Six Former Titan Stars to Enter Hall of Fame
Aug. 18, 2009
Fullerton, Calif. -
Professional football's career passing leader, a national softball player of the year, one of the NBA's top defensive players of the decade, a nine-time All-American gymnast, the diminutive lefthanded pitcher who helped change the complexion of West Coast college baseball and the father figure for Titan football for its final 13 seasons will be inducted into Cal State Fullerton's Athletics Hall of Fame at a Titan Tribute on Oct. 10 in the Titan Student Union.
Damon Allen, Connie Clark, Bruce Bowen, Barbie Myslak-Roetert, Dan Boone and Coach Gene Murphy, respectively, comprise the Hall's third class of inductees and all are scheduled to attend the biennial function.
"The collective accomplishments of this class, both at Cal State Fullerton and in their post-collegiate careers, is remarkable," said Director of Athletics Brian Quinn. "Any university in the country would be justifiably proud of the caliber of people in this group."
Tickets are on sale via the campus website at https://www.fullerton.edu/titantribute/signup/form.asp
Allen was a four-year quarterback (1981-84) and three-year pitcher (1983-85) at Cal State Fullerton. He led the football team to its only two conference (Pacific Coast Athletic Association) championships in 1983 and 1984, earning votes as a senior for the Heisman Trophy and setting an NCAA record for fewest pass interceptions in a season (.009 intercepted). He ranks No. 1 at CSF in passes attempted (629) and total offense (4,653 yards). He is No. 2 in passing yards (4,218) and pass completions (322) and No. 4 in TD passes (27).
Allen went on to become the most prolific passer in professional football history with 72,381 total yards in 23 seasons (1985 to 2007) in the Canadian Football League, surpassing Warren Moon's 70,553 yards (21,228 in the CFL and 49,325 in the NFL). Allen also rushed for 11,920 yards to rank No. 3 in CFL history. He won four Grey Cup Championships and won the league's MVP Award as a 41-year-old grandfather in 2005.
Allen also was a member of the Titans' 1984 national championship baseball team as a spot starter and relief pitcher with a record of 3-2 with 4 saves in 50 innings. He was drafted in 1984 by the Detroit Tigers, who pursued him until the first day of Fall classes. In 1994 he had a brief tryout with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Clark pitched for the Titan softball program for two seasons including the 1986 national championship campaign. She won 20 games as a junior and 33 as a senior in 1987 when she won the Broderick Award, presented to the nation's best collegiate softball player. Her career record was 53-7 with an earned run average of 0.37. She still holds the school single-season records for lowest opponent batting average (.086 in 1986) and most strikeouts per 7 innings (8.88 in 1986). Only Kathy Van Wyk (with 35 in 1982) won more games and only Susan Lefebvre (with 34 in 1986) had more complete games (32) in a season than Clark. In career statistics, despite only two seasons, Clark ranks No. 7 in wins, No. 2 in winning percentage (.883) and No. 4 in shutouts (34) and is No. 1 in opponent batting average (.121) and No. 4 in strikeouts per 7 innings (7.31).
The Glendale, Arizona, native graduated in 1987 and gave private lessons locally before beginning her collegiate coaching career as an assistant at Florida State (1990-95). She was hired to launch the softball program at the University of Texas as head coach and in the second varsity season (1998) she had the Longhorns in the Women's College World Series. Her 13-year record at Texas is 509-245-3 (.674).
Bowen was a rare four-year letterman for the Titans' men's basketball program and started his last three seasons. He was a first-team All-Big West Conference selection in 1992-93 when he averaged 16.3 points and 6.5 rebounds to lead the squad and was a second-team pick in 1991-92. He ranks 15th in CSF career scoring with 1,155 points, No. 8 in rebounding with 559 and No. 5 in blocked shots with 71.
