Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Team shots from six teams from Claremont-Mudd's debut season (top row: football, cross country, water polo, bottom row: basketball, swimming and diving, baseball). Words over the photo read: Landmark Years in CMS Athletics History: 1959: Claremont-Mudd Completes First Year in New Athletics Department
1958-59 team shots (clockwise from top left): football, cross country, water polo, basketball, swimming and diving, baseball

CMC75 Landmark Years (1959): Claremont-Mudd Completes First Athletic Year

As part of the buildup to the 75th Anniversary celebration for Claremont McKenna College (visit CMC's 75th Anniversary Countdown Page to learn more), we are reliving many of the great moments from CMS athletic department history over the 75-day countdown from April 17 to July 1. If you were a part of one of these great moments and would like to add to the memories, or if you would like to submit your memories of your own favorite CMS Athletics moment, fill out the form on our main 75th Anniversary page.

Great Moments from this Story
1958 Football: Stags Win Four in Debut Season
1959 Men's Swimming: Stags Go Unbeaten Against SCIAC Teams
Photo Gallery of 1958-59 Teams (1958 Football gallery is in its Great Moments story)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The first year of Claremont-Mudd Athletics, the new combined athletic department featuring student-athletes from Claremont Men's College and Harvey Mudd, concluded in 1958-59 with the Stags seeing immediate success that would form the foundation for the program's historical dominance. 

During the 1958-59 inaugural season, Claremont-Mudd had to compete as an independent before it could join the SCIAC at the start of the 1959-60 season. Under the leadership of athletic director Bill Arce and coaches Vince Reel, Jesse Cone and John Lepp, the Stags began with nine varsity sports, which were competitive right from the start. 

The Claremont-Mudd football team managed four wins in its inaugural season, defeating UC Riverside 22-0 for its first win over another college (after defeating the El Toro Marines) the week before. The Stags also earned a win over Cal Western, as well as a second win over El Toro to end the year at 4-4. Three Harvey Mudd student-athletes were the first postseason award winners in Claremont-Mudd history, as halfback Ken Stevens, guard Dick Bauer and center Sam Delich were named to the Chemical and Engineering News All-America honor roll. 

During the fall season, the Claremont-Mudd men's water polo team also picked up four wins to end its inaugural year with a 4-5 record. The Stags closed out the year with a 6-4 win over Occidental and a 3-1 win over Caltech to gain the upper hand on two of the schools it would compete against in the SCIAC the following year. 

In the spring of 1959, the Claremont-Mudd men's swimming and diving team had a spectacular debut season, finishing 14-3 overall. The Stags were 6-0 against future SCIAC opponents, including two wins over their former teammates from Pomona. Only UCLA, Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton were able to earn wins over Claremont-Mudd in its first season of competition. 

"I do have very fond memories of our Undefeated 1959 Swim Season," said Clark Booth (CMC '59). However, after this number of years many of them are obviously a bit vague. In that it was the first year that we had competed as Claremont-Harvey Mudd the entire team was truly pumped, excited and totally dedicated to doing their very best, which was absolutely demonstrated by winning those first six SCIAC meets on our way to the 14-3 overall record."  

Bill Arce's baseball team also started out with a winning record in its debut season, compiling a 22-13-3 mark over 38 games in the spring of 1959. The first Stag game was a 13-10 win over Cal Poly, and Claremont-Mudd also went 2-0-1 against Pomona, with a 5-4 win and a 4-4 tie in a doubleheader, followed by a 7-4 win in the third meeting in May. The year ended with a flourish, as the Stags defeated Cal Western 20-7 for their 22nd win of the year. 

The nine Stags teams who had their first varsity seasons in 1958-59 included football, water polo and cross country in the fall, and basketball, swimming and diving, baseball, tennis, golf and track and field in the spring. Wrestling would later be added in 1961-62, and men's soccer turned varsity in 1968. 

The First Claremont-Mudd Stags
(note: rosters compiled from available files and The Ayer team photo captions, and may be incomplete)

1958 Football Roster
Head Coach: Jesse Cone
Assistant Coach: Bill Arce
Assistant Coach: Bill Van Horn
Manager: George Pray  
Manager: Joe Knowles  
Jim Algert  
Dick Bauer  
Bob Beck  
Bud Bevins 
Art Bircher  
Mike Blanding  
Dick Brungard 
Bill Burnett 
Daryl Butcher  
Ned Chaffee 
Bill Chamberlain  
Sam Delich 
Don Doty  
Vern Eppley 
Nick Frazee 
Aron Hamburg 
Fred Harris  
Rees Jackman  
Ken Linn  
Gaylon McIntire  
Bill Marr  
Pete Marr  
Jack Micuda  
Bon Murphy  
George Nostrant  
Bob O'Brien  
Wes Parker 
Perry Reel  
Don Rosenberg  
Gary Ryan  
John Schmidt 
Grant Seltzer  
Dick Seward 
A.C. Simmons  
Ken Stevens  
Carl Strong  
Ken Wright 

1958 Men's Water Polo Roster
Head Coach: John Lepp
Dave Allen
Dave Andre
Paul Freeman
Mike Harvey
Steve Hunter
Greg Melman
Rick Morse
Dick Olson
Frank Pellkofer
Bill Robinson
Andy Sarkany
Ron Williamson

1958 Men's Cross Country Roster
Head Coach: Vince Reel
John Cannon
Harold Harris
Ed Laughton
Roger Rasmussen
Dave Rickett
John Wilcox

1959 Men's Basketball Roster
Head Coach: John Lepp
Butch Goodwin
Len Linn
Bob Lowe
Wayne McConnell
Charles Molnar
Phil Peoples
Dave Sheets
Jim Shipsey
Gary Shoemake
Mark Slotkin
John Stiles
Bob Sunshine

1959 Baseball Roster
Head Coach: Bill Arce
Mike Blanding
Bill Dickinson (Manager)
Jim Emerson
Brian Gerich
Jean Goity
Tom Goodman
Jeff Gordon
Herb Horstmann
Len Matson
Frank Myers
Wes Parker
Jim Patrick
Bill Symington
Tom Thurreson
Dick Yates

1959 Men's Golf Roster
Head Coach: Bill Alamshah
George Abrams
Bob Booth
Tom Goodman
Pete Marr
Larry Martin
Mike Moyer
Doug Robb
John Way
Don Zimmerman

1959 Men's Swimming and Diving Roster
Head Coach: Jesse Cone
Rick Adams 
Dave Allen  
Clark Booth  
Steve Breunheim  
Al Garner  
Larry Greenberg  
Mike Harvey  
Rick Morse  
Bill Robinson  
Ed Rosensen 
Dave Smith 
Ron Williamson 

1959 Men's Tennis Roster
Head Coach: John Lepp
Jim Aslup
Jerry Bradley
Dave Breedlove
John Britt
Parker Daughhetee
Bill Hollingsworth
Brent Howell
Bill Jenisch
Alan Markowitz
Leonard Mayberg
Dave Roth
Marshall Sale
Bob Smith
Ham Smith
Doug Stewart
John Tone
Mark Wright

1959 Men's Track and Field Roster (incomplete)
Head Coach: Vince Reel
Ben Booth
John Cannon
Don Doty
Frank Frye
Harold Harris
Ed Laughton
Roger Rasmussen
Dave Rickett
John Wilbur
John Wilcox