Santa Cruz High School
Athletic Hall of Fame
Over the course of a remarkable 15 year tenure, Patrick Jones coached the Cardinal girls basketball team to unprecedented success. From 1997 to 2012 SCHS won 324 games, including 8 SCCAL Titles, 2 CCS Titles, 5 CCS Finals Appearances, 5 NorCal Appearances, and 1 CCS Team Scholastic Championship (2000). During this incredible run Patrick was individually recognized 5 times as SCCAL Girls Basketball Coach of the Year (1998, 2001, 2006, 2009, 2010). From 2012-14 Patrick also coached the Cardinal boys basketball team, leading them to the CCS Finals and a CCS Team Scholastic Championship. In 2014, SCHS boys won the SCCAL Championship, a CCS Open Division bid, and 2 NorCal tournament appearances. Patrick was named SCCAL Boys Basketball Coach of the Year in 2014. Over the course of his SCHS career Patrick also coached multiple AAU/Club teams including Team Santa Cruz and West Valley Basketball Club, numerous regional all-star teams, and multiple grades coaching b-ball at Mission Hill Junior High.
Jay Gomez had an outstanding soccer career as a player at Cal State Fullerton and the University of Washington before being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2000 professional draft by the Seattle Sounders. Shortly after Jay decided to jump right into coaching. As a young coach, Jay made a strong commitment to strengthening his coaching education. Over the years Jay earned his United States A coaching license, received his NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, and has completed two TOVO coaching education programs in Barcelona, Spain. He began his coaching with the Santa Cruz High School boys’ JV soccer team in 2002, before becoming the head coach of the girls’ soccer program from 2003 through 2020. In his 16 years of active coaching (he briefly took two years off in 2014-2016 after the birth of his fourth daughter), his teams won four SCCAL league championship titles, he led the Santa Cruz Girls to the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs 15 times, 3-time CCS Runner up, and were crowned CCS champions in 2007, 2010 and 2020. His combined record for all games at SCHS was 181 wins, 63 ties and 69 losses. More important than the wins and losses was the respect the Santa Cruz girls program received competing with the best of the best in the Bay Area. EVERY Santa Cruz player (and family), assistant coaches, and team staff made this program what it is today. In Jay’s words “every member of our program is a champion in their role”. While also coaching for the Cardinals Jay was also very involved in the Bay Area and Central Coast soccer communities. From 2002- 2006, He was an assistant coach for the UC Santa Cruz Men’s soccer team. In 2004, for the first time in school history UCSC men’s soccer team competed in the Division 3 National Championship Soccer game. In 2009, Jay led his U-16 De Anza Force club team to a United States Girls Youth Soccer National Championship. In 2017, Jay was selected as a staff coach for the San Jose Earthquakes Boys Academy program of Major League Soccer. Throughout his 20 years in Santa Cruz, Jay also loved having strong local connections with the Santa Cruz Breakers club.
Vic Miguel’s tenure as the Cardinal Softball Head Coach was marked by unprecedented success and spanned an impressive 20 years, beginning in the late 70’s through the 90’s. During this time, Vic led the Cardinals to 8 SCCAL Championships (1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1995, and 1996) and a 1977 Region 4 Championship in 1977. Vic also coached SCHS football. He was named Softball Coach of the Year in 1977, 1989, and 1995.
Bob Kittle’s entrance into the SCHS Sports Hall of Fame caps an impressive Cardinal baseball coaching legacy. In 13 seasons as head coach Bob guided his teams to 7 SCCAL Championships and 9 CCS bids, including a 2003 CCS Championship. Unsurprisingly, Bob all received top Coach of the Year honors many times over (1998, 2001, 2004, and 2005). Bob is now the current Head Baseball Coach at Cabrillo College.
Sergio spent four seasons on the varsity soccer team at SCHS, helping the team win two league titles. He was selected to the all-league team in his junior and senior years. After graduation, Sergio served a three-year stint as the junior varsity coach and one year as varsity assistant (winning another championship) before taking over the varsity boys. In his second season as head coach, he directed the Cardinals to the school’s first CCS Division II boys soccer title. He coached the boys to two more SCCAL championships in 1996-97, a team that finished with a 20-2-1 record, and in 1997-98, a team that was co-champion with Watsonville. Sergio received Coach of the Year honors in 1993 and 1997. His overall coaching record at SCHS was 124-75-24
Boys & Girls Soccer
Golf, Football, Track
Phys Ed Department Chairman
Don Dempewolf walked into the old Turner Gym as a PE teacher in 1963 and during the next 26 years would become one of Santa Cruz High School’s most versatile, enduring, and admired coaches.
