2013 San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Frankie Albert, Paul Child, Gary Cunningham & Tara VanDerveer

SAN JOSE, CA – Four South Bay sports icons that made their mark in professional, college, and Olympic sports make up the 2013 Class of Inductees of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The 19th class, which will be inducted in November (either November 19 or 20 – date to be confirmed) ceremony at SAP Center in San Jose, CA, includes:

  • Frankie Albert: All-American Pioneering Quarterback
  • Paul Child: San Jose’s First Pro Soccer Star
  • Gary Cunningham: High School Baseball Coaching Legend
  • Tara VanDerveer: NCAA & Olympic Championship Coach

The November ceremony, presented by Hewlett-Packard, celebrates 19 years of the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. The event kicks off with a reception followed by dinner and induction ceremony. Each inductee will be recognized with a bronze plaque permanently installed on the concourse at SAP Center at San Jose. Individual tickets begin at $250 each and sponsorship and table packages are available ranging from $3,000. For information and to purchase event tickets call (408) 288-2936.

With the induction of the class of 2013, there will be 89 South Bay sports icons enshrined in the Hall of Fame. The annual induction is an event of the San Jose Sports Authority, San Jose Arena Authority, SAP Center Management/San Jose Sharks, and the City of San José. The event benefits Special Olympics Northern California and high school sports programs.

About the San Jose Sports Authority

The San Jose Sports Authority is a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the City of San Jose’s economic development, visibility, and civic pride through sports. Serving as the City’s sports commission since its inception in 1991, the Sports Authority has provided leadership and support to attract and host hundreds of sporting events in San Jose and the South Bay. The Sports Authority also supports and operates community, youth and amateur sports programs, including the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, The First Tee of Silicon Valley, and the REACH Youth Scholarship Program. To learn more, visit www.sjsa.org.

Frankie Albert

Frankie Albert was born on January 27, 1920 in Chicago, Ill. He was a charismatic leader, a multi-talented and ingenious quarterback who earned All American recognition at Stanford University and Pro Bowl honors with the San Francisco 49ers.

Raised in Glendale, CA, Albert played only one year of varsity football at Glendale High School, because of his diminutive size (5’9” and 130 lbs.) but nevertheless he was named CIF player of the year. At Stanford Albert became the first T-formation quarterback in college football. Coached by the innovative Clark Shaughnessy, he played an integral role in popularizing this offensive strategy that revolutionized the game. Shaughnessy described Albert as “a superb ball handler, a magician with the ball and a gifted field general, wonderfully observing, a great left-handed passer and a great kicker. He was neither strong nor fast. His talents were intellectual and psychological; he could fool people, and by temperament he ate up that sort of assignment.”

Albert was also credited with inventing the bootleg play, in which the quarterback fakes a hand off and then runs wide with the ball hidden on his hip. He was a two-time All American (1940 and 1941). In addition to his qb duties, Albert also played defense and served as the team’s place kicker and punter, still holding the record for the longest punt at Stanford: 79 yards. In 1940 he led the Stanford “Wow Boys” to a 10-0 record, including a 21-3 victory over Nebraska in the Rose Bowl.   He was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 1956 and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 1989.

After serving in the Navy in World War II, Albert signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 1946 for their debut in the All American Football Conference, becoming the first of a now long line of the team’s great quarterbacks.   In 1948 he led the AAFC with 29 touchdown passes and shared the MVP award with Cleveland’s famed Otto Graham; in addition he was named Pro Football Player of the Year by Sport Magazine.   Albert played for the 49ers from 1946 to 1952 and then for the Calgary Stampeders in the CFL in 1953. At age 36, he returned to be the head coach of the 49ers from 1956 to 1958, compiling a 19-17-1 record.

After retiring from football, Albert capitalized on an offer from owner Tony Morabito to acquire 5 percent of the franchise. He and his high school sweetheart Marty were married 60 years and raised three daughters, all of whom attended Stanford. Albert died of Alzheimer’s on September 4, 2002 in Palo Alto.

