Women's Tennis: Maran retires after 36 Stagg-ering years at OCC

Janice Maran graduated from Stockton's Amos Alonzo Stagg High in 1969. At the time, she had no way of knowing that she would, in another sport, eclipse many of the achievements earned by one of college football's most influential coaches, despite coaching 23 fewer seasons than Stagg.

Stagg coached 59 seasons at the University of Chicago, Pacific and Springfield, and was in on many of the game's innovations, including being a notable contributor to the development of the forward pass. But Stagg's 314 wins, 10 conference championships and two national titles would pale in comparison to the numbers put up by Maran at Orange Coast College.

Maran, who retired in May as a teacher and women's tennis coach at OCC, won 23 conference crowns and eight state championships while posting 16 undefeated seasons and 477 victories.

Still, when Maran cleaned out her office last month, it wasn't victories and trophies that triggered her fondest memories. Rather, it was her association with student-athletes, students and colleagues that had the biggest impact on the Orange resident.

"Forget the win-loss stuff," Maran said just about one month into her retirement. "I thought most about my experiences."

Maran played one season of tennis at San Joaquin Delta Community College, before finishing her education at Pasadena City College and Cal State Los Angeles. Having enjoyed her years on the court, she thought teaching and coaching might make a fulfilling career.

"I asked myself, 'What do I want to get up and do every single day?' " Maran said. "The answer was, 'I want to work in fitness.' "

While working toward her master's degree at Cal State LA, Maran served as an assistant coach. An acquaintance at OCC let her know there was an opening for women's tennis coach and invited Maran to apply.

"I was probably over my head at the time, but I got the job," Maran said. "And the rest is history."

That history, in addition to the aforementioned laurels, included an .831 winning percentage, five singles state champions, eight doubles state champions and eight OCC Female Athlete of the Year honorees.

Along the way, Maran was National Coach of the Year in 1999, was twice California Coach of the Year (1987 and 1999) and was Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year more times than she can remember.

In 2009, the California Community College Coaches Assn. named her the 4CA Coaching Achievement Award winner. The award honors those who show exemplary participation, dedication and contributions to their sport, while exhibiting leadership and high ethical values to provide an outstanding role model for student-athletes and future professionals.

Maran said the arrival of her first grandson, Aiden, 10 months ago, was the primary catalyst for her decision to retire.

"It just finally felt like time," she said. "With the grand baby, I thought, 'Maybe this would work.'"

Because she is used to having summers off, there is little new in her life, as yet. But she said the full extent of the change would kick in in August, when she would typically be returning to school.

"I know at some point, I'm going to say 'Oh, my gosh!' " Maran said.

In addition to coaching tennis, Maran taught many physical education classes over the years, including swimming, aerobics, archery, ballroom dancing and racquetball, among others.

"Coaching was just magnificent and I love tennis so much; that was my passion," she said. "But teaching my fitness classes to the general public has always been what really made me feel so good over the years. I got a lot of cards and letters, and later emails from people who said they hated P.E. and did not like to move, until they took a class from me."

Maran said she remembers her first team state title, though she is cloudy on the year. And she said a stream of talented players helped make the OCC program one of the nation's best.

"I can't remember dates, but I sure remember the people," she said. "So much of the coaching awards I got were a lot about team. You have to have the horses. Yes, you have to keep the horses running, but I was blessed that OCC was in a wonderful location [to recruit] young tennis players."

Maran said she will continue to take morning walks, often while wearing an OCC sweat shirt, and in addition to increased family time (a second grandson is on the way courtesy of her second daughter, and she and her husband, Alfredo, will celebrate their 35th anniversary in August), she looks forward to having regular lunches with friends, a luxury her teaching schedule never allowed.

"All these years, my lunch has been a yogurt between classes," she said.


Twitter: @BarryFaulkner5

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