Thursday marked my last day at The Tribune. I have been here a little more than 11 years, first as a sports and news copy editor, and since February 2008 as sports editor.
Here are the top local sports highlights in my 11 years here.
Cal Poly ended the regular season with a whimper, losing by 16 points at home to UC Santa Barbara. Less than a week later, the Mustangs opened the Big West tourney by routing the Gauchos by 31, and beat UC Irvine and CSUN to advance to their first NCAA Tournament at the Division I level.
Head coach Joe Callero then charmed the national media into the proper pronunciation of San Luis Obispo, and the Mustangs, despite a 13-19 record, defeated Texas Southern 81-69 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to join the 1955 Bradley team as the only 19-loss teams to ever win an NCAA Tournament game.
Cal Poly was then eliminated in the second round by undefeated Wichita State, 64-37.
Wisconsin to overtime on the road before falling 36-35 in the regular-season finale. The Mustangs led the FCS in scoring and total offense and were ranked as high as third nationally. Led by All-American wide receiver Ramses Barden, quarterback Jonathan Dally and running backs James Nobles and Ryan Mole, the Mustangs were a trendy pick by some to win the national title after the narrow miss at Wisconsin. But Cal Poly lost a 49-35 home playoff shootout to Weber State to end the magical season 8-3. After the season, Ellerson left to take the head coaching post at Army, and Barden was a third-round draft pick by the New York Giants.
The next step for Hasay, who turns 24 on Monday, is to make an Olympics team. Don’t bet against her being in Rio next summer for the Olympics.
The new Northern League also had great success in the Northwest Division playoffs as Templeton reaches the semifinals, and Nipomo won the first CIF-Southern Section championship in any sport in school history with a 22-19 home win over Arrowhead Christian in the title game.
Unfortunately for Cal Poly, it’s season came to an abrupt hold at home, losing twice Pepperdine to have its most successful season ever end at 47-12.