WHO'S WHO THROUGH THE YEARS
The college is proud of all the students and faculty who have graced our campus for more than eighty-years of serving our community. Meet some of those who have passed through our doors.
Born: April 10, 1936
John Madden played for the San Mateo Junior College Bulldogs from 1954-1955. After graduating for SMJC he played for Cal Poly before being drafted by NFL's Philadelphia Eagles, until a knee injury ended his career in 1959. His legendar coaching career began thereafter. At the tender age of 33 he rose to become the youngest head coach in the American Football League. As the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Madden winning percentage (.750) is still the best of any head coach in NFL history. After retiring in 1979 he began a successful career in broadcasting and is a popular television football commentator and analyst.
Born: November 30, 1931
Bill Walsh was the quarterback for the SMJC Bulldogs from 1950-1951. After graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree, he went on to play for SJSU. His distinguished coaching career has earned him praise as one of the most innovative coaches in football history, he has often been called a genius, and one of the greatest coaches in NFL history. In 1979 he took a losing San Francisco 49er team and built it into the most successful NFL franchise over the last two decades. He was twice named Coach-of-the-Year in 1981 and 1984, and later was named Coach-of-the-Decade for the 80's.
Born: October 30, 1936
Dick Vermeil was an assistant coach at San Mateo Junior College during the 19?-? football season. Upon leaving CSM he coached at several different colleges before entering the pro ranks in 1969. His outstanding career is marked by accomplishments reached by only a handful of others: he is one of only 4 coaches in NFL history to lead three different teams to the superbowl, and the fourth coach in NFL history to record a 10-victory season with three different teams. In addition to an impressive list of accomplishments as a coach, he has also been a widely acclaimed broadcaster and motivational speaker.
Born: July 6, 1925
Merv Griffin attended San Mateo Junior College from 1942-1944 and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in ?. After graduating, he began his remarkable career as a singer for KFRC radio in San Francisco, and then had a series of overlapping careers in the entertainment industry, performing musically and in television and motion pictures. He hosted the Merv Griffin Show for twenty-one years, and founded Merv Griffin Enterprises in 1964, where he developed and produced two of the most successful game shows in television history, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.
Born: March 14, 1940
In 1959, before becoming the bassist for The Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh was a composer and trumpeter in the College of San Mateo Jazz Band. Exposed to jazz at an early age, he is considered the most academic of the Grateful Dead due to his avant-garde classical composition training, literate mind, and passion for the arts. When he met guitarist Jerry Garcia in the sixties he had never before played the bass, and learned 'on the job.' His interest in avant varde music was a crucial influence on the Dead, pushing them into new territory, and he was an essential part of the group and its mystique, best summed-up in the Dead Head truism: "If Phil's on, the band's on".
Born: October 11, 1951
Jon Miller attended the College of San Mateo from 1968?-1969?, and earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Broadcasting. After graduation, Miller became a Santa Rosa televison sports director, and only two years later his broadcasting career took off. He was the broadcaster for such teams as the Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and was the primary announcer for the Baltimore Orioles through 1996. In 1997 he became the play-by-play voice for the San Francisco Giants, and since 1990 has also done national television and radio broadcasts of regular-season and postseason games for ESPN.
ARCHIBALD 'ARCHIE' WILLIAMS
Born: May 1, 1915
Archie Williams commuted from Oakland to SMJC in 1933-1935, where he ran track under coach Dr. Oliver Byrd who he credits as instrumental in preparing him for future achievements. He transfered to UC Berkeley to become a mechanical engineer while continuing to run track. In 1936 he went on to win the Olympic gold medal in the 400m run in Berlin, Germany. A serious leg injury ended his running career a year later. He went on to become a commercial pilot and during WWII he was a pilot in the Air Force, and retired a Lieutenant colonel 22 years later. He became a teacher and taught for 21 years at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo.