December 2009 Archives
In the latest issue of UCLA Magazine, alumni student-athletes are featured in two separate stories.
"Bruins In Blue" features several UCLA alumni in the Los Angeles Police Department. Two of the Bruins highlighted are former basketball star Anita Ortega, now a captain in the LAPD, and officer Ryan Lee, an NCAA soccer champion during his playing days. To read that story, click here.
"Stunts and Circuses" features five UCLA alumni gymnasts currently involved with the TV show, Make It or Break It, as well others in the stunt industry. To read that story, click here.
These stories once again illustrate the success of our student-athletes following their days at UCLA.
On Tuesday evening, UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel visited the SportsCenter LA studio and was interviewed by anchor Stan Verrett.
To watch the interview, click here.
UCLA will play Temple at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. next Tue., Dec. 29th at 4:30 pm (EST). Tickets are available by calling (310) UCLA-WIN or by clicking here. For UCLA fans who can't attend, please consider providing the gift of tickets for Armed Service personnel in the Washington D.C. area. Donations in increments of $25 are being accepted and can be ordered online. They make a great holiday gift and provide a wonderful Bruin spirit of gratitude for the worthy men and women of our armed forces. Each $25 donation provides one game ticket.
For more information on the game and surrounding activities including Fan Travel and the Bruin Bash pre-game tailgate party, click here.
We are asking for your support, whether you can attend the game or not. Please order your tickets or donate through the UCLA Central Ticket Office.
Happy Holidays to you. Go Bruins!
UCLA alum and current Los Angeles Lakers Jordan Farmar will celebrate the holidays with pediatric patients and families at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA this Wednesday afternoon (Dec. 23). He will distribute gifts that were donated to the Jordan Farmar Foundation at the recent Ansun Management "Home for the Holidays Toy Drive"--an annual event which supports local organizations dedicated to assisting children and families.
Farmar has an ongoing commitment to Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA. Over the past two NBA seasons, the Jordan Farmar Foundation's Making Dreams Come True program arranged for more than 30 patients and family members to attend a Lakers game, dine with Jordan's family and participate in a meet-and-greet with Farmar and other players after the game. The Foundation is also currently working to fund the development of an environmentally-friendly "Green Room" in the hospital's teen lounge.
A former UCLA basketball star, Farmar's foundation is committed to the health, hope and healing of children in need -- and to support charitable programs that build values, develop character, create opportunities and promote positive attitudes. The UCLA Health System is the "official health system of the Los Angeles Lakers."
UCLA senior forward James Keefe suffered a dislocated left shoulder midway through the first half of the Bruins' 100-68 home win over New Mexico State on Dec. 15.
His X-rays were negative today, but he is slated to be out 2-3 weeks for strengthening and rehabilitation.
It is the same shoulder that Keefe had surgery on in August of 2007 to repair a torn labrum that cost him to miss the first 12 games of the 2007-08 season.
For a select group of college football players, the words "sacrifice" and "commitment" extend far beyond the football field to places that don't require helmets and shoulder pads. Earlier this year, Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) chose 22 football student-athletes for the 2009 Allstate AFCA Good Works TeamsÂ®, honoring dedicated and hard-working student-athletes for their off-the-field achievements and selfless contributions to their communities.
UCLA sophomore running back Derrick Coleman is one of the 22 student-athletes honored. Coleman, who plays college football despite a near total hearing loss in both ears, speaks to youngsters about staying positive despite their hearing issues. He wears hearing aids, including at practices and games, and encourages youngsters not to be embarrassed about wearing the devices.
http://promo.espn.go.com/espn/specialsection/allstate/ or click here. To watch the vignette of Coleman, go to http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4644106&categoryid=4639580 or click here.
The AFCA and ESPN.com now have a web page honoring the members of the Good Works TeamÂ®. To view the page, go to
Coleman, along with other members of the Good Works TeamÂ®, will be introduced at halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 in New Orleans, LA.
Three members of the UCLA football team have been named to the Scout.com All-America team, it was announced this afternoon.
Sophomore safety Rahim Moore was named to the first team while junior place kicker Kai Forbath and junior defensive tackle Brian Price were named second-team All-America. All three have now made at least one All-America first team.
