SANTA ANA, Calif. – Santa Ana College inducted seven individuals and one team into its Athletic Hall of Fame on Sunday, October 13th.
The 2019 hall of fame class was composed of Tom Dallape (football), Lohnnie Day (men's basketball), Gary Meek (football), Save Simcox (men's swimming/water polo), Dale Story (cross country/track), Jake Vasquez (baseball), Tony Zuniga (baseball) and the 1999 Men's Soccer National Championship team.
The afternoon was filled with excitement and emotion as the inductees joined the distinguished group of Santa Ana greats with their families and friends looking on.
Before attending Santa Ana College, Tom Dallape was a co-captain at Mater Dei High School where he won a CIF championship for the Monarchs in 1956.
Dallape continued his winning ways when he was named co-captain of the Santa Ana College football team in 1957 and 1959. In 1957, the offensive tackle led the Dons to the Orange Bowl game where they would defeat San Diego College 20-13 to cap a quality 8-1-1 season.
After sitting out due to injury in 1958, Dallape came back even stronger as he collected accolades such as Don of the Week, First Team All-Eastern Conference, and First Team All-American during the 1959 season.
Dallape went on to have a successful career after football, starting his own business as a dairyman and becoming one of the best as he collected 37 quality milk awards in 65 years in the profession.
Although Tom has collected many awards in his lifetime, he is most proud of being a father to three successful sons.
From 1996 to 1998, Lohnnie Day scored more points than anyone else in the history of Santa Ana College men's basketball. He finished with 1,410 points, a record that still stands today.
While he was setting all-time records as an individual, he was also leading his team to consecutive conference championships and collecting multiple all-conference and all-state selections as well as being named conference MVP and an All-American in his sophomore season.
Day earned a full-ride to Arizona State University before settling in at Cal State San Bernardino, where he helped the Coyotes reach their second sweet sixteen appearance in school history with record of 27-4 during the 1999-2000 season.
As a professional, Lohnnie has worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for 13 years and is currently assigned as a Burglary Detective. He and his wife Michele have a daughter Taylor (11), and a son Carter (6).
Gary Meek was one of the great Santa Ana College linebackers from 1967 to 1968.
After starring for the Dons for two seasons, Meek earned a scholarship to San Diego State University where he helped the Aztecs win the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championship in 1969.
That same year, the Aztecs also won the Pasadena Bowl 28-7 against Boston College to complete their 12-0 undefeated season. Meek finished his career as an Aztec with a 20-2 record.
When his playing days were over, he began coaching and teaching at Mater Dei High School until making the move to Esperanza High School in 1976 where he launched a hall of fame coaching career, winning two CIF championships and seven league championships with a record of 154-50-2.
Meek also served as the Athletic Director at Esperanza from 2003-2010 and was named Southern California Athletic Director of the Year in 2005. He was inducted into the California High School Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Gary has been married to his wife Sharon for 50 years and has two daughters and a son who also played football and is currently coaching at Santa Ana College.
Dave Simcox was a two-sport standout under SAC Hall of Fame Coach Bob Gaughran from 1965 to 1966.
He was named an All-American water polo player in both his freshman and sophomore seasons and led Santa Ana College to several conference championships. As a sophomore, he set the record for scoring in a single season with 105 goals. Simcox also competed in swimming and earned All-American status in 1966.
In 1967, he joined the U.S. Navy and served three years before returning to Santa Ana to finish his associates degree in 1971. Simcox then transferred to Cal State Fullerton, where he helped the Titans place third in the 1972 NCAA Water Polo Championships. He graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor's of science degree and a California life teaching credential and later earned his master's degree from Azusa Pacific University in 1983.
Following graduation, Simcox began teaching and coaching at Foothill High School, where he stayed for 33 years. He also worked for the City of Huntington Beach as a lifeguard from 1964-2013. Dave has been married to his wife Kathy since 1970 and has two daughters and four grandchildren.
It only took one year for Dale Story to become one of the best long distance runners in Santa Ana College history as he blew away the competition during the 1959-1960 cross country and track seasons.
Story collected the first win of his Santa Ana College career at the Mt. San Antonio Invitational before gathering momentum to bring home the Southern California Community College Championship in 1959. During track season, Story exceled once again and capped off the year by winning the individual state title in the two mile race with a time of 9:15.2.
Shortly after the season, Story was offered a spot on the cross country/track & field teams at Oregon State University where he set 13 course records, several school records and won the NCAA individual cross country championship while leading Oregon State to its first ever team title in 1961. He was inducted into OSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.
After graduating from OSU, Story taught biology and forestry at Wallowa High School while coaching cross country and track for 30 years. There, he coached 32 individual state champions and his teams combined for nine state championships.
Jake Vasquez was a force in the middle of the lineup for the Dons during the 2004 and 2005 baseball seasons. The catcher from Diamond Bar High was named to the Southern California All-American team after hitting an average of .412 with eight homeruns and 56 runs batted in as a freshman.
He followed that by hitting 12 homeruns and driving in 49 runs with a .402 average to earn All-American honors again while taking home the California Community College Baseball Association Big Stick award in 2005.
Vasquez led Santa Ana College to consecutive Orange Empire Conference championships and was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft.
The slugger chose to resume his collegiate career at Texas A&M University, where he hit .276 with five homers and 21 RBI's in 41 games. He then transferred back home to Cal State Fullerton to play out his senior year.
Tony Zuniga is one of the most decorated Santa Ana College athletes of all time. He was a key player in the Dons back-to-back state championship run from 1995 to 1996.
In his freshman season, he hit .333 with 37 runs batted in and was named MVP of the 1995 state tournament. As a sophomore, he helped the Dons win another state title while earning his second MVP award, being named conference player of the year, earning All-State honors, and was the only California community college player to earn an invite to the 1996 U.S Olympic Team tryouts.
Zuniga was offered a scholarship to Long Beach State but chose to pursue a career in professional baseball after he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 11th round in 1996.
After playing professionally for six different organizations in 10 years, Tony began coaching at Orange Lutheran High School where he has been since 2008. He is also the head coach of the Tustin Scorpions baseball program.
1999 Men's Soccer National Championship Team
The 1999 Santa Ana College men's soccer team set the standard for this prestigious program, capturing its fourth state championship and first national championship with an undefeated 25-0-0 record.
Led by a Santa Ana College Hall of Fame coach J.P. Frutos, the Dons defeated Canada College 5-1 in the state championship to secure the school's second consecutive state title.
This team was dominant all season with a lineup that landed seven players on the all-conference team and was powered by the school's all-time leaders in goals scored (Thomas Serna), assists (Jose Retiz) and shutouts (Sasha Addeo).