Saddleback Men’s Basketball Wins State Championship!


The Saddleback men’s basketball team captured the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state title on Sunday afternoon, defeating East Los Angeles College, 50-47, in dramatic fashion during the championship game played in the Cerritos College gymnasium.

It was the third state title for the Gauchos men’s basketball program, adding to the titles won in 2002 and 2010. Head coach Andy Ground was an assistant coach on the 2002 team but the head coach in 2010 when Perry Webster, TJ Lipold, and Kyle Wallace were a few of the players which helped the team win a title that year. Ground got his second state title this past weekend with Webster, Lipold, and Wallace on the bench as assistant coaches. Darryl Brown was an assistant coach on both the 2010 and 2015 teams.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Congratulations to the Gauchos men’s basketball team, which played a terrific season and have made Saddleback College very proud. I must also congratulate the fine work of our first-rate coach, Andy Ground, and the entire coaching team for true leadership in coaching fine players who are also taught the importance of academic excellence.”

The Gauchos led only once in the first half against East Los Angeles in the title game and found themselves down 28-25 at halftime. Saddleback would never take the lead in the second half until Dusty Baker’s jump shot with just under three minutes to play gave the Gauchos a 46-45 lead. Baker added another jump shot to extend the lead to 48-45 and Maleke Haynes would add a lay-up to account for Saddleback’s final points. Meanwhile, Saddleback’s stingy defense gave the Huskies trouble in the second half. After taking a 44-40 lead with 8:35 to play, the Huskies would not score another field goal for the remainder of the game and converted only three free throws to give them their 47 total points.

“The mark of a great basketball team is how it responds when its back is against the wall,” Ground said. “This weekend our backs were against the wall a lot and we kept fighting. We just continued to battle through it.”

Sophomore center Conor Clifford had 16 points and six rebounds in the championship game while Andrew Bournes added 14 points and four rebounds. Baker ended up with eight points and five rebounds while Maleke Haynes piloted the offense with seven assists.

The 50 points Saddleback scored in winning the state title, the 47 points allowed on defense, and the 97 combined points were the lowest totals for a championship game in 30 years and was a testament to Saddleback’s emphasis on playing fundamentally sound defense.

The Gauchos reached the championship game in dramatic fashion, edging Canada College, 75-68 in overtime, during a semifinal game on Friday. The Gauchos trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and never held the lead in the second half until Baker’s 3-point shot at the buzzer tied the game at 63’s to send it into overtime. Saddleback took control of the final minute of the overtime period, breaking a 68-68 tie to score the final seven points of the game and advance to the state championship. Clifford had 20 points in the semifinal game while Baker added 16 points and Josh Mishler came off the bench to add 13 points and grab five rebounds.

“Whenever we’re looking for a last shot, I want to take it. I want it to be me,” Baker said of the buzzer-beater at the end of regulation. “I wanted to get my legs under it. As soon as I flicked it off my wrist I knew I had a great touch on it and a great arc. I just knew it was going in.”

For his efforts, Baker was named as the state tournament MVP while Clifford and Haynes were also awarded all-tournament honors. Saddleback completed the season with a 33-2 overall record, one victory shy of the school record. It was the fourth time the men’s basketball team has won over 30 games.

In Memory of William O. Jay, 1935-2015

Dear Saddleback College Family,

The Saddleback family suffered a very sad loss last week. Trustee and former college president William O. Jay, Ed.D. passed away on March 2nd.  Bill was an ardent supporter of Saddleback College for over 40 years, and we know he was deeply admired and appreciated by many for his commitment to education, compassion for students, and great sense of humor.

Bill was a Gaucho through and through.  His service began in 1974 as a mathematics professor, and subsequently served as dean of instruction and president of the college.  Bill also served as vice chancellor of administrative services and human resources for the South Orange County Community College District, and over 10 years on the board of trustees.  Indeed, Bill was very well liked at Saddleback, and we have been fortunate that he remained an active member of Saddleback’s family for most of his life.

Upon the news of Bill’s death, we heard from many current and former faculty, staff, and administrators who shared their thoughts about him:

Dixie Bullock, former college president and interim chancellor: “I first met Bill in 1976 when I was a new faculty member and he was the vice president for instruction at Saddleback College.  He came to nearly every nursing faculty meeting we had regardless of how late in the day it was and stayed with us until 6 pm, always listening to issues we had and helping when he could.  He was a wonderful vice president, and continued his caring and dedication to education at Saddleback through his service to the college, the district, and to the community he represented as a board member.”

