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Legendary Coaches Honored on Campus

Thank you for mentioning the new bronze statue honoring legendary SF State football coaches Vic Rowen and Joe Verducci (Spring/Summer 2011).

Playing ball for Vic meant a lot to me, and I was privileged to join him on campus in June, when the statue was unveiled in front of the gymnasium before a gathering of 150 friends, former players and coaches. Joe, who passed away in 1964 at the young age of 54, was represented by members of the Verducci family.

Like any family reunion, there were hugs, shoulder punches and tears of both joy and sadness. Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid, a former Gator assistant coach, and SF State All-American quarterback Jim Sochor were among the Gator greats who paid tribute to Rowen and Verducci.

It has been many years since SF State celebrated its football heritage, and this enthusiastic gathering reminded quite a few old-time fans of the Gators’ glory years.

--Don McPhail, B.A., '66 Mountain View, Calif.

Former Gator Coach Vic Rowen. Photo by Lisa Sze.Former Gator Coach Vic Rowen passed a number of football players and assistants up the ranks, including Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid. Photo by Lisa Sze.

A Prosperous Teaching Career

i just read the inspirational article about Dr. Esteban Burchard and the influence of his wrestling coach (Spring/Summer 2011). I have a story about an SF State person who provided the guidance that I needed.

After my required service in the Navy ended and a stint with 3M Company proved that I was not the salesman my father hoped I would be, I decided to follow my dream and become a teacher. In 1975, I enrolled in SF State’s graduate education program.

My seminar teacher was Dr. Prosper Boutet, a man of divergent thinking and significant appeal. He was the antithesis of my Navy and corporate training. His classes were lively, informative and inspirational. He taught us to take risks with our teaching and encouraged fresh ideas.

I just completed my 35th year of teaching English at Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. In all this time, Boutet’s gentle man ner and inquisitive nature have encouraged me. I remember him very fondly and frequently.

--Ralph Stark, M.A., '84 Fall River Mills, Calif.


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