Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

The Star’s longtime columnist talks baseball and soccer households, Abdi Abdirahman’s final NYC marathon and Gonzaga’s match within the reconfigured Pac-12:

Jason Jacome’s household custom leads him to PCSHOF

When Jason Jacome is inducted into the Pima County Sports activities Corridor of Fame subsequent Sunday, it will likely be a day not simply to honor his baseball profession, but in addition to have fun his household and its exceptional baseball lineage.

Tucson has produced many gifted baseball households during the last century — the Tolsons, the Kellners, the Hasseys, the Duncans — however the Jacome baseball household tree stands alone.

Jason, for instance, was an all-city pitcher at Rincon Excessive Faculty in 1989. Two years later, after going 17-2, he turned an NJCAA All-American at Pima Faculty, drafted by the New York Mets. Jason Jacome pitched 5 MLB seasons and adopted that by profitable 21 video games for the Yakult Swallows of the Japanese baseball league, and changing into a starter for the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders and within the Mexican Professional League.

Persons are additionally studying…

Jason is now the affiliate head coach at Pima Faculty, working for his brother, head baseball coach Ken Jacome, whose profession has been on a profitable arc since he was an all-city pitcher at Rincon in 1985.

Ken Jacome’s baseball profession has been one success upon one other. After pitching at New Mexico State and Oklahoma Metropolis College, Ken turned the pinnacle coach at Pueblo Excessive Faculty, then began the baseball program at El Paso Group Faculty, served a stint on Jerry Stitt’s teaching employees at Arizona, and spent 14 years on the teaching employees of the New Mexico Lobos.

The Jacome baseball household acquired its begin within the Nineteen Forties at Tucson Excessive Faculty. That’s when Jason and Ken’s grandfather, Eddie Jacome, turned the ace pitcher throughout Tucson Excessive’s state report 52-0 profitable streak, which led to a few state championships.

Eddie then signed with the Boston Braves and spent seven years within the minor leagues, which included a season of 28-3 at Class C Midland in 1951. He was 106-47 within the minor leagues. That was just the start of the Jacome baseball story.

Eddie’s two sons, Ken and David, adopted of their father’s baseball footsteps. Each Ken and David made the 1965 All-Metropolis workforce at Rincon Excessive, Ken as a pitcher and David as a shortstop. After enjoying 4 years at Arizona, David performed two years of minor-league baseball.

The sons of Jason and Ken have additionally adopted the household baseball footprint.

Jason’s son Atley is a pitcher at Park College in Phoenix. Ken’s son Jacob pitched at Pima Faculty and New Mexico Highlands.

The PCSHOF’s annual induction ceremony might be held at 12:30 p.m. on the DoubleTree Reid Park subsequent Sunday. The Class of 2022 consists of Arizona and Pima Faculty assistant basketball coach Jim Rosborough; the director of officers for NCAA males’s basketball, Chris Rastatter; Arizona and Canyon del Oro Excessive Faculty All-American softball pitcher Kenzie Fowler; and nine-time state championship tennis coach Robb Salant, amongst others. Tickets can be found at

4 generations of Felix relations — from left: Andy Pogue, Tony Felix, Jason Pogue, Phil Felix, Joey Felix and Tony Felix Jr. — all have soccer in widespread.

Courtesy of Lynne Felix

4-generation soccer household excels

Talking of a exceptional Tucson household sports activities lineage, long-time Tucson barber Phil Felix, who performed on Salpointe Catholic Excessive Faculty’s first varsity soccer workforce within the early Nineteen Fifties and is a member of the college’s sports activities Corridor of Fame — is the patriarch of a four-generation highschool soccer household in Tucson.

Are there different four-generation prep soccer households in Tucson? I haven’t been capable of finding any after important analysis.