His first coaching assignment was as Bill Wood’s varsity football assistant. During the next decade, he additionally would serve as assistant junior varsity football coach, assistant track coach, golf coach, and physical-education department chairman for six years.
Then in 1974, Don started Santa Cruz High’s first boys’ soccer team and coached with excellent success through the 1985 season. In 1981, his Cardinal team was undefeated and he was named Santa Cruz County Athletic League coach of the year. Several of his teams qualified for CCS tournament berths.
He then started the girls’ soccer program and coached for two years before retiring in 1989.
But his retirement from coaching was short-lived.
Eight games into the 1989 season, he took over as Cabrillo College’s soccer coach and would serve with distinction through the 1994 season.
As one of his former coaching colleagues said, “Don was always there for the school. When there was a coaching need, he would jump in … he was always cooperative.”
Pete Newell Jr.
Boys Basketball 1974-2005
Girls Basketball 2014-2015
Girls Softball 1975-99
JV Girls Softball 1982-87
Pete Newell Jr. was hired as the boys’ varsity basketball coach at Santa Cruz High in 1974. Before coming to Santa Cruz, Pete had played high school basketball at St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco. Pete comes from the highest order of basketball families. His father, Pete Newell Sr., was the head men’s coach at University of California in Berkeley; considered one of the most influential figures in the sport of basketball. Pete Jr. and his brothers would continue this legacy as players and coaches.
After high school, Pete went to San Jose State; excelling for the Spartans' hoops team. Upon graduation, he went to play in Hawaii for Sub-Pac, who competed against college teams, and then on to University of the Pacific as an assistant to Stan Morrison. He felt he didn't fit in well with the college game and turned to high school basketball where he became the basketball coach at Serra High School in the West Catholic Athletic League.
Shortly thereafter, Coach Newell began a 30-year career at Santa Cruz High as the boys’ basketball coach. Although he did not keep records of his games, the Sentinel determined his SCHS win-loss record was 563-329, including winning 14 of 18 league titles during his tenure and reaching the semifinal game of the CIF Section Championships eight of 10 years. In the 2004-05 season, he led the Santa Cruz boys’ team to the Division III State Championship over previously undefeated St. Augustine High school and finished 30-1. Coach Newell returned for a one-year period to coach the SCHS girls’ team in 2014-15. He also coached girls’ varsity softball from 1975 to 1999 and girls’ JV softball from 1982 to 1987. In 2004, he was inducted into the California Coaches Hall of Fame; he was recognized as an outstanding teacher and Most Inspirational by one senior class.
Wrestling 1964-82 & 1996
Football Coach 1986-88
Athletic Director 1986-88
During Ronning’s tenure as Santa Cruz High School's wrestling coach, Cardinal wrestlers compiled a 178-67-2 record. His teams won five league titles: one Monterey Bay League (1966-67), three Santa Cruz County Athletic League (1976-77, 1977-78 and 1978-79), and one Coast Counties Wrestling League North (1982). Ronning coached 62 league champions and left an indelible and storied mark on Cardinal wrestling.
He was also head coach of the varsity football team for several seasons and assistant coach and lightweight football coach for many more. On the administrative side of SCHS sports, Coach Ronning was assistant athletic director from 1984 to 1986, athletic director from 1986 to 1988, PE department from 1962 to 1966, and then again from 1977 to 1987.
Coach / P.E. Teacher 1925-58
Miss Helen Calkins came to Santa Cruz High School at a time when activities for girls were limited. In addition to her coaching and teaching duties, she organized the Girls’ Athletic Association and Girls Leaders Club. She also was an organizer and promoter of the annual Coast Counties Athletic League Play Day, which brought hundreds of girls to Santa Cruz High from Monterey and San Benito counties. She also was heavily involved in community affairs and was a popular speaker around town. Miss Calkins also spent time as an advisor to the YWCA’s Girls Reserve and served on the YWCA board. And if that wasn't enough, she also taught at the Congregational Sunday School and was a delegate to the National Education Association. Truly an amazing person doing so much to improve the lives of others!
Varsity Baseball 1957-86
Lightweight Basketball 1956-59
Varsity Basketball 1960-72
Bill Dodge is one of the most successful and admired coaches in Santa Cruz High’s history. He became the lightweight basketball coach in 1956, when his team took second place in the CCAL. The next two years, they won the CCAL championships, compiling 22 consecutive wins over two seasons. The Cardlets had not won a league championship since 1946. In 1960, Dodge was named varsity basketball coach for the Cardinals. His teams were the winningest in the CCAL and MBL during his tenure; winning four championships, including three straight from 1966-1968.