Bowen's professional career is legendary for his perseverance and determination. Undrafted by the NBA, he signed as a free agent with Cleveland but soon was bouncing around Europe for several seasons. He averaged 29 points in Evreux, France, one year and played for several CBA clubs. He appeared in only one game with the Miami Heat in 1996-97 but impressed Coach Pat Riley. He played in 91 games the following season for Coach Rick Pitino at Boston. He was with three NBA clubs in 1999-2000 before he was reunited with Riley in Miami and became a starter during the 2000-01 season.
Bowen signed a free-agent contract with San Antonio in 2001-02 and his career finally took off. He earned a reputation as a tremendous defender, of players of all sizes, and developed a lethal shot from behind the 3-point line. In eight seasons with the Spurs he has won three NBA championship rings, has been on the NBA All-Defensive team eight times and had a streak of playing in 500 consecutive games, longest in the NBA when it ended after more than six seasons in March of 2008. He became extremely popular in the community with his Bruce Bowen Foundation and his Bruce's Buddies program designed to improve the nutrition and physical fitness of underserved youngsters in San Antonio.
Myslak-Roetert was one of the building blocks of the Titans' remarkably successful women's gymnastics program. She was a four-year (1977-80) letterwinner and during her tenure Cal State Fullerton's dual meet record was 52-2 with four conference championships, four regional titles and four top four finishes at the AIAW nationals including the championship in 1979. That year Myslak won the individual national championships on the vault and uneven parallel bars, was third on floor exercise and placed fourth on balance beam to finish second in the all-around and help the Titans beat Penn State by one-tenth of a point for the crown.
Myslake-Roetert earned a total of nine All-American awards -- on vault, bars and the all-around in 1978; on all four events plus the all-around in 1979; and on bars in 1980. She won four individual regional championships (bars in 1978; bars, vault and all-around in 1979) and four conference championships (floor in 1977 and 1978 and vault and bars in 1979).
Boone was the key player as Coach Augie Garrido launched the Titans' Div. I baseball program in 1975. The 5-foot-7 lefthander, who is a distant relative of the fabled frontiersman of the same name, transferred from Cerritos College and compiled a 22-6 record for the Titans in 1975 and 1976 with a 2.29 career earned run average, fourth best in school history.
His defining moment came at the 1975 NCAA Regional at USC, where the Titans would face the five-time defending national champions on their home diamond. Boone beat the Trojans with a complete game in the first round, 3-1. He then came back in the eventual title game vs. Pepperdine, entering in relief in the third inning to finish a 6-4 victory that sent the Titans to Omaha for the first time. He still holds the CSF record with 13 complete games in 1975.
Boone was a member of the National Baseball Congress all-tournament team in 1975 for Anchorage and was drafted in the 14th round of the 1976 MLB draft by the New York Yankees. He made the big leagues in 1981 with San Diego but was traded in the middle of the 1982 season to Houston and was out of baseball by 1984. But he came back to pitch in a senior league in 1989 and attracted the attention of the Baltimore Orioles, who signed him and gave him four appearances in 1990, one as a starter. His major league record for 61 appearances was 2-1 with 4 saves and a 3.36 ERA.
Coach Murphy was the face of Titan football for its final 13 seasons (1980-1992). Despite having no home stadium until the final year and very little in the way of resources, he built a program that in a span of seven years (1983-89) won consecutive conference championships (1983 and 1984) and finished in second place four times. He led the Titans to their only bowl appearance -- the 1983 California Bowl in Fresno vs. Northern Illinois -- and his 1984 team was 11-1 on the field (12-0 after a forfeit from UNLV) and was ranked in the national Top 20. His career record was 59-89-1 -- 31-19 at home and 28-70-1 on the road.
Murphy had a knack for hiring brilliant young assistant coaches who served the Titans well before advancing in their careers. His legacy includes two future NFL head coaches (Steve Mariucci and Tom Cable) and numerous NFL and major college coordinators and assistants.
Murphy also was popular with his players on a personal level, showing true concern for their extended families and children. He had great rapport with the Fullerton and Orange County communities and developed long-lasting support groups. After the Titan program was suspended, he became head coach at Fullerton College in 1993 and continued in that role through his recent retirement.