Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

It might have been any other Saturday at the college’s St. Petersburg College/Gibbs Campus. But not for Wallace Thomas Johnson.


Area resident Wallace Thomas Johnson receives a plaque honoring him as SPC Athletics’ number one fan from Dr. Tonjua Williams, senior vice president of Student Services, and campus provosts Jamelle Conner and Mark Strickland.

On Jan. 23, students and staff at St. Petersburg College awarded him a plaque, acknowledging him as SPC Athletics’ number one fan.

Prior to the men’s basketball game between SPC and State College of Florida, Johnson, 69, stood under an SPC Titans’ canopy, an area he has called home for most of his tenure as a SPC volunteer. He smiled as he handed a student a hot dog – a kind smile that said, “I’m here and being here is happiness.”

A computer science instructor, Johnson taught as an adjunct faculty member at SPC for 13 years. During that time he was offered a job with Florida Power in South Carolina, where he worked for three years. He eventually returned to Florida and found his passion for SPC sports.

“I live close to the college,” he said. “You know, one day I heard some noise in the gym, I walked in, and boy was I hooked.”

He has shown his love of SPC sports in many ways. He’s donated thousands of dollars for signs, chairs, tables and other odds and ends for the teams. And he’s a regular at any SPC game – whatever the sport – that he can possibly attend where students and staff greet him as Mr. Johnson or Tom.

“Volleyball is my favorite, but the basketball team is awesome as well,” he said. “They always put on a good show.”

Trouble struck, however, when he learned he had stage four lung cancer. He has since been going through chemo treatments to fight the disease.

“I just keep going,” he said.


SPC sports fan Wallace Thomas Johnson and SPC Head Baseball Coach Ryan Beckman

Dedication and kindness are words that define Johnson, his fans at SPC said. Seeing him push through his illness every day to support something he loves has had a positive effect on the entire SPC community.

“Thank you, Mr. Johnson,” said Davie Gill, Student Life and Leadership Coordinator and Athletic Director at SPC. “I don’t think he realizes how much he impacts the students and players, but we are grateful.”

The college also named the corner where he has pitched the SPC Titans’ canopy for so many games “Tom’s Corner” in honor of the wonderful things he has accomplished.

“It’s nice to see a dedicated fan,” Gill said. It’s even more special, he added, considering the challenges Johnson faces to attend the games.

Johnson shows no sign of slowing down. The chemo treatments keep him somewhat shaky at times, but he shrugs it off, ready for the day.

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davie-gill-ad-259x300Student Life and Leadership Coordinator Davie Gill has been named Athletic Director, taking over for Mark Strickland, who was recently named interim provost at the Seminole Campus. As it was with Strickland, the position is in addition to other administrative duties.

Gill began his career at SPC in 2000 as a student services officer at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. He was named coordinator of what was then called Student Activities (now known as Student Life and Leadership) at the campus in 2008.

Strickland served as athletic director for eight years.


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SPC Women's Basketball Coach Denisha Davidson

Denisha Davidson

St. Petersburg Women’s Basketball Coach Denisha Davidson was inducted into the Kennesaw State University Athletics Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the KSU Sports and Recreation Park Saturday, Oct. 11.

As Head Coach for SPC’s women’s basketball since July 2009, Davidson has coached seven All State Players, the 2013 Southern Conference Player of the Year and the 2013 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All American. She also has been honored by being named three-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

A first-team Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Daktronics Division II All-American, Davidson earned Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year honors in 2003-04 and all-conference honors three times. She concluded her career ranked No. 1 in rebounds-per-game (9.9) and No. 4 in points-per-game (18.6).

Davidson also ranks No. 3 in career points (1,583) and career rebounds (844), and holds the No. 2, 3 and 4 single-season rebounding averages. A three-year letter winner, Davidson helped lead the Owls to a 52-33 (.612) record.

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The St. Petersburg College women’s softball team has qualified for the state tournament in Pensacola and will begin playing its games on Friday.

View the softball schedule brackets detailing which teams SPC will play. Just remember that the game schedule is written for Central Standard Time (CST).

View the games online via the Panhandle Sports Broadcasting website.

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St. Petersburg College Men’s Basketball Coach Earnest Crumbley was featured on ABC Action News and TBNWeekly.com after he was voted into the Florida College System Activities Association Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

“My first job is an educator. I’m a teacher at heart,” Crumbley said in the ABC Action News interview. “It’s just for me to make sure that we can make an impact on lives. That’s the glory of the job.”

Crumbley will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on March 8, according to the TV news report.

The TV news report is available on the college’s YouTube channel.

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St. Petersburg College’s Coach Earnest Crumbley has been voted into the Florida College System Activities Association (FCSAA) Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame – Class of 2014.

CrumbleySeven individuals were nominated this year. Only four were elected. Crumbley was one of two coaches chosen. The inductees:
• Earnest Crumbley – St. Petersburg College – Coach
• Tim Ryan – The College of Central Florida – Coach
• Jim Cox – Miami-Dade – Administrator
• Alice Pendergrass – Chipola College – Administrator

An induction ceremony will take place in March at the State Tournament for the Hall of Fame – Class of 2014.

Coach Crumbley is in his 16th year as head coach of the SPC men’s basketball team. “Coach C” is the longest tenured coach in Florida with more than 275 wins. As head coach, his teams have appeared in the regionals six times and won four Suncoast Conference championships. Crumbley also was named Florida Coach of the Year in 2001-02 when his team finished ninth in the nation after representing Region 8 in the national tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas.

A native of St. Petersburg and a graduate of Boca Ciega High School, Coach Crumbley graduated from Arizona Western College with an Associated of Applied Science before transferring to Utah State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He also earned a Master’s in Educational Counseling from the University of South Florida. He has been a full-time employee at St. Petersburg College since 1992.

Coach Crumbley is past president of the Delta Omicron Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. in St. Petersburg.

He and his wife Shirley, Women on the Way Coordinator at the college, have two sons, Earnest Jr. and Kory. Earnest Jr. graduated in 2004 from Florida Atlantic University, where he was FAU’s all-time leading scorer and assist maker. He’s currently the Head Coach at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Kansas. Kory graduated from St. Petersburg College in 2004. He had two stellar seasons with the Titans and went on to play for Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach on a basketball scholarship. He is currently the assistant coach at Lakewood High School, where he won a state high school championship in 2004.

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Milan Vasic, Abby Martinez and SPC Head Tennis Coach Phil Girardi

An award, first offered this year at the Women’s Tennis National Championship, pays tribute to a former St. Petersburg College student killed two years ago in a traffic accident.

Coaches at the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament voted on the Jovana Vasic Spirit of Competition Award, naming Abby Martinez of State College of Florida as its first ever recipient.

A former SPC tennis player, Vasic was killed in a car accident two years ago while en route to begin her junior year at the University of Northern Arizona. Those who knew the student said she exemplified what student athletes strive to be noted for. She was team captain her sophomore year. She had over a 3.0 cumulative GPA. She excelled on the court. She had a full-ride scholarship waiting for her in Arizona, and she was loved by her teammates and those whom she competed against.

A standout tennis player for two years, Martinez has similar attributes.

Jovana’s father Milan Vasic attended the award presentation. Wanda McPhail, the Women’s National Tennis Coaches Association President, presented him with the same plaque given to Martinez. SPC’s Head Tennis Coach Phil Girardi spoke for a few minutes, detailing what it was like to coach Jovana Vasic and what she meant to her team and SPC.

SPC finished 14th at the championship, held in Tucson, Ariz. Tyler Junior College won the title.

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