Coach Dodge would also become the varsity baseball coach in 1957 and remain at that post through 1986. His teams recorded a record of 515 wins, 264 losses, 14 league championships, a 1963 Tournament of Champions title, two second-place finishes in the Central Coast Section Tournament, two third-place finishes, and one fourth-place finish. In 2000, the SCHS baseball field was named Bill Dodge Field in recognition of Coach Dodge’s contributions to the baseball program; and in 2013, he was elected to the California Sports Hall of Fame.
Varsity Football 1956-1958
Larry Siemering came to Santa Cruz High in 1956 to helm the varsity football team after the Cards finished last in the CCAL for the previous two seasons. In this first season, he brought the Cards their first CCAL championship in 13 years. The following year, the Cards were 7-2 but finished second to Salinas. 1958 was Siemering’s banner year. The Cards went undefeated, winning the league championship and being named Northern California’s No. 1 team. During his three years at SCHS, his teams were 20-6-1. Siemering left SCHS in 1959 to become Cabrillo College’s first athletic director and head football coach. Last year, he was one of the first inductees into the new Cabrillo Hall of Fame. Before coming to SCHS, he was head coach at College of the Pacific (now UOP) and Arizona State. He passed away in 2009 at age 98.
Boys Tennis 1970-2003
Girls Tennis 1973-1988
Girls Golf 2002-2009
For someone who never played tennis at Lodi High School, Mullen recorded some very impressive numbers over the years to prove his greatness as one of the legendary high school coaches in Santa Cruz County.
The numbers speak for themselves: 569 and 168, those are career wins and losses, respectively. His teams, boys and girls, amassed 28 league championships. The boys’ teams won the Monterey Bay League titles in 1975 and 1976, then joined the newly formed Santa Cruz County Athletic League. The winning continued. The Cardinals won 17 of 19 SCCAL championships and compiled a record of 184-6. The six losses were to Aptos.
He was honored in 1998 as coach of the year by the Central Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation.
His girls’ teams were just as dominate, winning 188 matches, losing 36, including nine team titles, five championships in a row. In a span from 1983 to 1988, the Cardinals went undefeated 51-0.
Mullen ended coaching the girls in 1988 and continued to coach the boys through the spring of 2003, a year after he retired from chairing the history department and teaching history at Santa Cruz High for 38 years.
He wasn’t through coaching, however. Mullen became the girls’ golf coach and guided the Cardinals to the SCCAL championship in 2004, the first golf title at the school in six years.
During the summer months, Mullen instructed tennis classes for the City of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department at the high school. He received a Mayor’s proclamation as “Dennis Mullen Day” for his many years of service to the Parks and Recreation Department.
Today, the tennis courts are named for Dennis Mullen after a community fundraising drive in 2010 contributed $32,000 to resurface the courts, provide new nets and windbreaks on the fences to honor the long-time tennis coach.
Mullen loved going to his family cabin in Arnold in Sierra, spending time with his family, playing golf and taking his grandsons fishing. In November 2010, while on vacation in Arnold, Mullen suffered a heart attack and died. He was 69.
Basketball & Baseball
Merle Briggs became Santa Cruz High School’s athletic director in 1928 after coaching for eight years at Watsonville High School.
In 1943, the coached the Cardinal football team to its first CCAL championship in 16 years. His basketball teams won championships in 1939, 1940 and 1942, and his baseball teams also won several league titles.
In 1942-1943, the U.S. military commended him for establishing one of the state’s premier pre-military physical training programs. He left SCHS in 1947 to continue graduate study at Oregon State University, his alma mater.
Varsity Football 1946-53
Athletic Director 1953-73
Baer’s football teams did not win a league championship but his unyielding support for high-school sports as athletic director and district official had a lasting impact on district student-athletes and their programs. As athletic director, he and then-varsity basketball coach Emmett Thompson started the Dads Club Basketball Tournament.
He was a standout baseball and football player at College of the Pacific, earning All-Far Western Conference end as a senior. He was an assistant to famed Head Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg for one year before going to Ripon High where he coached from 1938 to 1945, when he came to Santa Cruz. At COP, he coached with Larry Siemering, whom he brought to SCHS in 1956 as head football coach. During his 16 years in coaching, Baer amassed 13 championships while coaching football, baseball, basketball and track and field. In 1979, he was inducted into the California Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
He passed away in 1991 at age 76.
Over 100 years of rich academic & athletic history in Santa Cruz County.
To honor and perpetuate the memory of former athletes, coaches, athletic directors, community members and teams.
Browse through dozens of historic photos from the rich history of Santa Cruz High School athletics.
Your generous support & giving allows us to continue to recognize our alumni that have made outstanding contributions in the field of Interscholastic athletics .