Phil, 87, has been blessed this season to observe Jason Pogue, his great-grandson, play for Mountain View Excessive Faculty’s soccer workforce. Right here’s how the Felix soccer tree grew:

Phil Felix performed at Salpointe within the early Nineteen Fifties.Tony Felix, Phil’s son, performed on Vern Friedli’s first Amphitheater Excessive Faculty groups within the Nineteen Seventies and coached at Mountain View beneath state championship coach Wayne Jones from 2000-08. Tony additionally performed at NAU.Phil Felix, Tony’s brother, performed on Amphi’s 1975 state championship workforce.Tony Felix Jr. performed at Mountain View from 2000-03.Joey Felix, Tony’s son, performed at Mountain View from 2003-06.Jason Pogue, Tony’s grandson, is a freshman linebacker on state championship coach Matt Johnson’s present Mountain View workforce.

If you recognize of one other four-generation highschool soccer household in Tucson, please let me know.

Dave Heeke’s busy week of basketball

Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke had a sometimes busy schedule final week, flying to Houston as a part of his new position on the NCAA males’s basketball committee, which, amongst different issues, selects the 68-team area for March Insanity.

Heeke changed UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond, who was rightly faraway from the committee by the Pac-12 after the Bruins introduced they had been leaping to the Large Ten Convention.

Not solely that, however Heeke continues the unequalled custom of Arizona ADs being a part of the NCAA choice committee. Dick Clausen was the primary UA athletic director so honored within the Nineteen Sixties. He was adopted by Cedric Dempsey, who turned chairman of the committee in 1988. Then got here UA athletic director Jim Livengood, who was chairman of the committee within the early 2000s. Former Arizona AD Greg Byrne, now the AD at Alabama, in serving his second of 5 years on the committee.

Final week in Houston, the Division I males’s basketball committee carried out its annual fall assembly, the place representatives from potential males’s Ultimate 4 cities made their pitches to host the occasion. The committee has not reached a closing resolution on awarding future males’s Ultimate 4 websites however is predicted to take action later this month.

The committee additionally frolicked discussing future championship concerns, together with the latest subject of growth. Let’s hope Heeke and his associates shoot down any concepts of increasing the 68-team area to latest conversations a few 96-team area.

Abdi Abdirahman was a key a part of UA’s No. 4 end in 1998. That season was the Wildcats’ greatest hope for a nationwide title in males’s monitor and area in program historical past.

Rodney White 1998

Abdi Abdirahman to run closing NYC Marathon

Tucson’s five-time Olympic distance runner Abdi Abdirahman will run the final of his big-name competitions at Sunday’s New York Marathon. After changing into an All-American at Pima Faculty and Arizona within the Nineteen Nineties, the 45-year-old Abdirahman says he’ll now transfer away from elite-level competitors and, amongst different issues, will mentor different runners and perhaps even volunteer as a pace-runner at America’s prime distance occasions. This might be Abdi’s eighth New York Marathon; he has six top-10 finishes. Abdirahman and Nike ended their 25-year sponsorship relationship earlier this yr, however he rapidly signed a two-year contract to characterize Asics final month. ….

Kevin Lengthy continues UA baseball pattern

When Arizona gained the 1989 Pac-10 baseball championship, it positioned a school-record six gamers on the all-conference first workforce. Extremely, all six made big-league baseball their life’s work. Outfielder Kevin Lengthy, is at present the Philadelphia Phillies’ hitting coach.  Lengthy’s different 5 1989 all-conference Wildcat teammates had exceptional success in MLB. Trevor Hoffman turned a Corridor of Fame aid pitcher; first baseman JT Snow performed 16 big-league seasons and gained 5 Gold Glove Awards; All-American catcher Alan Zinter spent this season because the Cincinnati Reds hitting coach; pitcher Scott Erickson performed 15 years within the massive leagues  and gained 20 video games for the 1991 world champion Minnesota Twins; and outfielder Damon Mashore spent the 2022 season because the Los Angeles Angels’ outfield and baserunning coordinator. …..