Moore, a true sophomore, leads the nation with nine interceptions, averaging 0.75 per game. He also ranks fourth (tied) nationally, in passes defensed (1.33 per game). He tied the UCLA single-game record with three interceptions against San Diego State and also made two each versus Tennessee and Arizona. Moore has made 45 tackles on the year, including three for loss. He was a second-team Walter Camp Football Foundation selection.
Forbath has had a sensational junior campaign for the Bruins. He won the Lou Groza Award and was selected first-team All-America by the AFCA, FWAA and the Walter Camp Foundation. He is the No. 2 kicker in the nation with 2.17 field goals per game and his .897 percentage (more than 20 attempts). He has connected on 26 of 29 field goals this season. His only misses have come from distances of 51, 52 and 51-yards out. Forbath has connected on 35 straight field goal attempts under 50-yards, dating back to the Oregon game in 2008.
Price, a true junior, has recorded 34.5 tackles for a loss in his last 21 games, including 4.0 against Arizona State and Tennessee, 3.0 at Washington State and 2.0 against Oregon and at USC. He has 22.5 tackles for loss in 12 games this season and ranks first in the Pac-10 (by 7.5 TFL) and is tied for third in the NCAA. He ranks second all-time in UCLA history with 43.5 tackles for loss, and is also second on the single season list with 22.5, trailing only Robert Thomas' 26.0 TFL in 2001. He was named first-team All-America by the AFCA.
Track & Field News has announced the top 10 recruiting classes in the country and the men's track and field team was ranked eighth overall. The rankings are based on new high schoolers and both JC and four-year transfers prior to the 2010 track and field season.
Highlighting the Bruins top recruiting class were thrower Matthew Kosecki, sprinters Randall Carroll, Sheldon Price, Damien Thigpen and Maxwell Dyce, distance runner Zack Torres and jumper DJ Lloyd.
Texas A&M was ranked first followed by Texas (#2), Oregon (#3), Cal (#4) and Wisconsin (#5). Duke (#6), Kansas (#7), UCLA (#8), Virginia (#9) and LSU (#10) rounded out the top 10 classes.
The Bruins open up the indoor season on January 30th at the Washington Preview in Seattle.
The Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has announced the 14th class of Hall of Fame inductees and four Bruin alums have been named to the honoree list - student-athletes Jordan Farmar (basketball), Ben Feilhaber (soccer), Louise Lieberman (soccer) and Jillian Kraus (water polo)
In addition, Joel Meyers, who was UCLA's football and basketball radio play-by-play announcer for six years, will also be inducted.
The five men and women will be honored Sunday, January 30th at a dinner and induction ceremony.
For information on the event, contact Vicki Wolf (310-553-6325) or email@example.com
CLEVELAND - Former UCLA right-handed pitcher Hector Ambriz has been selected by the Cleveland Indians as the fifth selection in the Major League Phase of the 2009 Rule V draft from the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He was selected for $50,000 and must remain on the Indians active major league roster the entire 2010 season or be offered back to Arizona at half the original price.
Ambriz, who pitched at UCLA from 2003-06, will be reunited in Cleveland with former Bruin teammate David Huff, a left-handed pitcher who excelled in the Indians' starting rotation during his rookie campaign in 2009. Ambriz and Huff both pitched in UCLA's weekend rotation in 2006, helping lead the Bruins to a berth in the NCAA Malibu Regional.
Ambriz, 25, was a combined 12-11 with a 4.94 ERA in 156.2 innings in 28 games 927 starts) between AA Mobile and AAA Reno in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization in 2009. He began the season at AA Mobile, going 3-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 29.0 innings in five starts before being promoted to AAA Reno on May 5. Pitching for the Reno Aces, he went 9-9 with a 5.57 ERA in 127.2 innings in 23 games (22 starts).
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound right-hander was originally selected in the fifth round of the 2006 MLB Draft out of UCLA. He owns a career minor league record of 28-35 with three saves and a 4.41 ERA in 501.2 innings. Ambriz has registered 438 strikeouts and 154 walks in 98 career minor league games (83 starts).
