuik 6-5
1973 Gary Torgeson 2-9
1974 Gary Torgeson 2-9
1975 Gary Torgeson 4-6-1
1976 Jack Elway 8-3
1977 Jack Elway 7-3-1
1978 Jack Elway 5-5
1979 Tom Keele 3-7
1980 Tom Keele 5-6
1981 Tom Keele 6-4-1
1982 Tom Keele 4-7
1983 Tom Keele 6-4
1984 Tom Keele 3-7
1985 Tom Keele 4-7
1986 Bob Burt 8-3
1987 Bob Burt 7-4
1988 Bob Burt 6-5
1989 Bob Burt 6-5
1990 Bob Burt 7-4
1991 Bob Burt 3-7
1992 Bob Burt 5-5
1993 Bob Burt 4-6
1994 Bob Burt 3-7
1995 Dave Baldwin 2-8
1996 Dave Baldwin 7-4
1997 Jim Fenwick 4-8
1998 Ron Ponciano 7-4
1999 Jeff Kearin 6-5
2000 Jeff Kearin 4-7
2001 Jeff Kearin
9 photos, 8 boxes
(1 -- 2) At left, a copy of The Valley News from Dec. 5, 1967, featuring a page devoted to Valley State's loss in the Junior Rose Bowl. Above, a copy of a program from the Junior Rose Bowl luncheon.
(3) no caption (four players on Valley State College team)
(4) no caption (program cover: ``FOR THE TITLE!``)
(5) no caption (file cover: Internal Audit #1 August 1999)
(1) KEY MOMENTS (see text)
(2) Offensive MVPs (see text)
(3) Defensive MVPs (see text)
(4) All-Americans (see text)
(5) Co-captains (see text)
(6) Attendance (see text)
(7) 1961-1981 (see text)
(8) 1982-2001 (see text)