‘Eye on the Ball’ host Steve Rivera pens Lute e-book

Tucson sports-radio host Steve Rivera of Fox Sports activities 1450-AM, has written a e-book “Classes From Lute,’’ which might be launched Tuesday by Triumph Books and might be obtainable at Rivera, who was the Tucson Citizen’s basketball beat author for 17 years, interviewed all the well-known names from the Olson years, together with Sean Elliott, Steve Kerr, Damon Stoudamire, Mike Bibby and Jason Gardner, in addition to Olson’s most imposing teaching rival, Stanford’s Mike Montgomery. Luke Walton wrote the ahead for Rivera’s e-book. …

Ex-radio, TV character Larry Schnebly dies at 94

Unhappy to listen to of the loss of life final week of longtime Tucson radio and TV character Larry Schnebly. He was 94. Schnebly was a radio analyst of Arizona soccer video games within the Nineteen Sixties and in addition a play-by-play voice of the Tucson Open golf tournaments of the Nineteen Sixties on KGUN-9 earlier than the Tucson Open was televised by nationwide networks. Schnebly was a sort man whose optimistic vitality touched these he met. …..

Mike Lude’s household connects to new Bowling Inexperienced AD

Small world division: Throughout final week’s homecoming soccer sport at Arizona Stadium, former Washington and Auburn athletic director Mike Lude, a Tucson resident the final 25 years, was a visitor of the UA athletic division in Dave Heeke’s press field suite. Lude, who turned 100 final June, was accompanied by his daughters, Janann and Jill, who grew up in Ohio throughout Lude’s days as athletic director at Kent State. Each Janann and Jill graduated from close by Bowling Inexperienced College. When Heeke’s chief working officer, Derek van der Merwe, entered the suite, he was launched to Lude’s daughters, who had been knowledgeable that van der Merwe had been named the AD at Bowling Inexperienced. With out immediate, Janann and Jill then started singing Bowling Inexperienced’s battle tune. Fairly cool, huh?

Pac-12 Networks to air 12 video games Monday

To have fun the opening of the Pac-12 males’s basketball season, the Pac-12 Networks will broadcast the video games of all 12 groups on Monday, a sequence of nonconference video games that start at midday and runs to virtually midnight.

The Arizona-Nicholls sport, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at McKale Heart, is certainly one of 4 video games that might be aired on the principle Pac-12 Networks feed. The others are Pacific at Stanford, midday; Texas State at WSU, 5:30; and Sacramento State at UCLA, 9:30 p.m.

ASU’s opener towards Tarleton State might be proven on Pac-12-Arizona at 5:30 p.m.

Sadly, not one of the 12 video games figures to be way more than a blowout. About the one aggressive Monday openers might be Tulsa at Oregon State, which went 3-28 final yr.

The Pac-12 erred by selecting to not broadcast any of the 12 girls’s video games scheduled this week. Because it stands right this moment, none of Arizona’s first seven girls’s basketball video games are scheduled to be televised. Not till Adia Barnes’ workforce performs Kansas on Dec. 8 is a UA girls’s sport scheduled to be on the Pac-12 Community, or any TV channel.

That’s an issue that commissioner George Kliavkoff ought to work to vary by 2023-24.

Oct 8, 2022; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs head coach Mark Few speaks to the group throughout Craziness within the Kennel at McCarthey Athletic Heart. Obligatory Credit score: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports activities

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports activities

My two cents: Gonzaga would give Pac some further pop in hoops

A number of media precincts final week reported that Gonzaga has talked to the Pac-12 and Large 12 about becoming a member of both convention as a basketball-only member.

That will be a house run for the Pac-12.

Within the twenty first century, Gonzaga has develop into a extra respected basketball model than UCLA. The oft-uninspiring Pac-12 males’s basketball season would instantly get a lift from Gonzaga’s established rivalries with Washington. WSU and Oregon. Zags coach Mark Few grew up close to the Oregon campus.

The Gonzaga-Arizona sequence would instantly develop into the league’s No. 1 matchup.

I can’t think about Gonzaga pursuing a berth within the Large 12. The journey necessities to Large 12 foes like West Virginia, Central Florida, Houston and Cincinnati needs to be a deal-killer.

However Gonzaga leaping to the Pac-12 would immediately revive a league that has been all however put to sleep by low-level basketball applications at Cal, Utah, Washington, WSU and the probably departure of UCLA.

Why wait? Get this deal carried out ASAP.

Contact sports activities columnist Greg Hansen at 520-573-4362 or [email protected] On Twitter: @ghansen711

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