Zane Johnson, horticulture instructor, 1975-2011: “I remember Bill’s friendly smile, laugh, as well as his interest in whomever he talked with about any subject.  I always felt I could talk with Bill and discuss personal interests or education issues, and he was open and willing to discuss them or direct me to the right person if I needed more answers to a question.  While employed at Saddleback College, I never heard anyone say anything negative about him, in fact, I only heard positive things.”

On a personal note, I have the utmost respect and admiration for Bill.  I will always cherish his unending support and kindness toward me and the college.  I am deeply saddened about his death, and my heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Bobbie and the entire Jay family.  To say that he will be missed is a grave understatement.

We are pleased to announce that Bill’s legacy will live forever through the establishment of The Dr. William “Bill” Jay Memorial Scholarship by our Saddleback College Foundation.  To make a contribution in Bill’s memory, please visit

Plans are underway to hold a memorial service for Bill on our campus, and information will be provided when it becomes available.

Thank you Dr. Bill Jay for your incredible life’s work dedicated to Saddleback College.  We will miss you always.

Tod A. Burnett, Ed.D.


Saddleback College


William O. Jay, 1935-2015



South Orange County Economic Coalition Welcome Over 200 Guests to Unveiling of Inaugural South Orange County Economic Report

Duance Cave of the South Orange County Economic Coalition welcomes the audience

Duance Cave, Chairman of the South Orange County Economic Coalition, welcomes the audience.

Saddleback College and the South Orange County Economic Coalition released the inaugural 2015 South Orange County Economic Report, a data and market analysis of south Orange County, at a luncheon at Saddleback College on Friday, February 27th. More than 200 guests were in attendance, including the following local elected officials:

City of Aliso Viejo
Mayor William Phillips
Dave Harrington, Council Member

City of Lake Forest
Scott Voigts, Council Member

City of Laguna Hills
Barbara Kogerman, Mayor Pro Tem

City of Laguna Woods
Shari Horne, Council Member
Carol Moore, Council Member

City of Mission Viejo
Greg Raths, Mayor Pro Tem
Wendy Bucknum, Council Member
Ed Sachs, Council Member

City of Rancho Santa Margarita
Carol Gamble, Council Member
Mike Vaughn, Council Member
Jennifer Cervantez, City Manager

City of San Juan Capistrano
Sam Allevato, Council Member
Kerry Fergeson, Council Member
Karen Brust, City Manager

South Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees
Tim Jemal, Trustee
David B. Lang, Trustee
Keefe Carillo, Student Trustee

Long Beach City College
Jeff Kellogg, Trustee

Capistrano Unified School District
John Alpay, Trustee
Gila Jones, Trustee
Martha McNicholas, Trustee
Amy Hanacek, Trustee

Larry Dick, President, Municipal Water District of Orange County
Duane Cave, Director, Mouton Niguel Water District
Joone Lopez, General Manager, Moulton Niguel Water District

Francisco Barajas, Parks Commissioner, City of Lake Forest
Robert DeAlmeida, Planning Commissioner, City of Lake Forest

Additionally, representatives from the following elected officials were in attendance: Congressman Darrell Issa, Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Office of Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, Office of State Senator Pat Bates, Office of Assemblyman Bill Brough, Office of Assemblyman Donald P. Wagner, and Office of Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.

The report is the first of its kind to provide extensive data analysis and predictions for economic growth in the cities of south Orange County specifically, which contribute over $25.6 billion annually to the Orange County economy. The report, which was authored by Anthony Teng, dean of business science and workforce and economic development, covers the cities of Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano, as well as the region’s unincorporated communities.

Tony Teng, sharing the findings of the report.

Tony Teng, sharing the findings of the report.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “We are proud to partner with the South Orange County Economic Coalition and strive to continue to make our region the place where businesses want to grow and people want to live, and where opportunities for prosperity continue to be discovered.”

Duane Cave, chair of the South Orange County Economic Coalition, stated, “This event shines a spotlight on the vital role our region plays in the broader Orange County economy, underscoring how important it is that the South Orange County Economic Coalition continues its effort to ensure a healthy and strong economy, business climate, and workforce. Our partnership with Saddleback College is critical to this effort.”

Guests received a hard copy of the report and heard presentations from Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, Duane Cave, chairman of the South Orange County Economic Coalition, and Anthony Teng, interim dean of business science and economic and workforce development. South Orange County Community College District Trustee David B. Lang led the Pledge of Allegiance.

To view the report, visit

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community. Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers more than 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals. For more information, please visit

The South Orange County Economic Coalition is the premier voice of business in the south county region and your opportunity to make a difference. Working hard to promote a strong economic climate, we provide current updates on issues discussed at the state, county and local levels. With this knowledge, you can make informed decisions to strengthen your business. To learn more about our efforts and to join the coalition, visit the


The crowd was encourage to share highlights of the report via social media.