Blue and gold decorations covered Don Reid Court Saturday night as the Merced College Hall of Fame celebrated a big anniversary.

Merced College recognized three major athletic teams and their coinciding championships earned in the 1978-79 academic year. Merced College baseball, football and basketball came together for the 40th anniversary, in an evening of reminiscing about their unprecedented accomplishment.

“I congratulate all who were involved. The community grew from the athletic accomplishments we celebrate tonight.” Athletic Director Steve Cassady said to a packed gym.

No other groups of athletes from the same community college have won championships in three major sports within the same academic year. The evening was highlighted by the memories shared from former players, a select few of whom still hold a connection to Merced College. Included in that group is former player and current women’s basketball coach Allen Huddleston.

“I had years of friendships,” Huddleston explained. “Those players, even forty years later, still support us, and it speaks volumes.”

Members of the Merced College football program echoed this sentiment, describing the ripple effect that has followed in the years since.

“We still use some of the same techniques, some of the same processes,” former head coach and current defensive backs coach Tony Lewis said. “It resonates with the players then, and continues to benefit our team.”

The celebration was a nice mix of alumni, current coaches, Merced College leadership, members of the community and current athletes. 

-- Alessandria Pedretti