Two legendary coaches and six of the best St. Clair County Community College athletic teams of all-time will be the first to enter the Skippers Athletics Hall of Fame.
On Saturday, Jan. 21, Richard “Dick” Groch, Robert “Sam” Kromer, the 1970 men’s golf team, the 1976 baseball team, the 1994-95 women’s basketball team, the 2000 volleyball team, the 2004 volleyball team and the 2009-10 men’s basketball team will be inducted into the brand new Hall of Fame.
An induction ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the McMorran Theater. Tickets are $15 and available at the McMorran box office. It will follow SC4’s basketball games against Mott CC earlier in the day. The Skipper women will play Mott at 1 p.m. in the SC4 Fieldhouse, with the men to follow. Inductees will be recognized during the men’s game.
The foyer of the Fieldhouse will be the physical home of the Skippers Athletics Hall of Fame.
Here’s a look at each of the inductees:
Richard “Dick” Groch
Richard “Dick” Groch led the Skippers to three appearances in the National Junior College World Series in his 18 years as baseball coach. His 1976 team was the national tournament runner-up. He compiled a 497-165 record. Forty-six of his players went on to play professional baseball, including several in the Major Leagues.
Robert “Sam” Kromer
Robert “Sam” Kromer began his coaching and teaching career at SC4 in 1962. In addition to coaching men’s basketball and golf, Kromer served as athletic director for more than 20 years. The Skippers won five straight MCCAA championships under Kromer, who compiled a 214-114 record. The golf teams were successful, winning four league titles.
1970 Golf Team
The 1970 SC4 men’s golf team was nearly perfect. Under coach Sam Kromer, the Skippers had a 20-0 regular-season record, and won the state and Region XII tournaments to qualify for the NJCAA national tournament at Miami-Dade CC. The Skippers finished seventh in the tournament, which was a rare feat for a northern school at the time. Each member of SC4’s team finished the season with an average 18-hole score in the 70s.
1976 Baseball Team
The 1976 SC4 baseball team made a run to the finals of the NJCAA World Series and finished as national runner-up. The Skippers, led by coach Dick Groch, finished the season 37-14, and won State Junior College and North Central championships to advance to the World Series. The Skippers were 3-2 in the World Series, with both losses coming by two runs against national champion Central Arizona College.
1994-95 Women’s Basketball Team
The 1994-95 SC4 women’s basketball team finished 29-4, won conference and regional titles and made a run to the NJCAA Division II national championship game, where it lost in triple overtime against Kankakee CC. It was an emotional season, as coach Paul Jackson died of cancer the summer before. Chris Huss took over and led the Skippers on their magical run.
2000 Volleyball Team
The 2000 SC4 women’s volleyball team won the first NJCAA Division II national title in Skippers history. The Skippers were 73-2 on the season under coach Terry Gamble, winning the program’s first state championship and nine tournament titles. Each member of the team earned at least honorable mention all-conference honors.
2004 Volleyball Team
The 2004 SC4 women’s volleyball team won every tournament it played in, including the NJCAA Division II national tournament. The Skippers were national, regional, state and conference champions, and finished the season with a 62-3 record under coach Terry Gamble. Eight members of the team went on to play at four-year universities.
2009-10 Men’s Basketball Team
The 2009-10 SC4 men’s basketball team was the first in program history to advance to the national tournament. The Skippers finished second in the MCCAA Eastern Conference, and won the regional tournament to advance to the nationals, where they earned an eighth-place finish. They finished the season with a 26-8 record under coach Dale Vos.