THE YEAR IN REVIEW : A Look Ahead, Behind : Many Struggled Through ’88, but Near Year Offers Hope : USD

With apologies to David Letterman, we offer lists detailing what happened in 1988 and, in some cases, how 1988 will impact 1989 .

Six reasons to applaud the University of San Diego:

1. The catcher was on a roll.

Playing in all 56 games, Dave Rolls, a senior catcher, set school records with 18 home runs, 70 runs batted in and 57 walks. In 179 at-bats, he hit .374 with 67 hits, 15 doubles, 2 triples, 51 runs and 9 stolen bases. Rolls was chosen co-player of the year in the West Coast Athletic Conference and earned second-team Academic All-America honors.


2. 5-4 football team close to 9-0.

Limiting opponents to 72.7 rushing yards per game (a school record), USD’s football team finished the season 5-4 (with a forfeit victory over Menlo). USD lost five games by an average of three points. Twice, the Toreros gave up winning touchdowns late in the fourth quarter and three times they failed to score on their final drive when they appeared to be heading to victory. Defenders Bryan Day and John Gomez were named Academic All-Americans. Day was named to the first team for the second consecutive year, Gomez to the second team.

3. Basketball team upsets ...

A young 1987-88 team upset Pepperdine, 76-74, after losing to the Waves by 25 earlier in the season. USD upset St. Mary’s, 66-61, after losing to the Gaels by one three nights before. After losing by 40 to Loyola Marymount the first time around, USD scored 126 points in the last game of the regular season, but lost to the Lions, who had 141. Those were topped by an even younger 1988-89 squad in the second game this season. USD upset New Mexico, then ranked 24th, 64-53, after falling behind, 13-0, after 4 1/2 minutes in Albuquerque.

4. Layman replaces priest.

On Sept. 1, Tom Iannacone officially replaced the Rev. Patrick Cahill as athletic director. Cahill resigned the position he held for 9 years to to accept an associate pastorship in Las Vegas. Iannacone, 47, brings to USD a wealth of football, track and management experience accumulated on the East Coast.

5. Silver season for USD’s Ralph Kramden.

As a bus driver, John Cunningham has logged over 200,000 miles transporting Toreros to athletic events. But J.C., as he is known, is more famous for his 25 years of service as the USD baseball coach. J.C. was honored at a banquet in January; John Wathan, with Kansas City Royals manager and a USD alumnus, was the key-note speaker. The baseball field was renamed Cunningham Baseball Stadium. In 1988, the Toreros won their last 7 games and 9 of 10 to finish 28-28, giving Cunningham a 577-565-13 record.

6. Torero Stadium made super.

In late January, the Washington Redskins prepared for the Denver Broncos at USD. But before they did, the turf and lockerroom needed to be prepared. The NFL spent $60,000 on Santa Ana Bermuda grass for the field and carpeting and paint for the lockerroom.