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End of An Era: Former AD, Winningest Football Coach Among 5 Retiring From PCC Athletics

It what marks the end of a significant era in Pasadena City College athletics, five long-time faculty members announced their retirement from the college's Kinesiology, Health & Athletics Division, effective June 30.

Skip Robinson, a former athletic director and a two-time, state champion track and field coach, Dennis Gossard, the school's all-time coaching wins leader in football, Bob Owens, a former assistant football coach, Greg Smith, once a head women's basketball coach, and Jessie Moore, an instructor and representative for the division in the Academic Senate, are among 42 faculty members school-wide retiring from PCC.

These five combined to make up nearly 160 years of service to the college's athletics area, the most being 41 years served by Robinson. A member of the PCC Sports Hall of Fame (2002 class) as a JC All-American defensive back on the 1966 state champion Lancers, Robinson played football and earned two degrees at USC. He returned to PCC as an assistant football coach in 1970, and was named a full-time, coach-instructor in 1971. 

As an assistant, he coached on two bowl champion teams and two JC Grid-Wire national champion squads (1972 and 1974). In '74, he was named men's head track and field coach and flourished at the position until 1989. In that time, Robinson coached the Lancers to two state team titles in 1978 and 1984. He was a four-time conference coach of the year and was state coach of the year in 1979.

Three of his former track and field athletes joined him in the PCC Sports Hall of Fame--Anthony Miller, Eric Thomas, and Kenny Hays, who was inducted earlier this year and holds the longest standing record in California Community College state meet history in the long jump. Miller and Thomas went on to successful careers in the National Football League. 

Besides later coaching both the cross country team (1986-1991) and men's golf team (1990-1997), Robinson would become the college's first African-American athletic director in 1996. He served a dual role as AD and dean of the athletics division until 2007 when he returned to teaching during his final years here. As the leader of the division, Robinson was involved in the planning of brand new sports facilities in 1999. Robinson Stadium (named after Pasadena Junior College greats Jackie and Mack Robinson), Hutto-Patterson Gymnasium, and the Aquatic Center all were opened for use that year. 

Gossard was a fixture in PCC football coaching history. He served three different stints as head football coach (1987-1994, 2005, and in 2010) and he was an on-field assistant every other year since 1979 (except for 1995). Last year, he became the winningest head coach in Lancers gridiron history, finishing with 53 career victories. His 10 years as head coach is the longest run by any PCC football coach since the college began playing football in 1925.

As head coach, Gossard directed the 1990 Orange County Bowl and 1992 Rose City Classic Bowl champion teams. He was an assistant on the 2001 Mission Conference champions. As a head coach, more than 150 of his players earned scholarships at 4-year universities. Darick Holmes, Ray Ethridge, and Charles Mincy were players that went on to the NFL after playing for Gossard. 

Beginning in 1984, Smith served 14 years as a PCC head women's basketball coach. His was a co-head coach to Joe Peron his final two years, then became Peron's top assistant coach during a Lancers' run of six straight State Final 8 appearances. In 1997-98, Smith helped coach PCC to its first conference title in the sport. In his final coaching season as an assistant, Smith went out on top as the 2008-2009 Lancers captured the first-ever state title in PCC women's sports history. Smith also saw one of his players enter the PCC Sports Hall of Fame as Chris Zboril (1992-94) was a part of the 2011 class.

As an instructor, Smith introduced aerobic spinning classes to the college.

Owens, who once was the interim head football coach at Arizona State University, spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach for the Lancers. He joined the PCC staff in 1991. As an instructor, he taught many different health classes. Owens practiced what he preached as he has participated in many triathlons and duathlons. He was a member of the U.S. National Triathlon team in the 70s-and-over division. Like Robinson, Owens attended PCC first as a student-athlete, playing on the 1956 Lancers football team.

Moore spent 38 years as a PCC instructor, the longest such tenure by a woman in the athletic division. She served as a women's athletic director, and taught many P.E. theory classes. Moore's work enhanced new curriculum that has allowed today's PCC students to earn AA degrees in kinesiology.  

Another retiree from the languages division also has a connection to PCC athletics. Nicholas "Nick" Martin coached the men's water polo team for more than a quarter century, ending in the early 1990s. He was a national sports hero in his home country of Hungary, playing on the 1952 and 1956 Olympic gold medal winning teams. Martin coached Lancer John Siman (1973), who would go on to play on the silver medal-winning U.S. Olympic water polo team in 1984.

Release Date: 06/17/11
Robert Lewis, Sports Information
Phone: 626-585-7018, Email: rmlewis@pasadena.edu