1989 Bullard High School Baseball
Baseball Team

Coach Mike Noakes' Knights not only dominated the Central Section, but competition from coast to coast, finishing the season with an 28-2 record and rankings of No. 1 in California and No. 2 in the nation.

Led by catcher-pitcher Todd Johnson and undefeated left-handed pitcher Bobby Waits, the team won the Fresno Easter Classic, the Colonial Baseball Classic in Orlando, Fla., the North Yosemite League title and the Central Section Yosemite Division championship. Along the way, the Knights attracted national attention from ESPN and USA Today.

​Johnson hit .429 and slugged 12 home runs. He also compiled a 10-2 record with 88 strikeouts and a 1.64 ERA on the mound while often facing the opposing team's ace pitcher. He was named The Fresno Bee's Player of the Year for the second consecutive time.

​Waits followed an 11-0 junior campaign with a 10-0 record to close his career with nary a loss and earn all-section honors. As for Noakes, he repeated as The Bee's Coach of the Year.

Shortstop Robert Swanbeck was also an all-section choice by The Bee. He hit .402, had 24 RBI and stole 13 bases while anchoring the infield defensively.

​It was the second Yosemite Division crown in a row and third in the 1980s for Bullard. The Knights walloped second-seeded Hanford 15-2 in the title game, as third baseman Darrick Walker drove in five runs and Waits was the winning pitcher.

Balch, Rod

An All-American wrestler at the high school, community college and collegiate levels, Balch excelled as a coach, too, leading Clovis High School to three consecutive California State team championships (1990-92).

This combination of excellence made him one of the most-decorated individuals in the sport from the Fresno area and culminated in his induction into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2014.

In addition, his son Andrew won the 145-lb. pound crown at the CIF State Championship in 2008, enabling the Balch's to become just the third father-and-son combination to claim gold medals in the event's history. Competing at 135 pounds, Rod claimed his state title in 1974 while wrestling for Clovis High.

The 1975 season brought more acclaim as he compiled a 40-4-1 record en route to winning the California Community College championship at 142 lbs. for state champion Fresno City College.

A move to CSU Bakersfield the following season proved fruitful for Balch. During his three seasons with Coach Joe Seay's Roadrunners, he totaled 96 victories, including 21 by pins, captured three conference titles and was a two-time Division II All-American, finishing second and fifth in the NCAA Division II Championships. While Balch was competing for the Roadrunners, they won national titles in 1976 and '77 and were the runners-up in '78.

Balch then graduated from competing on the mat to coaching at his alma mater, Clovis High. Over 15 seasons with the Cougars, his teams won 8 North Yosemite League Championships, 7 Central Section Championships and 3 CIF State Championships, and he was named California State Coach of the Year.


Cleary, Tom

Playing for Jerry Tarkanian at San Joaquin Memorial High School, the 6-foot, 6-inch Cleary was the star of the team, even helping the Panthers upset powerhouse Edison High in 1957. But it wasn't until Cleary took over as Memorial's coach that the Panthers would end years of frustration by winning their first league championship in 1968.

​Once they got a taste of winning under Cleary, Memorial developed into a state power that dominated headlines and attracted scores of college recruiters to their games.

​In Cleary's 11 seasons at the helm, the Panthers compiled a 195-78 record. They won six North Sequoia League titles, three CIF Central Section championships (1970, 1972, 1973) and swept the prestigious Tournament of Champions - the forerunner of the state championships - in 1972 and 1973.

​During one span, the Panthers won 49 straight NSL games. More impressively, in the six consecutive seasons that Cleary had Roscoe, Clifton or Sammy Pondexter on his roster, the Panthers won 129 of 151 games against competition that included some of California's top high school programs.

​Cleary was honored as the 1972 California High School Basketball Coach of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports following Memorial's 27-2 season and first TOC title. He was The Fresno Bee's All-Metro Basketball Coach of the Year in 1970 and 1973.

