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Santa Monica College Creates Sports Hall of Fame: first four inductees include Olympic medalists

The Santa Monica College Foundation simultaneously announced the creation of the Santa Monica College Sports Hall of Fame and the names of its first inductees.

The four inductees are alumnus Lenny Krayzelburg, four-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, alumnus Johnny Gray, four-time track and field Olympian who won a bronze medal in the 1992 Games in Barcelona, John Joseph, who was swimming coach at SMC for 44 years, and the late Dr. Kay Teer Crawford, who established SMC’s accomplished drill team, the Coronettes, in the late 1950s.

The induction ceremony, at which a five by nine-foot Sports Hall of Fame display will be unveiled at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 12, in the SMC Skybox at Corsair Field, 1900 Pico Boulevard, two hours before the homecoming football game against Compton College.

A $25 donation is requested. Call (310) 434-4307.

Funding for the project has been made possible by contributions through the President’s Circle, an annual-giving support group founded in 2001.

The President’s Circle funds programs designed to enhance teaching and learning at SMC.

“The Sports Hall of Fame brings deserved attention to the outstanding programs and rich sports traditions of Santa Monica College,” said SMC Foundation Executive Director Dr. JoAnn McLin Ortiz. “It exemplifies the importance of saying ’well done’ to those who have participated in those traditions and to those who will carry them on.”

Krayzelburg stroked his way to four Olympic gold medals, three in the 2000 Sydney Games and one in Athens in 2004. While attending SMC from 1992 to 1994, he won three California Junior College Conference Championships under the tutelage of swimming coach Stu Blumkin. Krayzelburg received his bachelor’s degree from USC.

Gray’s two-decade career as a competitive sprinter spans four Olympic games, earning him the bronze medal in 1992. He also twice won the gold at the Pan American Games. He still holds the American 800-meter indoor and outdoor records. Gray attended SMC from 1979 through 1980 and graduated from Arizona State University in 1982.

Joseph’s long run as head SMC swimming coach began in 1951 and ended with his retirement in 1992. He produced more than 300 All-Americans, racked up 13 undefeated seasons, and coached 20 Conference Championship teams and one State Championship Team. He was named Conference Coach of the Year 21 times and State Coach of the Year three times.Crawford not only established the Coronettes, she was the first woman chair of the college’s health, physical education and dance department. Her tenure at the college lasted nearly 30 years, from 1955 to 1984, and she was a dance and drill director for more than 50 years, producing 10 halftime Super Bowl shows among other televised productions.

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