History of Athletics at SPC

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Tennis champs 2011  SPC’s women's tennis team finished third in the national tournament in May, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. “Our team did an excellent job of representing us on and off the court,” Athletic Director Mark Strickland said. From left, members of the 2010-11 team: Greta Veinberga, Jovana Vasic, Lindsay Hodgdon, Tiffany Easton, Stephanie Dunseith, Yurina Kunishima, Victoria Reis and Coach Phil Girardi.
  • From the school’s beginning in 1927, the college fields several varsity teams, including a football team. Football was played for several years before being discontinued.
  • In 1947, Coach Chuck Hamblin leads the men's basketball team to its first (and only) undefeated season. That 14-0 run includes six wins over four-year schools and leads to the team being declared state champion. (This was before the formation of the 28-community-college network, statewide athletic conferences and a state tournament.)
  • The men's golf team wins the national championship in 1968 and 1969, and is national runner-up in 1967 and 1970.
  • Basketball scoring phenomenon Gregg Bloodworth leads the nation in community college per-game scoring average in 1962 and 1964. He skips the season in between, and he never makes All America because he starts both seasons late. More than four decades later, three of his SPC records still stand: 60 points in a game, 704 points in a season and a season scoring average of 37.5 ppg.
  • In 1966, Lenny Hall, a transfer from Gibbs Junior College, becomes SPC's first All-American (third team) in a major sport and Florida State University's first African-American recruit in basketball.
  • George McCrossin retires in 1986 after 35 years as men's basketball coach and 19 as men's golf coach (nine All-Americans, national Junior College Coach of the Year in Golf in 1969). He departs as the 14th winningest junior college basketball coach ever (539-369), with the second-longest tenure of any coach at one school. As longtime athletic director, he was a key player in getting SPC's first gym built and helping form a statewide sports league.
  • Softball Coach Lance Lamport guides his team to state runner-up in 1989, qualifying it to play in the National Junior College Slow-Pitch Tournament in Hanceville, Ala. In his first 20 seasons, 1986 through 2005, Lamport's teams win the Suncoast Conference - and he's named Coach of the Year - 10 times.
  • In 1996, Ed Davis steps down as baseball coach after 28 seasons and 692 wins. He produced four major leaguers in Kurt Abbott, Ben Hayes, Howard Johnson and Tim Teufel.
  • In 2002, Men's Basketball Coach Earnest Crumbley does what no SPC coach in the "modern era" (since 1960) has done: guides his team to win the state championship. At the national tournament, the team finishes No. 9.
  • In 2005, the men's baseball team wins the state baseball championship. SPC finishes No. 2 at the national tournament in Grand Junction, Colo., losing 6-3 to New Mexico JC in the championship game.
  • In 2005-06, for the first time in the college's history, each of its four teams participating in the Suncoast Conference (volleyball, men's basketball, softball and baseball) is conference champion. The women's basketball team (in the Southern Conference) does not win its title; but, like the others, makes it to the state tournament.
  • In 2011, the womens’ tennis team finishes third in the nation.