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The National Girls and Women in Sports Day is an annual day of observance held on February 4th to acknowledge the accomplishments of female athletes, to see the influence of sports for women, and to recognize the progress and struggle for equality for women in athletics.

It was on February 3, 1987 that President Ronald Reagan signed Proclamation 5606 declaring February 4th as National Women in Sports Day.

This is a tip of the cap to all of the women who play, played, coach or coached sports at one time in their life. This is a brief stab at the extensive and honored history of women's sports as it relates to Fullerton College.

From the beginnings of Fullerton Junior College there were women's sports. Basketball, tennis, field hockey, badminton, volleyball, and softball were among the first sports to compete as early as 1916.

The Women's Athletic Association (WAA) was the body for which sports were played. It was founded to unify women's athletics and promote interest in sports among women throughout the nation. They were "club sports" managed by the WAA, which was a student-run organization with a faculty advisor.

It was very common many young women to compete in multiple sports, and it was Hornet advisors like Florence Randall, M.B. Rossman, and Gertrude Amling that had to wear many hats and gloves to help pave the way.

Young women had competition, however it was not supported or as organized like it is today. The games began as intramurals and then moved to intercollegiate play. Unlike the men's teams, the women were responsible for supplying their own equipment and transportation. There were very competitive college teams featuring fantastic athletes, but women in sports were not fairly covered in the news for their accomplishments. That would soon change. As more and more women hit the courts and fields, better funding and support began to trickle in by the 1960's.

There were more intercollegiate battles along with the crude beginnings of conference and post-season play. Coaches like Margo Davis and Marty Orner ushered in an era of dominance for the women of Fullerton College. From 1965 to 1969, the Hornets went undefeated in four competitive sports (softball, field hockey, volleyball, and basketball). Players such as Sharon Backus, Patty Meyers, Sue Sims, Cec Ponce, Sue Dustin Loversky, Star Golia, Sandy Poe, Shelia Reed-Rutherglen, Melanie Betts Coffman, Sue Johnson, Carolyn Faulkner, and Candy Wilson made their mark at Fullerton College not only as one of the greatest teams in the college's history, but they also paved the way for the female athletes playing at Fullerton College today. Coach Davis' motto was "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing".  It was posted on top of the game board for all to see walking into the P.E. Hall area.

Margo Davis began coaching at Fullerton in 1958 and was truly a strong advocate and pioneer for women's athletics. Before that, Davis was an outstanding athlete playing for a state title in 1945, and she became the first woman to coach and win the Amateur Softball Association World Championship in 1961. In 1968, Davis became one of the originators of all competitive sports for girls and women. In 1970, Margo presented the idea to the Junior College coaches association to consider dividing the teams in the state into leagues and having championship playoffs.  By 1978, the women were finally able to compete for a state title. Davis wrapped up a stellar softball coaching career in 1989 landing 9 conference championships, was the state runner-up 5 times, and won a state title in 1980.

Inspired by her coach, Margo Davis, a gifted young athlete in Colleen Riley (1962-1964) flashed her brilliance on and off the playing field. Riley went on to earn her degree in Physical Education, and after spending time as a high school coach (Valencia and El Dorado) she joined the Hornet coaching staff. Coach Riley went on to coach at Fullerton for more than 30 years amassing 540 wins. She was the first coach in community college women's basketball to hit 500 career wins. Riley's teams won 15 conference championships, 6 Southern California titles, and a state title in 1978. An inspired athlete on that 1978 team was Debi Woelke.

Marty Orner came to the FC campus in 1962 at the ripe age of 24. She began as the advisor for the Hornet Honeys drill team, and then was tabbed as the tennis coach and then moved on to coach volleyball. Known as an elite volleyball official at the high school and national levels, Marty transitioned to serving on the National Association for Girls and Women in Sport (NAGWS) to help with Officiating and Rule Committees. Orner served on numerous campus and district committees and is credited with successfully securing coaching pay for all of the head coaches. She retired from Fullerton in 1994.

Ann Read coached the Hornet tennis team from 1967-1987. She had great success during her time at Fullerton winning a state title in 1986 with two conference titles. The 1987 team went 12-0 in conference, while sophomore star Nicole Brechtbuhl became the state singles champion only losing one set the entire season.

Davis, Orner, Riley, and Read were on the front lines in 1972 when Title IX passed giving young women all around the country an equal playing field getting the same support and opportunities as the young men.

Dr. Susan Beers began her long and impressive career at Fullerton College in 1974 teaching and coaching women's aquatics. Coming up in a male-dominated profession was not an easy task, but Dr. Beers rose through the ranks becoming the first full-time Athletic Director and Dean of Physical Education. She was twice voted Administrator of the Year by the State Community College Organization of Physical Education (SCOPE) in 2001 and 2007. Dr. Beers also founded the Fullerton College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005 where athletes are recognized for their successes on and off the field.