​Roscoe Pondexter graduated from Memorial as California's all-time boys' high school scorer with 2,288 points, and Clifton Pondexter was a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Bulls in the 1974 NBA draft. David Tucker, another athlete coached by Cleary on the Memorial basketball team, set the national high school triple jump record.

​Following his coaching career, Cleary became a dedicated community volunteer who gave many hours to helping the homeless at the Poverello House and other individuals in need of help.

Henderson, Dave

An All-American in baseball and football at Dos Palos High School, "Hendu" became famous for his timely power hitting in Major League Baseball's postseason and for being a member of the 1989 World Series champion Oakland A's, who swept the San Francisco Giants.

​Seattle drafted Henderson in the first round in 1977, and the 6'-2", 210-pounder reached the majors four seasons later with the Mariners. Noted for both his bat and his glove, he led American League center fielders with double plays turned in 1982 and '84.

​Henderson moved into the national spotlight after a 1986 trade sent him to Boston. In Game 5 of the ALCS, his home run gave the Red Sox the lead and his sacrifice fly in the 11th inning gave them the victory over the California Angels. In the World Series, the Red Sox fell to the New York Mets, but Henderson hit .400 with two home runs, his second providing the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning of Game 6.

​The 1988 season with the A's was Henderson's best, as he set career highs in batting average (.304), runs (100), slugging percentage (.525) and doubles (38), with 24 home runs. He was an American League All-Star in 1991, the season he reached his career high in home runs with 25, including three in one game.

​Henderson's stats in eight postseason series illustrate his ability to produce under pressure: .298 BA, 7 HR, 20 RBI, 24 runs and a .570 slugging percentage in 36 games.

Henderson's career numbers over 14 big-league seasons included 197 HR, 708 RBI, 710 runs, 286 doubles, 50 stolen bases and a .258 BA.

​Following his playing days, a career cut short by a serious knee injury, Henderson became a commentator on Mariners radio broadcasts and operated baseball fantasy camps.

McNealy, Chris

Perseverance paid off for the Fresno native who led Roosevelt High School to great heights in the late 1970s, was the backbone of San Jose State's program for three seasons and enjoyed a long professional career, including three seasons with the New York Knicks.

​The 6-foot-7, 205-pound forward played 12 years at the highest levels of European professional basketball, with eight years in Italy and four years in Spain, then embarked on a second career as an international scout evaluating talent for the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets.

​McNealy was a complete player, capable of leading his team in points, rebounds, blocked shots or even assists on a given night.

​He played one year at Santa Barbara City College before transferring to San Jose State, where he finished his career as the school's fourth all-time leading scorer (1,236 points) and sixth leading rebounder (678.) Playing for Coach Bill Berry, McNealy was selected first-team All Pacific Coast Athletic Association in both 1982 and '83 and was named honorable mention All-America. Showing how reliant the Spartans were on McNealy: he averaged nearly 37 minutes a game over his three seasons.

​After averaging 19.3 points and 9.4 rebounds a game and shooting 59% from the field as a senior, he was drafted with the 14th pick of the second round, 38th selection overall, in 1983 by the NBA's Kansas City Kings. A draft-day trade sent him to the Chicago Bulls, but McNealy played for Team Bic of the Italian League the following season.

​Spurred on by his dream of playing in the NBA, McNealy returned to the U.S. and played in the Continental Basketball Association. An impressive performance in the CBA All-Star Game, in which he scored 18 points and had 17 rebounds, earned him a spot with the Knicks in the NBA. His career averages for New York over 108 games were 4.3 points and 4.6 rebounds a game. McNealy returned to Europe, where he was a standout performer until retiring in 1999.

McNealy was inducted into the San Jose State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

Milutinovich, Diane
Athletic Administration

Milutinovich was a nationally recognized and much-honored advocate for women's athletics during her 27 years at Fresno State, a time in which the university made significant strides with its female sports programs.

