Former Basketball Head Coach John McMullen inducted into hall of fame

"If it hadn't been for Coach McMullen, I would not have gone on and played basketball at a four year university." said Richard Pierce, one of the 40 former players that returned to Santa Monica College Jan. 29 for a {scrimmage -> this means to fight, dispute. Ask Candis if that is what she wants to say here.}and reception in honor of Coach John McMullen induction to the California Community Colleges' Men's Basketball Association Hall of Fame.

On March 11 at the Red Lion Hotel in San Diego, former SMC men's head coach McMullen was honored for 40 award-wining years of coaching, 27 years which were served at SMC. "I'm very honored, it's nice to be recognized for the team you've done."

McMullen, who received his Bachelors in Physical Education and Health Science from California State University of Northridge and his Master in Education from California Lutheran University, is branded as a legend in Community College basketball.

Throughout his coaching career he taught at Camarillo High School and for 3 years, at Brigham Young University as an Assistant men's basketball coach.

In 1978, McMullen coached his first SMC team, and since then he has secured 529 wins, a .689 winning percentage, and has brought an astounding six teams to the Western State Conference Champions.

Even with his exceptional wins and coaching skills he maintains a reputation as a modest and classy coach that cares deeply for his students. "Quite honestly, in the 20-plus years I've played basketball, he's the best coach I've ever had," said David Sternlight, who played at SMC during 1991-93; he later went on to play at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and in Israel.

Several of his former students went on to transfer to four-year universities, such as University of Oregon, and Claremont McKenna. "John McMullen's like my dad; he's the best coach I ever had. He appreciated the way I played, but he helped me grow as a person and a player," said Darwin Carter, who later played in Belize and now with the L.A. Stars. "It was really good to see so many of the former players and coaches, it made me reflect even more on how much I enjoyed working with these guys and especially to see them as they have matured, entered their careers and started families," said McMullen.

Although McMullen has achieved great success at SMC, he has not done it alone. Last year, after 40 years of tremendous work McMullen retired from coaching, but for five years Assistant Coach Trevor Shickman, now the Head Coach of Men's Basketball felt McMullen induction was well deserved. "Shickman is a great man, I'm very happy he's taking over the team," said McMullen.

McMullen is currently teaching Physical Education courses full-time here at SMC.