Ambriz starred both on the mound and at the plate while at UCLA. He logged a 13-21 career record and 4.41 ERA in 57 games (43 starts), totaling 249 strikeouts in 296.0 innings. In the lineup, he compiled a career .311 batting average with eight homers, 62 RBI and a .405 on-base percentage.
Bruin fans: Enjoy UCLA Men's Basketball at legendary Pauley Pavilion. Single game tickets (excluding USC) start at just $25. To experience the rivalry game against the Trojans, order the Pac-10 Gold Pack (California, USC and Stanford = $120).
Want more games? Take advantage of the Holiday Pack (Arizona State, Arizona, Colorado State, New Mexico State and Delaware State) while the students are home for the holidays. These great upper-level sideline seats to five exciting contests is just $155.
To buy tickets call (310) UCLA-WIN or visit uclabruins.com.
UCLA has been selected to play in the 2009 EagleBank Bowl provided Navy beats Army this weekend.
UCLA will play Temple at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. on Tue., Dec. 29th at 4:30pm (EST). Tickets are available now by calling (310) UCLA-WIN or by clicking here. Should UCLA not play in the game (due to Army beating Navy) the cost of your tickets will not be charged to your account.
Tickets are priced at: $100 (VIP), $75 (Premium), $50 (All-Star), $30 (Spectator) and $30 (current UCLA students w/ valid Bruin Card). Donations in increments of $25 are also being taken that will allow Armed Service personnel in the Washington D.C. area to attend the game (each $25 donation provides one game ticket). Group tickets are also available.
Orders taken prior to next Fri., Dec. 18th from UCLA donors and current Bruin season ticket holders will have their seat locations prioritized over others.
UCLA Fan Travel is offering travel packages to the EagleBank Bowl that include lodging; ground transportation; an event on Monday, Dec. 28; a game ticket; admission the Bruin Bash pre-game party, and a travel gift. For more information, please call (310) 206-2873 or email Fantravel@athletics.ucla.edu.
This is your opportunity to support Bruin Football on the road, cheer on the seniors in their last game and encourage future UCLA bowl game participation through increased fan involvement.
Order your tickets now!
Six Bruins were named first-team All-Pac-10 by Phil Steele Publications and three others earned second or third-team recognition.
In addition, two Bruins were named to the magazine's Freshman All-America squad.
Senior linebacker Reggie Carter, senior cornerback Alterraun Verner, junior defensive tackle Brian Price, junior place kicker Kai Forbath, sophomore safety Rahim Moore and redshirt freshman punter Jeff Locke were named All-Pac-10 first team by the magazine. Senior Terrence Austin was named to the second team as a punt returner and third team as a kickoff returner. Also named to the third team were senior defensive end Korey Bosworth and sophomore linebacker Akeem Ayers.
True freshman offensive tackle Xavier Su'a-Filo and redshirt freshman punter Jeff Locke were both named second-team All-Americans by the publication.
Former UCLA football and track letterman Jerry Shipkey died November 28 in Dana Point, Calif. following a long illness. He was 84.
Shipkey played halfback on the first UCLA team to register an undefeated regular season in 1946. In a 13-6 victory at Cal that season, Shipkey rushed for more than 100 yards, scoring the Bruins' winning touchdown on a two-yard run after he had rumbled 79 yards to set up the final TD. He played three seasons for both the UCLA football and track teams. In track, he competed in three throwing events -- shot put, javelin and discus -- setting numerous personal bests in the shot put during his career. He graduated from UCLA in 1948.
In 1995, he was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame.
Prior to his UCLA athletic career, Shipkey graduated from high school in Anaheim and entered USC hoping to play football. He was a member of the Trojans' 1940 Rose Bowl championship team that defeated Tennessee, 14-0.
World War II interrupted his USC tenure and he entered the Navy, serving as an ensign from 1942-44.
Drafted in the sixth round by Pittsburgh in the 1947 NFL Draft, Shipkey played six seasons for the Steelers and Bears. As a linebacker he made 13 interceptions in 66 career games and he also scored 17 touchdowns as a running back and receiver. He earned All Pro honors with the Steelers in 1950, '51 and '52 and was chosen to the Steelers' pre-1970s "Dream Team."
