By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Burroughs held its annual athletics “Hall of Fame” induction ceremony last Friday and it concluded in grand style. The best was saved for last. After years of serving as the presider and master of ceremony for the special evening, Marty Garrison was a recipient this time.
A graduate of John Burroughs in 1962 and the school’s current Athletic Director since 1988, Garrison earned his place alongside Burroughs greatest coaches and athletes. It was a moment that Garrison will never forget as Jay Gudzin welcomed him into the Hall of Fame.
“It’s one of the highlights of my life,” Garrison said. “My entire family was here so that’s pretty awesome too. I’m pretty lucky.”
Garrison found out about the surprise induction two weeks prior to the event. At the time, Garrison was preparing to honor the 1981 Football team, Suzy Babko, Kimberly Farrell, and Coach Mickey McNamee. Then he received word of his distinction which caught him off-guard but no less was a humbling sense of pride and excitement.
“I was pretty excited when I first heard,” he said. “I now know how these people feel because I do it every year for them. I know what it means and it’s pretty special.”
After Gudzin presented him with his medal after a heart-warming speech, Garrison thanked everyone and then had time afterwards to reflect upon his induction and the words that Gudzin shared.
Gudzin spoke highly of Garrison, his character and the enormous positive impact that Garrison has had on the Burroughs community for so many years.
“You don’t hear those words that often,” said Garrison, who has coached for more than 35 years. “You never hear anyone saying how good of a job you are doing. It’s usually ‘will you do this or will you do that?’”
Garrison has coached 10 league championship football teams, made 16 CIF appearances and was a coach on the 1986 football team that made it to the CIF Finals.
Now that he has reached the pinnacle in his career, Garrison was asked if he would ever consider retiring after such a poignant time in his life.
“No,” Garrison said with hearty laughter. “I’ve got a lot more work to do here.”
Former Athletic Director Brian Hurst, who named Garrison as the Athletic Director to replace him, and Burroughs Softball Coach Doug Nicol, shared their thoughts on Garrison’s Hall of Fame induction.
“It’s awesome and long overdue. It couldn’t have happened to a better guy,” Hurst said. “It’s well-deserving, he’s a hard worker and he is loved by everybody.”
“Like Jay (Gudzin) said in his speech, it’s hard to follow an icon like Brian Hurst but he did it with flying colors,” said Nicol. “Marty is literally the heart and soul of the school now. I’ve had the opportunity to coach his kids before I came here and also to work with him. If anyone is deserving, it’s Marty Garrison.”
In addition to Garrison, the night also belonged to the 1981 Football team, Suzy Babko, Kimberly Farrell, and Coach Mickey McNamee. Former football coach and Burroughs Hall of Famer Bob Dunivant was on-hand to see his 1981 gridiron squad receive their due recognition.
The Indians were the first team at JBHS to play in a CIF championship football game.
“I’m really happy about it,” Dunivant said. “We had a number of Foothill League championships and I remember that one probably as much as any of them.”
With many dignitaries in attendance from the Burbank Unified School District as well as current and former coaches, family and friends, Burroughs High School once again showed why its Hall of Fame is one to be proud of.
“It’s a great event. This is what makes Burroughs great,” Nicol said. “Burroughs has always had a huge sense of community ever since I was a student here in 1979. Marty understands that. It’s great to see old friends and people you care about at an event like this.”
“I’m glad to see the tradition keep going on,” Hurst added. “It’s keeping the history of the school and athletics alive.”
The ceremony also honored Roberto Perez, Hall of Fame class of 2006, who had his No. 13 soccer jersey retired by Burroughs Soccer Coach Mike Kodama. He was an All-American and the CIF Player of the Year in 1994.
(Photo gallery below)
2013 Hall of Fame honorees:
1981 Football team
The 1981 Football team, ranked second in the CIF, was the Foothill League Champs for the fifth consecutive year and earned the school’s first trip to the CIF Championship game.
Coaches: Bob Dunivant, John Plevack, Jay Gudzin
Players: Chris Vanole, David Strasser, Don Bender, Bill Tebbe, Joe Tofoya, Jim Frankian, Tim Radecki, Jerry Mersola, John Marx, Charlie Cusumano, Bo Williams, Tom Tlton, Mark Bozeman, Mike Lesi, Eriz Ziegler, Jeff Markland, John McHorney, Kiyo Watanable
Suzy Babko- 1994
Suzy graduated from John Burroughs in 1994. While at Burroughs, Suzy played basketball, volleyball, and ran track. She earned first-team All-League honors in both basketball and volleyball. After graduating from JBHS, Suzy attended UC Riverside on a basketball and track scholarship. In 2007 Suzy earned her Doctorate degree and began her current position as a Cal State Fullerton Special Ed. Teacher.
Kimberly Farrell- 1978
Kim graduated from John Burroughs in 1978 where she led the girls’ basketball team to their first Foothill League Championship. Kimberly demolished the Foothill league basketball records in scoring, rebounding and shooting percentage averaging 26 points and 18 rebounds her junior and senior year. She was voted MVP her sophomore, junior, and senior years. She was the first girls’ basketball player to be selected as the Los Angeles Times Player of the Week. She earned a scholarship to Long Beach State and started for the NCAA Division one top-ranked team in the nation.
Mickey McNamee- 1957
Mickey graduated from John Burroughs in 1957 and played baseball for the 1957 team which delivered the first Foothill League Baseball Championship title for JBHS. At the end of the season, Mickey was named to the All-CIF team. Mickey went on to play at USC and later coached at USC with Rod Dedeaux. In 1963 Mickey went to San Marino and was the varsity baseball coach for 44 years. During that span the Titans qualified 30 times for the CIF playoffs. They were in the Finals seven times and emerged as CIF champions on five occasions. Mickey was named “Coach of the Year” six times.