Former UCLA Baseball Player Jack Gifford Passes Away

Jan. 16, 2009

Jack Gifford, a former UCLA baseball letterwinner and dedicated supporter of the Bruins' baseball and golf programs, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 11, at his vacation home in Hawaii. Gifford played first base for the Bruins in the early 1960s and became one of the program's most enthusiastic supporters after graduating from UCLA in 1963.

Gifford earned a scholarship to play baseball at UCLA, where he played alongside former head coach Gary Adams. An avid and longtime baseball fan, Gifford generously supported several California college baseball programs - Stanford, California, Santa Clara, San Jose State and UCLA.

"I never played with a more confident or competitive player," said Adams. "He was the kind of player you wanted most on your team - committed to excellence, hard work and whatever was best for the team. I never met a man who loved baseball more than Jack - not just watching it being played; I mean actually getting out there on the field and playing it.

"He played his entire life with the enthusiasm and energy of a little boy. Year in and year out there was no man who supported UCLA baseball more than Jack Gifford. UCLA baseball will miss him. I will miss him. He was, most of all, my good friend."

Most recently, Gifford funded the construction of UCLA's nearly-completed Jack and Rhodine Gifford Hitting Facility, a state-of-the-art practice facility spanning 10,500-square feet at Jackie Robinson Stadium. For years, Gifford's donations aided college baseball programs with equipment, uniforms, facilities and travel.

"Jack was a man of passion, energy and loyalty," head baseball coach John Savage said. "The love he had for UCLA and our baseball program was unmatched. His enthusiasm for baseball was visible every time he was at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The entire UCLA community appreciates everything Jack has done for it. The brand new Jack and Rhodine Gifford Hitting Facility will be the best one in the country and will serve as another example of their generosity and giving."

Also a generous supporter of the Bruins' golf program, Gifford completely funded the golf program's on-campus practice facility, located on the north end of UCLA's intramural field and affectionately nicknamed "The Giff". The facility includes a team performance center, boasts a natural grass tee area and a 3,000-square foot practice green available to both golf programs. In 2005, Gifford founded the CordeValle Classic, a 54-hole collegiate competition in San Martin, Calif.

"I credit much of the recent success of both of our golf teams to Jack's commitment to UCLA," head women's golf coach Carrie Forsyth said. "Jack was a mover and a shaker who had a zest for life that was palpable to everyone in his presence."

"Jack's impact on UCLA and our golf programs will be felt by Bruins for generations," head men's golf coach Derek Freeman said. "His support of our tournament, the CordeValle Classic, has made it one of the best college events in the country."

Born in 1941, Gifford grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA in 1963. He began his career in the semiconductor industry with Fairchild Semiconductor. In 1983, he founded Maxim Integrated Products and served as the company's CEO. Widely considered one of the "founding fathers" of the analog microchip industry, Gifford retired as the company's CEO in 2007.

Numerous UCLA ballplayers have spent their summer playing for Gifford's summer baseball team, the Maxim Yankees. Gifford served as the team's general manager and, most recently, worked with current UCLA baseball players Raul Duran, Jordan Haver and Dustin Quist.

Gifford passed away at the age of 68 and is survived by his wife Rhodine, his three daughters - Laural Lynch, Tracy Jones and Jacquelyn Disney - and his 10 grandchildren. A local and private memorial service is planned for next week.


EVENT INFORMATION
UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Friday, Feb 26
at Cal Poly
San Luis Obispo, CA
W, 7 - 6
Saturday, Feb 27
at Cal Poly
San Luis Obispo, CA
W, 19 - 0
Sunday, Feb 28
at Cal Poly
San Luis Obispo, CA
L, 2 - 6
Tuesday, Mar 01
at UC Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA
L, 6 - 11
Friday, Mar 04
vs. Mississippi State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 2 - 1
Saturday, Mar 05
vs. Oklahoma
Los Angeles, CA
W, 4 - 2
Sunday, Mar 06
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
W, 5 - 3 (14)
Tuesday, Mar 08
at CSUN
Northridge, CA
L, 12 - 20
Friday, Mar 11
vs. Texas
Los Angeles, CA
L, 5 - 7
Saturday, Mar 12
vs. Texas
Los Angeles, CA
W, 5 - 4
Sunday, Mar 13
vs. Texas
Los Angeles, CA
W, 6 - 3
Friday, Mar 18
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 5 - 2
Saturday, Mar 19
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 6 - 5 (12)
Sunday, Mar 20
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 11 - 2
Thursday, Mar 24
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
L, 1 - 6
Friday, Mar 25
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
W, 4 - 3
Saturday, Mar 26
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
L, 5 - 6
Tuesday, Mar 29
vs. Cal State Fullerton
Los Angeles, CA
L, 7 - 14
Friday, Apr 01
at California
Berkeley, CA
L, 1 - 9
Saturday, Apr 02
at California
Berkeley, CA
L, 2 - 8
Sunday, Apr 03
at California
Berkeley, CA
L, 3 - 5
Tuesday, Apr 05
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
L, 1 - 4
Thursday, Apr 07
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
L, 1 - 4
Friday, Apr 08
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
W, 6 - 5
Saturday, Apr 09
vs. Stanford
Los Angeles, CA
L, 2 - 8
Tuesday, Apr 12
vs. Loyola Marymount
Los Angeles, CA
W, 6 - 5
Friday, Apr 15
at Washington
Seattle, WA
W, 1 - 0
Saturday, Apr 16
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 7 - 8
Sunday, Apr 17
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 4 - 7
Tuesday, Apr 19
at Pepperdine
Malibu, CA
W, 10 - 6
Thursday, Apr 21
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
W, 6 - 3
Friday, Apr 22
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
W, 4 - 2
Saturday, Apr 23
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
W, 13 - 1
Tuesday, Apr 26
at Cal State Fullerton
Fullerton, CA
L, 7 - 10
Friday, Apr 29
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
L, 4 - 6
Saturday, Apr 30
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
L, 4 - 9
Sunday, May 01
at Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
W, 10 - 3
Tuesday, May 03
at Long Beach State
Long Beach, CA
W, 11 - 10
Friday, May 06
vs. UC Irvine
Los Angeles, CA
L, 2 - 4
Saturday, May 07
at UC Irvine
Irvine, CA
W, 4 - 1
Sunday, May 08
vs. UC Irvine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 5 - 1
Tuesday, May 10
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
L, 1 - 4
Friday, May 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 3 - 5
Saturday, May 14
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
W, 4 - 3
Sunday, May 15
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 0 - 9
Tuesday, May 17
vs. UC Santa Barbara
Los Angeles, CA
L, 3 - 4
Friday, May 20
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
L, 4 - 12
Saturday, May 21
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 13 - 2
Sunday, May 22
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
L, 4 - 10
Friday, May 27 - 4:00 PM PST
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
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