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San Clemente Journal

San Clemente Sports Wall of Fame - 2022 inductees

May 25, 2022 03:42PM ● By John Dorey

Committee Chair John Dorey, Norb Garrett, Sue Enquist, Bill Springman, Gary McKnight, Brandi Cumin Baksic, Mary Crapo, Ron Stevens, Brian de la Puente and Stephanie Aguilar.

Brandi Cumin Baksic

Brandi Cumin Baksic has been a competing athlete representing the City of San Clemente her whole life. She began swimming with SCAT (San Clemente Aquatic Team) at age eight and  that became the prelude to her successful high school swim seasons at SCHS. She played club VB at 13 where she learned the basic skills that led to a great three years of HS Varsity Volleyball culminating as a 2X MVP in 1989 and 1990 and in a full ride scholarship to FSU.


When she turned 30, she started combining running, biking and swimming to compete in Sprint Olympic Competitive Triathlons. In 2007, she placed 6th in the world while competing for Team USA in the Olympic Distance Triathlon. She went all in to compete in the 2008 World

 Championship Hawaiian Ironman, placing 9th in the world. She took up Stand Up Paddling in 2009. With over 100 first place finishes including wins at Battle of the Paddles and Hennessy’s International Championship she was the 2011 World Champion at Distance and Technical Races at the ISSA World Championships in Peru where she led Team USA to the Gold.
To date, she is a 3X International SUP Champion and a 4X US Outrigger Canoe Champion paddling for the local Dana Point Outrigger Canoe Club. She is the consummate “waterwoman.”

Gary McKnight

Gary McKnight took over as Mater Dei Head Basketball Coach prior to the 1982-83 season. During his tenure, Coach McKnight has won one National Championship, 11 California State titles, 16 Southern California Regional titles and 23 CIF Southern Section titles including a National Championship in 2014. The Monarchs have won 39 league titles in his 39 years, including 34 consecutive. Coach McKnight’s record of 1,188 - 122 is the most wins in California state history. He is also 4th nationally among all-time coaching leaders in total career wins.


Recipient of the 2018 and 2014 CIF-Southern Section Open Division Coach of the Year Award, the 2017 NABC Guardians of the Game Leadership Award, the 2014 Morgan Wooten Award for Lifetime Achievement in Coaching High School Basketball by the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., the 2014 Naismith Boy’s High School Coach of the Year Award, the Max Prep’s 2014 National Coach of the Year Award for All Sports, the Max Prep’s Boys’ Basketball National Coach of the Year Award, the National High School Coaches Association High School Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year Award and the 2014 CIF California State Coach of the Year Award. He was also named Section 7 Coach of the Year in 1996 and 1997, National Coach of the Year in 1996, and ESPN National Coach of the Year in 1987.

Coach McKnight and his wife Judy of 46 years are the proud parents of five boys (Clay, Bryan, Geoff, Matt and Taylor) and seven grandkids (Makenzie, Jaden, Lexie, Jocelyn, Brooklyn, Evelyn and Morgan). 

John Springman

John Springman was the consummate youth athletic coach. Dedicated, committed, talented and always available. He was the key that unlocked youth sports in San Clemente, taking it to the next level. If you grew up in San Clemente in the mid 1960s and early ‘70s you probably knew who Coach Springman was. He was the man who was responsible for the Vista Bahia Little League Stadium being built. He was also responsible for building the HS baseball dugouts. He initiated and coached Pop Warner Football from 1965-1970. He coached the San Clemente Pee Wee Football Team to the Orange County Championships. He coached the Optimist Club’s Little League team from 1966-1970 and the Little League All Stars in 1965, 66, 68 and 69. He coached in the Babe Ruth League as well as being the All Star coach in 1970, 71, and 72. He self-funded, started and coached American Legion baseball from the mid ‘60s to early ‘70s.
He inspired Gary McKnight who became the winningest High School Basketball Coach in the history of California as well as Sue Enquist whom he allowed to shag balls and have hitting practice with the boys. That personal gift to her was returned to others as she became the first female to play boys HS baseball in California and later became the winningest College Softball Coach ever and a member of the Sports Hall of Fame as a coach and player at UCLA.