The University of Redlands and the Bulldog Bench welcomed the newest members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame during its induction dinner on Friday, October 18. The event began with a social hour for friends and family to gather outside of Orton Center on a beautiful, 80-degree evening. Head Water Polo Coach Tom Whittemore served as the master of ceremonies, welcoming various individuals, including current President Ralph Kuncl and his wife, Nancy; President Emeritus Jim Appleton; Mayor of Redlands Pete Aguilar; former student-athletes; and current members of the Hall of Fame.
Throughout the celebration, those in attendance viewed individual video presentations that highlighted various reflections, memories, and congratulatory remarks from teammates, colleagues, and coaches. Finally, each inductee stood before the crowd of approximately 200 people and shared a brief acceptance speech, acknowledging the significance of this honor.
The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 is comprised of diver Luke Bagnaschi '04, basketball star Amir Mazarei '07, golfer Nick Obie '06, football and baseball talent Danny Ragsdale '99, track & field and cross-country runner Ken Reed '98, water polo standout Kevin Rosa '02, football competitor and assistant coach Jeff Thomas '02, as well as the 1993 men's water polo team. In addition, the Bulldog Bench honored water polo competitor Taj Jensen '00, who was part of the Hall of Fame Class of 2011 but was unable to attend the induction dinner that year.
Given that all of the individual inductees graduated within the last 15 years, many of the names are familiar to the Redlands community of alumni, employees, and students. This is by far the youngest overall class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. According to Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez, four of the inductees received the honor as a first-time member of the voting ballot.