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John McConnell
Baseball, inducted in 1997

With an athletic background in cross country, McConnell might have been regarded as an unlikely candidate to start the baseball program at Long Beach State, but there he was in 1954, leading 14 athletes into the first 49er baseball season. That team won only three of 16 games, but over the next five years, McConnell-coached 49er teams were 83-52 (.570). His second 49er team was 17-4 and the third was 18-6. But, if you ask McConnell for the statistic that means the most to him, it would be the 50 his 57 players that graduated. Two of his players, Carl Evans and Roger Hull, are 49er Hall of Famers. McConnell continued working in the physical education department at Long Beach State until 1986, where his duties included department chair (1964-69), student teaching coordinator (1965-69) and associate dean of Academic Affairs of the School of Applied Arts and Sciences (1969-86). He was also a charter member of the 49er Athletic Hall of Fame committee.

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