Following his NFL career, Shipkey settled in Orange County where he built a successful business and real estate career.
Shipkey was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Jane Homan, also a UCLA graduate, and is survived by his current wife Carolyn. He is also survived by sons Carl and Mark, daughters, Julie, Louise and Lisa, plus many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Fri., Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. at South Shores Church, 32712 Crown Valley Pkwy in Dana Point, Calif., 92629-3599, Ph: 949-496-9331.
INDIANAPOLIS- Legendary track and field, cross country and long distance running coach Bob Larsen on Saturday was honored with USA Track & Field's Robert Giegengack Award at the Jesse Owens Awards and National Track & Field Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Indianapolis. The event was held in conjunction with the 2009 USATF Annual Meeting.
Named in honor of former Yale University coach and 1964 Olympic Team head coach Robert Giegengack, the award goes to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and success of USA Track & Field and the larger community of the sport. In the past, the award has gone to coaches, officials, Association leaders, administrators, and others from all segments of USATF. The USATF Board of Directors votes to select each year's winner.
Larsen, who retired in 1999 as head coach of the UCLA cross country program after 21 seasons, and who led the Bruins track and field program for 15 seasons, became a co-founder of the highly successful Team USA Running Group. Now known as the Mammoth Track Club, the Mammoth, Calif.-based elite team's goal has been to bring U.S. distance running performances back to the level of international success that was seen in the 1970s and 80s.
Since beginning operations in March of 2001, the Mammoth Track Club has produced multiple national champions, set numerous records and has placed a number of its athletes on U.S. Olympic and world championship teams.
Larsen's star pupil is 2004 Olympic men's marathon silver medalist and U.S. 10,000m record holder Meb Keflezighi, who Larsen began mentoring when both were at UCLA. As a Bruin, Keflezighi won four NCAA titles as a junior in 1997 -- cross country, indoor 5000m, and outdoor 5000/10,000m (becoming the eighth athlete in NCAA history to win this double) -- and he became the third athlete in NCAA history to win the outdoor double and the cross country title in the same season (1997).
Keflezighi received worldwide attention when earlier this year he became the first American man since 1982 to cross the finish line first at the ING New York City Marathon. Keflezighi ran a brilliant strategic race, pulling away from four-time Boston Marathon Champion Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya in the final two miles to win in a personal-best time of 2:09:15. The win gave Keflezighi the USA Marathon Championship and his fourth national title of the year. His performance also placed him atop the USA Running Circuit rankings for 2009.
At UCLA, Larsen was the head cross country coach for 21 seasons and head track coach for 15 seasons. His track and field teams won two NCAA Outdoor titles, and he was named national coach of the year in 1987, 1988 and 1995. The nine-time Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Larsen was named the NCAA National Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1980.
Under Larsen, the Bruins had a remarkable dual meet record of 118-3-1; 12 unbeaten seasons, including five of his last six years (the Bruins were 10-0 in 1998, '97 and '96, 8-0 in 1995 and 9-0 in 1994), with home dual winning streaks of 31 (1971-76), 32 (1979-83), 39 (1984-89) and 51 (1991-99). During his 15 years as head coach, Larsen never lost to archrival USC in dual competition.
"Bob Larsen is one of the most respected and deserving coaches in our sport," said USATF Chairman and President Stephanie Hightower. "I am proud to have this opportunity to recognize him for his many accomplishments."
*story courtesy USA Track & Field
Three former UCLA All-Americans earned their tour cards with varying conditions Sunday, following the five-day, 90-hole marathon that is the LPGA Tour Qualification Tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Maria Jose Uribe, Charlotte Mayorkas and Tiffany Joh each made the 72-hole cut and advanced to Sunday's final round.
Uribe, 19, tied for 12th after posting rounds of 75-71-74-68-69--357 (-3) and earned Priority List Category 11 status for the 2010 season. Uribe, who had earned her Duramed Futures Tour card a month ago, became one of the Tour's youngest players. She will be eligible to play in a majority of the Tour's 132-player events.
Mayorkas, 26, has spent the last two years on the LPGA circuit. An injury in 2009 forced her to re-enter Q-School and she tied for 64th place at 369 (+9) after recording rounds of 77-74-72-73-73.
