Honoring the Past     Celebrating the Present     Inspiring the Future
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The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.


Today we have over 400 individual and team inductees recognizing the accomplishments of the best of the best in Fresno County Athletes. The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, which will soon be located at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus, is a non-profit organization that depends upon the support of the community and local businesses.

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History

The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 1958 by John Voenes, the original chairman of the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, and Ed Orman, Sports Editor for the Fresno Bee.

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Our mission, from our inception, as it remains today, is to honor and remember the past accomplishments of our Fresno County athletes, to annually celebrate the enshrinement of our new inductees and to provide inspiration to our youth so they too can become all they can be in their lives.

Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
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View Past Inductees
In Memoriam
In Memoriam
Bob Bennett
1933-2020

Bob Bennett was Oklahoma-born, but Fresno-raised. He graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1951 and then went on to play for Pete Beiden at Fresno State.

Bennett’s coaching career began in 1956 at Kingsburg High School. From there, he went to Bullard High School.

In 1967, Beiden took a one-year sabbatical and Bennett coached the Bulldogs. They went 38-10 that season. When Beiden came back the next season, Bennett went back to Bullard. A couple of years later, Beiden retired and Bennett officially took over at Fresno State.

That was in 1970. He stayed until 2002, when he retired.

During that time, the Bulldogs only had two losing seasons. And they rattled off 26 consecutive winning seasons under Bennett, from 1977 until his last season in 2002.

“You know, I’ve spent over half of my lifetime here at Fresno State,” said Bennett on the day of his retirement. “Four years as a player, was a graduate student and 34 as a coach. And they told me I have seven minutes (laughing).”

Bob Bennett won 1,302 games. He took Fresno State to two College World Series, 1988 and 1991. His teams went to 21 NCAA Regionals, hosting eight of them. And they won 17 conference championships.

Bennett, a Hall of Famer, was a conference coach of the year 14 times. He was NCAA Coach of the Year in 1988, the year the Bulldogs were the No. 1 team in the nation. They won 32 games in a row that year and finished 56-12.

Fresno State also led the nation in attendance in 1988, as well as in 1989.

In 2000, Bob Bennett won the Lefty Gomez Award, given annually by the American Baseball Coaches Association to an individual with significant contributions to the game of baseball.

In his 34 seasons, Bob Bennett coached 27 all-Americans, nine players who became first-round draft picks and three players who won Olympic medals.

In May of 2016, 14 years after he retired, the stadium at Fresno State was named after him.

Bob Bennett, a 1990 inductee into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, died on May 31st, 2020. He was 86 years old.

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Enshrinement Dinner
SAVE THE DATE:

Join us Thursday, November 12th, 2020 as we honor the accomplishments of the best of the best in Fresno County Athletes.

We are dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.

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VISIT OUR GALLERY
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OUR MISSION: TO INSPIRE THE FUTURE!

We hope to empower and to encourage our community members to realize that through commitment, hard work, and dedication anybody can achieve their goals and their own individual levels of greatness in life. As with any team sport, our community will thrive with the combined efforts of individuals. We support, encourage, and motivate one another to achieve success.

Just as our outstanding athletes have achieved success with the support and guidance of family, coaches, and mentors, our youth and the future of our community will also require guidance, life coaches, and mentors to thrive. You can become a mentor by contributing to the success of our exhibit and providing a place where children can be inspired and motivated to overcome the negative influences in their lives and to realize the opportunities that they have available to achieve greatness in their own way.

The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.

HELP US REALIZE OUR VISION

The future home of Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, will soon be located at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus. We are a non-profit organization that depends upon the support of the community and local businesses. You can become a proud participant by pledging your financial support today!

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THE FUTURE
THE FRESNO COUNTY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors
  • Gordie Webster, President
  • Tim Leary, Vice President
  • Bill Chaltraw, Treasurer/Secretary
  • Jean Ainger
  • Gena Strang-Behrens
  • Walt Byrd, Jr.
  • Diane Carbray
  • Jeanne Contel
  • Steve Darnell
  • Dick Ellsworth
  • John Higginbotham
  • Tom Kane
  • Andrew Marden
  • Pat Ogle
  • Donna Pickel
  • Tom Sommers
  • Ron Thomas
  • Shelly Van Houwelingen
  • Jackie White
  • Auxiliary Board Members
  • Mark Cameron
  • Joe Cooper
  • Kellie Deyer
  • Pete Esraelian
  • Bill McEwen
  • Tom McFerson
  • Jim Pardini
  • Casey Rowe
  • Jim Sandrini
  • Chris Torrence
  • Mike Watney
  • Rod Webster
  • Jim Yovino
  • DeWayne Zinkin
  • Committee Chairs
  • Walt Byrd, Jr., Capital Campaign
  • TBD, Dinner Committee
  • Diane Carbray & Jean Ainger, Women’s Conference
  • Tom Kane, Peter G. Mehas Memorial Scholarship
  • Pat Ogle, Individual Selection Committee
  • Jeanne Contel, Team Selection Committee
Honoring the Past
Celebrating the Present
Inspiring the Future