Clovis Unified School District held its inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame awards presentation on Nov. 5, inducting six individuals and two teams into the newly established Clovis Unified Athletic Hall of Fame.
Notable student athletes, coaches and teams were selected for their contributions both within and outside of the district’s sports program, said district spokesperson Kelly Avants.
“We accepted nominations from the community,” she said. “We publicized it in the community, we had media and sports writers who submitted their ideas and Bob Barnett, who is a local historian, was also a part of the process. Then, there was a committee who considered possible applicants before selecting these nine.”
Many of the honorees cited the district’s founding superintendent, Floyd “Doc” Buchanan, as an early proponent of its sports programs and credited him with shaping its culture of excellence.
“It’s been mentioned often, but he established a culture [in which] you set standards and then you figure out a way to exceed those standards,” said Tim Simons, whose coaching career in the district spanned four decades.
“The number of opportunities you’re afforded, just really taking pride in hard work and really getting involved and being the best you can be on the field, in the classroom ... I think that’s a pretty simple foundation but it’s certainly something I live by and instill in my students as a coach,” added Amanda Scott.
Ruth Lawanson, a member of Clovis West’s second graduating class in 1981, recalled being a three sport athlete while attending the school: “We were the first ones there, so there was no model for us. We just knew we had to go out there and do the best we could and compete. We sort of set the standard because there was no standard for us.”
Both Lawanson and Scott went on to enjoy successful collegiate athletic careers at Fresno State and are Olympic medalists in their respective sports (volleyball for Lawanson, softball for Scott).
“He (Buchanan) would relish and be so proud of what he started in Clovis,” said Buchanan’s daughter, Randy Hein. “To see it grow to such a grand size and to see all the children who have been so successful and been given the opportunity to play on a team, play a sport or just be involved ... I know Dad would say it’s the people, they all deserve it.”
The 2016 honorees are:
Floyd B. Buchanan, Ed.D. Buchanan, the district’s first superintendent, is credited with establishing the high academic and athletic standards the district is known for. In future years, the Doctor Floyd “Doc” Buchanan Award will be given to an honoree whose “wins go beyond the playing field and show spirit, dedication and pride.”
Daryle Lamonica The former Clovis High football and baseball player led the 1967 Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl championship.
Dennis DeLiddo During the 1970s, DeLiddo coached Clovis High wrestlers to five CIF Section Championships and three CIF State Championships.
Ruth Lawanson Lawanson, a 1981 graduate of Clovis West, was a three sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, track and field) and Fresno State All-American (in volleyball). She won a bronze medal as part of the 1992 United States Olympic volleyball team.
Amanda Scott Clovis High’s Scott was the Cal-Hi Sports Miss Softball California Player of the Year in 1996. While attending Fresno State, she was a four-time All-American and led the Bulldogs to the 1998 NCAA Championship. Scott won a gold medal as part of the 2000 United States Olympic softball team.
Chris Hernandez The Clovis West basketball player, who graduated in 2001, was named a state Division-1 Player of the Year and was a three-time All Pac 10 selection for Stanford University.
Tim Simons Simons coached in both the Clovis High and Clovis North football programs over four decades, leading his teams to five CIF section championships. He is the second-winningest coach in section history, with a record of 249-94-7 over his 30-year coaching career.
1968 Clovis High School Boys Basketball Team The team was the district’s first North Yosemite League championship team in any sport.
1970 Clovis High School Football Team The team was Clovis Unified’s first Yosemite Division CIF section championship football team.