Debi Woelke went from a star student-athlete at Fullerton College to a Hornet Hall of Fame coach after Colleen Riley passed the torch to her protégé. Woelke coached basketball from 1997 to 2012 locking down over 400 wins while winning 6 conference titles. From 2012 to 2014 she coached a successful women's golf program. Woelke coached a total of 22 seasons at the collegiate level beginning at UC Riverside and then Fullerton where her overall record stands at 440-253. In 2011, Debi reached one of her personal goals raising a total of $20,000 for the Colleen Riley Scholarship fund, which gives student athletes a $1,000 scholarship each year.

Softball coach Lisa Bassi is one of the winningest coaches in Fullerton College history with an impressive 724 total career wins. In 23 seasons, Bassi led the Hornets to a 657-376-4 (.636) overall record. Her first two seasons as a head coach were spent at the University of San Diego where she went 67-19-1 overall. Bassi took over where Margo Davis left off in 1990. She led the Hornets to 19 post-season appearances (16 consecutive) and was named the "Conference Coach of the Year" five times.  Bassi has also won the conference title three times and was honored by National Fastpitch Coaches Association for her career wins total in 2010. She packed away her clipboard after the 2013 season and still teaches fulltime at Fullerton College.

Current softball co-head coaches Marian "Speedy" Mendoza and Crystal Aguirre continue the winning tradition taking the team to the state tournament in 2019. Their teams are also known for their incredible community outreach, academic achievements, and the impressive ability to move their student athletes to the four-year level. Success for young women on all levels is what motivates Speedy and Crystal as they inspire others to move on a coach the game they love. Former standout Hornet softballer Diana Payan (2008-2010) became the head coach of the Cal State San Bernardino softball team in 2019 after getting her start an assistant coach under Speedy and Crystal.  

Longtime track and field and cross country coach Gina Bevec demands the best from all of her athletes. Beginning as an assistant coach in 1989, she has witnessed the changing of the guard from the pioneers (Riley, Davis, and Orner) to the new era. Coach "B" is the first woman to coach the men's cross country team and men's track team. Her teams have won numerous individual titles and have broken many of the school's individual records.

Taking over the helm as the women's soccer coach in 2001, Pam Lewin has had great success pushing her teams to the SoCal Regionals in three consecutive seasons. She has sent over 20 players to the next level in the past six years. As an athlete, Lewin still has the fire to compete as she continues to play in a competitive soccer league. Coach Lewin began the FC women's Lacrosse club team in 2019 with the hopes of it one day becoming a sanctioned California Community College Athletic Association sport. 

Basketball coach Marcia Foster is an inspiration. She joined the Hornet family in 2013 and has put together some competitive teams. Foster delivers more than just basketball to her players; she is a teacher of life lessons and giving back to the community. Coach Foster's teams are one of the best around when it comes to community service. Last basketball season she created the "All-In" program which took in donations of gently used sweatshirts, sweatpants, and new socks to help keep the homeless warm through the winter months. Foster is also credited with forming the "Run It Back Mentality" program, which accepts donations on behalf of St. Jude to help fight cancer.

In just two short seasons, Megan Glennie has turned the women's volleyball program in to a perennial winner. Since taking over in 2018, Glennie has led Fullerton to the playoffs in back to back seasons with an overall record of 31-19. She continues to build up the beach volleyball team as well. Glennie has a very busy schedule running a club volleyball program and the high school program at Troy. She puts her heart and soul into every student-athlete in her programs.

Dr. Yolanda Duron came to Fullerton in 2017 and is putting the tennis program back on the map. She coaches both the men and women's teams and is the first woman to coach the men's team. Dr. Duron is always looking to create success for her student-athletes using innovative techniques. Prior to FC, Dr. Duron coached at University La Verne, where she spent seven seasons. She also served as the head coach at Mount San Jacinto College (2008-2009). A former Division I player at Drexel, Duron was the team captain as well as an America East All-Conference selection in 2001.

"Playing sports gave me the ability to know I can reach any goal; smart work and team work! I owe all of my successes to the people who built me up and taught me how to work", Head Coach of the FC men and women's tennis programs Dr. Yolanda Duron.

FC Equipment Manager Cheryl Toth has been on campus since 1986 supporting women's sports. A former softball catcher out of Garden Grove High School, Toth is a dedicated fan of women's athletics and is loved by the athletes.   

And let's not forget about our Athletic Trainers… there have only been two full-time female Athletic Trainers in the college's history. Lisa Nelson swam for Dr. Sue Beers at Fullerton in the early 1980's, and then went on to become the first full-time female Athletic Trainer in the fall of 1987. After an amazing career, that included saving a life or two, Nelson retired after the spring of 2013. Lorena Tarnay joined the Hornet staff in 2015 and has been an absolute professional. A former soccer player, Tarnay truly cares about each and every athlete that comes her way. She takes special interest in her athletes. Currently, she is leading the way in coordinating the COVID-19 protocol. She is working her tail off to get our athletes back on campus in a safe and timely manner.

Anita Ward, Michelle Thomason, and Leslie Livelo work behind the scenes setting our student-athletes up for success. They are three dedicated women who love Fullerton College Athletics and do their best to make all of the games. They are the oil that keeps this fine machine going.

Women's Athletics have come a long way, but there is still more work ahead as today's coaches, players, and staff continue to light the fire within our young female athletes inspiring a new generation of success stories.