Chico State Hall of Fame Celebration Oct. 10
CHICO — The Chico State Athletic Hall of Fame celebrates the glories of past Wildcat sports with its 24th annual awards ceremony on Saturday, October 10, in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium on campus. Once again, an impressive list of inductees will join this exclusive club.
Eleven former student-athletes will form the induction class of 2009, including the father-son due of Dick and Gary Kollenborn, along with Chico State Cross Country/Distance Coach Gary Towne.
Following are brief bios of all 2009 inductees:
Wendy Bates (Basketball, 1986-88)
A point guard during her playing days for the Wildcats, Wendy Bates posted several single-game and career records and led her squad to the 1986-87 Northern California Athletic Conference championship. Bates has since gone on to a successful coaching career and is currently both the head softball and women’s basketball coach at Monterey Peninsula College.
Matt Dillon (Football, 1984-87)
A four-year performer for the Wildcats in the mid-1980s, Matt Dillon was a top tier defensive back in the Northern California Athletic Conference. A two-time All-NCAC selection, Dillon was named the team’s defensive MVP in 1987 and was a team captain in both his junior and senior years. Dillon’s name is forever etched in the Wildcat record book for the longest interception return (75 yards) and for the most fumbles recovered in one game (three).
Pete Franco (Football, 1965-66)
Pete Franco transferred to Chico State after playing two years at Chabot JC, and in his own words, it was the best decision he ever made. Franco was a star wide receiver for the ’Cats, earning First Team All-Far West Conference honors in 1966 thanks in large part to the 11 touchdowns he scored that season. Franco also saw his share of time at the defensive back position, providing head coach George Maderos with a true shutdown cornerback.
Richard “Gary” Kollenborn (Football, 1960-63; Baseball, 1961-63; Track & Field, 1964)
A “Wildcat” in every sense of the word, Gary Kollenborn was a three-sport athlete for Chico State in the early to mid-1960s. On the football field, Kollenborn played both offense, defense, and special teams, earning all-conference honors in 1963. Kollenborn not only showed his versatility on the gridiron, but went on to earn eight varsity letters in three different sports during his Wildcat career. He went on to a long successful teaching and coaching career at the high school and junior college level.
Richard “Dick” Kollenborn (Football, 1937-40)
The father of Gary Kollenborn, Dick Kollenborn was a key contributor to the Wildcat football teams of the late 1930s. As with most players of the day, Kollenborn played both sides of the ball, starring at running back and at defensive back. After graduation, he served two years in the Army Air Corp before returning to the Sacramento area to begin a career in education. Richard “Dick” Kollenborn passed away on December 19, 1990.
Debbie Peloyan-Maderos (Swimming, 1970-74; Softball 1970-74)
Debbie Peloyan-Maderos participated in three sports during her Wildcat career, reaching the varsity level in swimming and softball and the junior varsity level in basketball. That simple fact is a testament to her desire to compete and her will to succeed as she was a walk-on in all three sports who had very little previous playing experience. Interestingly enough, Maderos has enjoyed her greatest athletic success in two sports she took up after leaving Chico State—tennis and golf—capturing many local championships in both sports.
Kevin Miller (Football, 1987-89; Baseball, 1987-90)
A two-sport star for the Wildcats, Kevin Miller enjoyed his greatest success on the diamond. Drafted by the New York Mets out of high school, Miller chose to attend Chico State instead, and in the process, went on to earn several All-West Region and All-NCAC honors. Miller’s talent on the field is made crystal clear with one look at the Wildcat record books, where he still holds the career mark for total bases (318) and doubles (52), and is still ranked among the top 10 in six other offensive categories. After graduation, he went on to play three years of minor league ball in the Detroit Tigers organization.
Fred Obermiller (Basketball, 1958-62; Football, 1962)
A four-year player for the Wildcat basketball team, Fred Obermiller was truly a workhorse for Chico State during his time on the hardwood. One of the team’s leading scorers and rebounders, Obermiller was a three-time all-conference selection as he led the ’Cats in rebounds and blocked shots in three of his four years. When his basketball eligibility was up, he played one year of football and was so impressive that he was contacted by several NFL scouts.
Darcy (Power) Pollack (Basketball, 1987-89; Field Hockey, 1986-89)
Darcy Power-Pollack performed her magic on the court and the field as a member of the Chico State basketball and field hockey teams of the late 1980s. Pollak earned All-American honors in field hockey and is still ranked among the school’s all-time top 10 on the hardwood for single season and career three-point field goal percentage. She has gone on to be a highly successful coach at Chico High School, where she has led the Panthers to four consecutive league championships.
Mike Porter (Track & Field, 1969-71)
A dominant sprinter in his day, Mike Porter would probably still be a dominant sprinter in a matchup against today’s student-athletes. Porter ran the equivalent of 47.3 for the 400 meter sprint in 1971, a school record that still stands to this day, some 38 years after the fact. Porter continued to run competitively after graduation as a member of the Bay Area Striders from 1972-77, an elite running club that competed against some of the best athletes and teams in the nation at the time.
Bob Vickney (Football, 1983-84; Track & Field, 1986-87)
Bob Vickney achieved great success in both football and track and field for the Wildcats in the 1980s. Under former head football coach Mike Bellotti, Vickney earned all-conference honors at the linebacker position. On the track, Vickney was the NCAC champion in the shot put in 1986, earning a trip to the NCAA National Championship meet, where he placed 10th in the nation.
Gary Towne (Honorary)
Arguably, the most successful and honored coach in the history of Chico State Athletics, Gary Towne is beginning his 14th season as the head coach of the Wildcat cross country team and distance coach for the track & field team. During his tenure, Towne has coached an astonishing 61 All-Americans, including three athletes that have won a combined five national titles. His men’s cross country team has won seven consecutive West Regional and CCAA titles, while his women’s team has captured four of the last six regional championships, and five of the past seven CCAA championships. All together, Towne has coached 18 cross country teams that have finished among the top 10 in the nation.