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The Legacy: Azusa Pacific's Directors of Athletics

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Published
February 23, 2011

The legacy of leadership behind Azusa Pacific University's successful athletics program:

Cliff Hamlow (1954-93)

  • Served 39 years as Azusa Pacific’s Director of Athletics
  • Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in March of 1980
  • Brought Azusa Pacific into NAIA membership in 1965
  • Grew the program from 4 intercollegiate sports in the mid-1950s to 13 by the early 1990s
  • Was a primary figure in the creation of the Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) and has served as the conference’s commissioner from 1992 to the present (19 years)
  • Served 14 years as the chairman of the NAIA District III
  • Azusa Pacific won 13 national championships, including:
    • 4 straight National Christian College men’s basketball crowns (1969-72)
    • The school’s first AIAW title – women’s volleyball (1979)
    • The school’s first NAIA championship – women’s volleyball (1980), the first year the NAIA sponsored women’s national championships
  • Filled roles on numerous NAIA committees including:
    • National Executive
    • National Men’s Basketball Tournament
    • National Administrative
    • Blue Ribbon
    • Rater’s Oversight
  • Was Azusa Pacific men’s basketball head coach for 32 years, accumulating 570 victories, tops among all active NAIA coaches upon his retirement from coaching in 1988
  • Oversaw the construction of Azusa Pacific University’s Felix Event Center

Terry Franson (1993-96)

  • Served 3 years as Azusa Pacific’s Director of Athletics
  • Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in May of 1996
  • Instrumental figure in bringing the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championship Meet to Azusa Pacific in 1988-89-94-95, the first NAIA championships hosted by the university
  • Leader in establishing the first lighted athletic facility on campus – football/track complex
  • Was Azusa Pacific’s track & field head coach from 1981–95 (15 years)
  • Led Azusa Pacific to 11 NAIA men’s outdoor track & field championships
  • Was a 10-time NAIA Coach of the Year

Bill Odell (1996-2011)

  • Served 15 years as Azusa Pacific’s Director of Athletics
  • Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in March of 2011
  • Cougar teams captured 22 NAIA titles under Odell’s watch, the most by any school in that span
  • Guided Azusa Pacific to an unprecedented 6 straight NAIA Directors’ Cup crowns (2005-10)
  • Had 12 different Cougar sports win an NAIA title, play in NAIA championship game or finish second in the NAIA Tournament
  • Added the following women’s sports to the university’s athletic offerings: tennis (1999), water polo (2009), swimming & diving (2009), and acrobatics & tumbling (2010)
  • Initiated Azusa Pacific’s pursuit of NCAA Division II membership
  • Spent 16 years as Azusa Pacific’s men’s basketball head coach (1991–2007)
  • Led the Cougars to the NAIA Tournament 14 years, including 12 straight (1996-2007)
  • Named 2005 NAIA Coach of the Year after leading Azusa Pacific to its first-ever NAIA championship game