Southwestern Athletics Awarded NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant From NJCAA Foundation

Southwestern Athletics Awarded NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant From NJCAA Foundation

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s Athletic Department was awarded a $1,000 grant from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Foundation to assist in sustaining swimming and women’s wrestling at Southwestern. The NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant was created to support the addition and growth of two-year collegiate sports. “The NJCAA Foundation is excited to further support the growth of NJCAA member colleges and the sport programs they offer through the newly created NJCAA Sport Opportunity Grant,” said Brian Luckett, NJCAA Foundation Executive Director. “The ability to provide this funding for the first time ever is a testament to the importance and growth of two-year collegiate athletics. The NJCAA Foundation looks forward to this initiative’s impact as NJCAA member colleges continue to create opportunities for student-athletes across the country.”

The women’s wrestling program, which started at Southwestern in 2010, has grown over the years and officially became a part of the NJCAA during the 2021-22 school year. The men’s and women’s swim teams started in the fall of 2014 and recently finished as national runners-up at the 2022 NJCAA Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving National Championship. Both programs continue to work to grow their sport by adding equipment needs and recruiting student-athletes from all over the world. “We are honored to be chosen for this grant from the NJCAA and are extremely excited about using these funds towards supporting our student-athletes,” said Mike Herbert, Director of Athletics at Southwestern. “The funding we received will go towards purchasing much needed equipment to help our student-athletes train so they can compete at a high-level year after year.” About the NJCAA Foundation: The mission of the NJCAA Foundation is to enhance the NJCAA national organization, student-athletes, member colleges, and local communities through financial support, scholarships, program initiatives, and community service. To learn more about athletics at Southwestern visit: https://swoccathletics.com/.

Southwestern Hosts Alumni Weekend and Golf Tournament Scholarship Fundraiser

Southwestern Hosts Alumni Weekend and Golf Tournament Scholarship Fundraiser

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) and the SWOCC Foundation invite the community and businesses to participate in a celebration of alumni. Festivities will take place June 3-4, 2022, and include a Golf Tournament (to fundraise for scholarships) and a Hall of Fame ceremony.

Friday, June 3:

  • All Day = Campus Tours: call 541-888-1595 or click HERE to schedule
  • 5:30 p.m. = Social at the Back Alley Pub & Grill

Saturday, June 4:

  • 9 a.m. = Opportunity Links! Golf Tournament at the Coos Golf Club to fundraiser for scholarships (registration required)
  • 3 p.m. = Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Athletic Awards at Prosper Hall

This year’s event will kick off with a “meet and greet social” at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 3, at The Back Alley Pub & Grill.

At 9 a.m., Saturday morning, the SWOCC Foundation will host a golf tournament at the Coos Golf Club. If you are interested in putting together a four-person team for $600, or would like to sponsor the event, please contact the SWOCC Foundation: foundation@socc.edu or 541-888-7209. Your donation will fund scholarships for students who attend Southwestern on both our Coos and Curry campuses.

Following the golf tournament on Saturday at 3 p.m., the athletic department will honor former athletes, teams, coaches, and those who have had a noteworthy impact on the school and its athletic programs. The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place in Prosper Hall during the annual sports awards. One team and three individuals covering a wide range of Laker history will make up the Southwestern Hall of Fame class of 2022.

This will be a no-host weekend, and the public is encouraged to come to the event.

The Hall of Fame class of 2022 inductees are:

  • The late Jennifer Gunnell (Volleyball 1989-90)
  • Joanna Grotenhuis (Volleyball 1990-91)
  • John Speasl (former Athletic Director and coach, 1973 – 2011)
  • The first Southwestern baseball team (1966-67) including players:
    • Harry Abel, Jack Greene, Dan Kirk*, Lewis LaFleur*, Ray Lemke, Dennis Metzger, Dennis Rodgers*, Terry Severson*, John Walker* and Tom Wright, coached by the late Bill Horning.

*The college is seeking help in locating some team members. Anyone with information should contact the hall of fame committee at hof@socc.edu or 541-888-7208.

Southwestern students recognized for Academic Honors for winter term 2022

Southwestern students recognized for Academic Honors for winter term 2022

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College announces the names of students who excelled winter term for the 2021-2022 academic school year. These students are being recognized with placement on the college’s Dean’s List (DL), Honor Roll (HR) and Academic Excellence (AE) list.

•    Academic Excellence – students must receive a GPA of 4.0 in at least 12 credits

•    Honor Roll – students must receive a GPA between 3.5 and 3.99 in at least 12 credits

•    Dean’s List – students must receive a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49 in at least 12 credits

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Retired Athletic Director, John Speasl, inducted into the NJCAA Coaching Hall of Fame

Retired Athletic Director, John Speasl, inducted into the NJCAA Coaching Hall of Fame

Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College’s retired Athletic Director and Coach, John Speasl was inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Hall of Fame, on March 7, 2020 at the NJCAA National Championships in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

John Speasl started his wrestling career at Lebanon High School in Oregon. He was a two-time district champion and a state Greco Roman Champion. After graduating from high school, John enrolled at Clark Community College and placed third and fourth at conference. John was then recruited by and continued wrestling for Southern Oregon University and became a two-time conference runner-up.

After graduating from Southern Oregon University with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education he went on to achieve his master’s degree and continued his involvement with wrestling. He started coaching wrestling at Southwestern Oregon Community college in 1973. Twice Southwestern was conference Champions and John was named Coach of the Year three times. In addition to coaching at Southwestern he was honored to coach the Junior Pan-Am Greco Roman team in 1984. He continued to coach until 1987 when several athletic programs fell victim to cuts, including wrestling. In 1986 John became Southwestern’s Athletic Director and was able to reinstate wrestling in 1996. He also took on coaching volleyball to help save the wrestling program from title nine imbalance issues. John continued to serve wrestling by providing leadership and administrative support until 2011 when he retired. In retirement, John and a group of Oregon wrestling friends started the “Restore College Wrestling” group. They have successfully added four Oregon college wrestling programs. He has dedicated much of his life to wrestling; as an athlete, coach and advocate. John adds the NJCAA Coaching Hall of Fame to the long list of other hall of fames including Southwestern Oregon Community College Hall of Fame, Southern Oregon University Hall of Fame, Northwest Athletic Conference Hall of Fame, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, as well as having the Southwestern Oregon Community College gym floor named in his honor. 

The Hall of Fame banquet is held in conjunction with the NJCAA National Wrestling Tournament where coaches are also honored. This year Southwestern’s very own Head Wrestling Coach, Adam Whitlatch was named Man of the Year. Adam’s team also had three wrestlers finish in the top 10 making All American status.

Congratulations Coach Speasl, Coach Whitlatch, and Southwestern Wrestling!


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