Paul Child

Paul Child emerged as the first superstar for the San Jose Earthquakes in the North American Soccer League (NASL) , leading the league in scoring in 1974 with 15 goals and six assists and propelling San Jose to the playoffs, earning First-Team All-Star honors in the process.

A native of Birmingham, England, Child came to the United States from Aston Villa’s youth system in 1972 to play for the NASL’s Atlanta Chiefs. After two seasons in Atlanta, he excelled following a trade to San Jose, where he played for the next six seasons, electrifying the Quakes’ offense with his prolific scoring touch and finishing as franchise’s all-time leader goal scoring leader with 61.

Paul Child said, “I loved playing for San Jose in front of the great fans out there. There were a lot of great players there that made me a better player and were a joy to play with. This is a special honor because San Jose is where it all started for me.”

Overall, Child appeared in 149 outdoor games for San Jose, and in 1975, he was named Most Valuable Player of the NASL Indoor Tournament, leading the Quakes to the title at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, and scoring seven goals in four games.

Child was named to the U.S. National Team and earned two caps in 1973. Over his career, he played 239 games for four different NASL teams and scored 102 goals, ranking fifth all-time in NASL history. He was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2003 and into the San Jose Earthquakes Hall of Fame in 2012.

Gary Cunningham

Gary Cunningham grew up in the south bay graduating Menlo Atherton High School in 1966. Gary went on to attend San Jose State University where he played centerfield for the Spartans in 1969 and 1970. He had a two year career batting average of .332 and set three single season plus seven (two year) career batting records. After a brief stint in professional baseball with the San Diego Padres, Gary began his coaching career at Lynbrook High School in 1971. In 1972 he moved on to Del Mar High School where he had a teaching and coaching career. Gary has been the head baseball coach at Del Mar High School, Mission College and Bellarmine College Preparatory. He has also been the head softball coach at Del Mar High School and Mission College. His teams have won league and or divisional championships at the high school and community college

Tara VanDerveer

In a storied 33-year coaching career, Head Coach and Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Class of 2011 member, Tara VanDerveer has established herself as one of the top coaches in the history of both collegiate and international women’s basketball.

Regarded in the profession as one of the most well-respected and dynamic coaches in the country, VanDerveer was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. in August of 2011. In 2002, she was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

An ambassador for both Stanford University and the sport of college basketball, VanDerveer has enjoyed and unprecedented level of success through an energetic and positive approach to the game. A 14-time conference coach of the year (12 Pac-12, two Big Ten), VanDerveer has accumulated and impressive 861-200 (.812) record in her 33-year career.

On Dec. 22,2010, VanDerveer became just the fifth Division I women’s basketball coach to win 800 games when the Cardinal defeated San Francisco, 100-45, on The Hilltop.

VanDerveer possesses the third-hightest career winning percentage among Division I women’s basketball coaches, and has won two NCAA Championships and 23 conference titles (20 Pac-12, three Big Ten). Last year’s trip to the NCAA Tournament was the 26th postseason appearance and 10th Final Four trip of her career.

In the summer of 1996, Tara VanDerveer led the United States women’s basketball team to the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics. What followed that historic moment changed the game forever as the seeds for professional basketball for women began to take root. VanDerveer was on a yearlong sabbatical from her regular post as head coach at Stanford University where she had turned the Cardinal into the most dominant program on the West Coast since John Wooden’s UCLA Bruins. VanDerveer was already the owner of two national titles and seven conference championships when she took the reins of the national team and since that undefeated run to the gold medal she has solidified her reputation as one of the game’s top coaches. She is both teacher and student, respected for her knowledge of the game, her cool and collected sideline demeanor, and her ability to adapt to any situation. From 2001 to 2009, Stanford won nine consecutive Pac-10 championships and added two more Final Four appearances, further proof that VanDerveer’s greatness transcends time and space.