​For 22 of those years, the Fresno High School and Fresno State graduate served in administration, rising to associate athletic director and senior woman administrator. During that span, she supervised 15 different sports. Among them: softball, volleyball, men's and women's soccer, women's basketball, wrestling, swimming and golf.

​Beyond Fresno State, she served as tournament director for more than 30 NCAA postseason events in four sports, including 17 softball regionals and 16 men's soccer matches.

​In 2010, after leaving Fresno State, Milutinovich received the National Award for Distinction from the Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. Between 1993 and 2008, she received similar honors on the state level four times -- including recognition as the California Senate's Woman of the Year in the 16th District.

​State Sen. Dean Florez said that the Women of the Year honor was awarded in recognition of Milutinovich's "many contributions to women's athletics and her unwavering fight for gender equity in higher education."

​Milutinovich's advocacy for Title IX implementation and equity between men's and women's athletics often put her at odds with those who viewed athletics primarily as a man's domain. But she pressed forward with courage, ignoring the risks to her career.

Tedford, Jeff

The Tedford name is synonymous with success, quarterbacks and high-scoring offenses. As a record-breaking quarterback under Jim Sweeney at Fresno State, he led the Bulldogs to the 1982 PCAA conference title and a last-second 29-28 victory over Bowling Green in the California Bowl.

As an offensive coordinator, he was pivotal in the rise to national prominence enjoyed by the University of Oregon in the late 1990s.

As an offensive coordinator, he was pivotal in the rise to national prominence enjoyed by the University of Oregon in the late 1990s.

​But the numbers, glossy as they are, don't begin to tell the whole story. Tedford earned acclaim for his ability to develop players, particularly quarterbacks. As a Fresno State assistant, he took Trent Dilfer from a raw talent into a first-round draft pick. With Oregon, he worked with future first-round picks Joey Harrington and Akili Smith and, at Cal, he oversaw the maturation of Aaron Rogers and Kyle Boller. Under Tedford, the Bears had eight players eclipse 1,000 yards rushing in a season, including future NFL star Marshawn Lynch.

​Tedford earned all-league honors as a quarterback at Warren High School in Downey, and played two years at Cerritos College before coming to Fresno State, where he threw 35 TD passes in two seasons. After Fresno State, he played six seasons in the Canadian Football League. At the time of his FAHOF induction, Tedford was offensive coordinator for the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Trask, Art

To say that Art Trask was born to bowl is an understatement. Raised in a family of bowlers in Miami, Fla., he picked up a ball at the age of 7. Five years later, he was the American Junior Bowling Congress national champion, the result of a 678 three-game series.

​Later moving to Fresno, he would claim the title of best bowler ever from Central California, having won 4 Professional Bowlers Assn. titles, finishing second in six PBA tournaments and appearing in televised national finals 21 times between 1973 and 1987.

​Known for his consistency and ability to hit the pocket in tough scoring conditions, Trask went head-to-head against the biggest names in bowling during an era when millions of Americans watched the televised finals of the PBA tour on Saturday afternoons.

​His best season was 1982, when he won three tournament titles and finished sixth in the money standings with $92,535. A year later, he opened the final match of the Fair Lanes Open with nine straight strikes and finished with a 275 to beat Hall of Famer Earl Anthony to claim the title in Baltimore. It was a mirror-image reversal of the 1974 Hawaiian Invitational when Anthony rolled a 299 to beat Trask for the crown.

​A tough competitor who didn't wilt under the glare of TV cameras and wasn't intimidated by Hall of Fame competition, Trask also beat Marshall Holman in the televised championship match of the 1982 Cleveland Open. Trask's best finish in a PBA major was his third place in the 1987 Tournament Champions won by Dick Weber.

​In addition to his high-profile PBA career, Trask is known to countless Fresno area bowlers for his pro shops and participation in leagues. He was inducted into the Central California Bowling Assn. Hall of Fame in 1994.

Inductees By Year
Honoring the Past
Celebrating the Present
Inspiring the Future