The 22-year old Joh, who won the Futures Tour qualification event last month, tied for 70th with scores of 78-75-71-73-74--371 (+11). Along with Mayorkas, she earned Priority List Category 16 status. To play most regular-field LPGA Tour events in 2010, both players will have to advance through Monday qualifiers.
Two other former Bruins -- Ryann O'Toole and Hannah Jun -- did not make the 72-hole cut.
For more information, <A HREF=" http://www.lpga.com ">click here.</A>
UCLA freshman forward Reeves Nelson, who was poked in the eye in the second half of the Bruins' 73-61 loss to No. 1 Kansas on Sunday (Dec. 6) afternoon, was taken immediately after the game to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Reeves has a corneal abrasion and some swelling in his right eye. He will miss three to four days and will be revaluated after the swelling goes down. UCLA's medical staff is optimistic he will be available to play when the Bruins face Mississippi State in the John R. Wooden Classic on Dec. 12 at Honda Center.
Senior track and field team memeber Alex Crabill had an eventful Thanksgiving weekend as he won the Seattle Half-Marathon on Sunday, November 29th. Crabill was the top finisher out of 217 runners, crossing the finish line in a time of 1:08.56.
Last season Crabill redshirted for the Bruins, but is back for 2010 as one of UCLA's top long distance runners.
Former UCLA standout ballplayer Cody Decker will be honored by the Professional Baseball Scouts of Southern California (PBSSC) as one of two first-year minor league Player of the Year selections at the 12th Annual PBSSC Awards Banquet on Jan. 8 at Angel Stadium.
Decker, a native of Santa Monica, Calif., was named the Arizona League's Most Valuable Player in August 2009. A 22nd-round draft selection by the San Diego Padres last June, Decker led the AZL in home runs (15), RBI (63), doubles (21), extra-base hits (39) and slugging percentage (.717) in 52 games. His 15-home run total was nearly twice then next-closest competitor (teammate Rymer Liriano, 8).
Decker was promoted to the Fort Wayne TinCaps in late August. He went 2-for-18 in a backup role following his addition to the TinCaps' roster August 29.
In his senior season at UCLA, Decker led all Pac-10 hitters with 21 homers in 2009. He finished an excellent four-year Bruin career with a .288 batting average in 191 games. Decker totaled 47 career homers, 28 doubles, 153 RBI and 118 runs. He concluded his UCLA career tied for seventh place on the school's all-time home run list.
Likewise, he became the first UCLA player to win the Pac-10 home run title since 2002 (Wes Whisler and Adam Berry, 18). He twice earned All-Pac-10 team honors (2007, 2009) and was a three-time Pac-10 Player of the Week selection.
Freshman forward Tyler Honeycutt
returned to practice yesterday for the first time since Nov. 7 when an
MRI confirmed (on Nov. 8) that he had a stress reaction in his right
tibia. Honeycutt practiced for 30 minutes on Tuesday with full contact
and for 45 minutes today. The plan is to increase his practice time by
15 minutes each day till Saturday when he will go for an hour and a
half. He should be available to play for the Bruins when they host No.
1 Kansas as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Honeycutt has
missed the first six games of the 2009-10 season.
Freshman forward/center Reeves Nelson hyperextended his right knee yesterday (Dec. 1) and was unable to finish practice. He had an MRI late Tuesday night and the results that were revealed this afternoon were negative. He did not practice today (Dec. 2) and will miss tomorrow's practice as well. He is slated to return to practice on Friday, Dec. 4, two days before UCLA hosts No. 1 Kansas as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Nelson is slated to start his first collegiate game this weekend with the departure of sophomore Drew Gordon.
Sophomore forward Drew Gordon is no longer a member of the UCLA men's basketball team by mutual agreement, head coach Ben Howland announced today. He will transfer at the end of the quarter.
"After several discussions with Drew, we both have decided that it is in the best interests of our program and Drew that he continues his career at another school," Howland said. "He is no longer a member of our team and will transfer at the end of the quarter.
"This is not a spur of the moment decision and ultimately, it's what's best for all parties."