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Category: UCI

Trevor Bauer strikes out 13 for UCLA

Trevor Bauer, one of the top freshman pitchers in the nation last season at UCLA, picked up where he left off Saturday night, striking out a career-high 13 in eight innings to help the Bruins improve to 2-0 with a 10-3 victoryover Bethune Cookman at the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.

Steve Rodriguez hit two home runs for UCLA.

In other college baseball games, Cal Poly defeated USC, 10-6, in San Luis Obispo. Matt Hart had three hits for the Mustangs, who lost to USC, 9-4, on Friday.

UC Irvine improved to 2-0 with a 9-6 victory over Loyola Marymount.

Left-hander Matt Bywater threw a four-hit shutoutand struck out 10 to lift Pepperdine (1-1) to a 6-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton (0-2).

-- Eric Sondheimer

College basketball loses personality in Bill Mulligan

Bill Mulligan, one of the most colorful college basketball coaches to blow a whistle in Southern California, died Tuesday at the age of 79.

He was a friend, and he was one of the last links to an era where coaches were unafraid to speak their minds. There was no textbook coach-speak in him, which made him bigger than the 163-156 record he had at Irvine.

Asked in the 1980s how Fresno State was able to attract so many recruits from the Chicago area, Mulligan said, “Easy, they think they’re coming to California.” He would describe the deliberate style Fresno played in the 1980s as “vomit basketball.”

Mulligan was a prominent community college coach, at Riverside City College and Saddleback College, and gave UC Irvine its first taste of success at the Division I level. His teams played up-tempo in the pre-shot clock era, with Irvine leading the nation in scoring in 1980-81. Twice Irvine qualified for the NIT, in 1982 and 1987, when the Anteaters upset UCLA at Pauley Pavilion after beating Jerry Tarkanian’s Nevada Las Vegas team twice during the regular season.

But what set diminutive Mulligan apart was a personality that was loaded with colorful language and devoid of cliches, packaged in a wardrobe of sweaters, plaid pants and saddle shoes.

“You’re supposed to be tall and handsome to be a basketball coach,” Mulligan once said. “I’m 0 for 2.”

There was nothing PC about him. He smoked non-filtered cigarettes and was known to tip a few after games, and he could rant with the best.

He was hard on point guard -- The Times did a story about it with a cartoon of Mulligan throwing toy players over his shoulder into a pile.

Once, after a no-look, behind-the-back pass sailed out of bounds, Mulligan jerked Jason Works from the game, yelling, “Sit down, you moron!” Later, resigned to the fact that he needed Works, he said the guard would play “about 30 minutes a game -- even if it gives me a coronary.”

Occasionally, coaches will utter such things. Mulligan did it constantly, making him a sportswriter’s best friend.

On coaching at Irvine in 1982: “We have a lot of academically oriented players on this team.… They’re really into these exams. That’s good, but I don't know if it makes for good basketball, though.”

When forward Wayne Engelstad showed up to school overweight, Mulligan said: “I told him to report at 215 to 220 this year and he comes in at about 250. I didn't know how much for sure, but I knew he was too damn fat just by looking at him. So I said, ‘OK, you go inside. Fat people play center.’ "

On guard Scott Brooks' transfer from Texas Christian to Irvine: “He’d still be at TCU except he hated the state of Texas. He liked the program. He just hated the state.”

On Pacific player Domingo Rosario: “He’s the best freshman in the conference. I think I’ll head down to the Dominican this summer and see if I can't find me something too.”

When a recruit signed with another school, even though his mother wanted him at Irvine so much she began to cry, Mulligan told assistant coach Mike Bokosky. “Hey, Bo, we did a great job on the mother and a … job on the kid.”

And, of his high school classmate Bob Newhart: “In four years, I never heard him say one funny thing.”

Compared to Mulligan, probably not.

He will be missed.

-- Chris Foster

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State budget cuts strike down 5 UC Irvine sports

UC Irvine announced today it was "discontinuing" five sports -- men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's rowing, and sailing -- to cut costs.

And we can expect to learn about similar plans at colleges, junior colleges and high schools across the state in coming months as schools struggle with reductions in state funding.

Irvine expects to save about $1 million with this move and other adjustments being made to its athletic program's operating expenses.

"I was hoping to avoid discontinuing any of our sports programs, but the intercollegiate athletics department is not immune to the cuts that are occurring in the state and on our campus," Irvine Athletic Director Mike Izzi said in a statement released by the school. "The impact this has on these coaches and student-athletes is something that none of us wishes to see, but the reality is that this type of move is unavoidable with the financial challenges that we face."

Irvine will honor its scholarship commitments to student-athletes from the affected sports during the 2009-10 academic year, the school said.

-- Mike Hiserman 

UCLA, UC Irvine bring home NCAA championships

UCLA celebrates their national championship in women's water polo.

UC Irvine celebrates their national championship in men's volleyball. A pair of NCAA championship trophies are coming to Southern California.

The UCLA women's water polo team upset rival USC, 5-4, to win its fifth straight NCAA title and 11th overall. The Bruins own a collective 104 NCAA team titles, tops in the nation. It was the last game for coach Adam Krikorian, who will become the U.S. Women's Water Polo National Team coach. He will also continue serving as a coach for the UCLA men's team.

UC Irvine also won a national title by beating USC last weekend, with the Anteaters' 3-2 victory earning their second NCAA title in men's volleyball in the last three years. In all sports, UC Irvine has now collected 26 NCAA titles.

--Adam Rose

Top photo: The UCLA women's water polo national celebrates its national championship. Credit: Jamie Schwaberow / NCAA Photography

Bottom photo: The UC Irvine men's volleyball team celebrates its national championship. Credit: George Frey / Associated Press

Mike Gillespie returns to USC with Irvine

UC Irvine baseball coach Mike Gillespie answer questions during last year's NCAA playoffs. Drama in college baseball, usually reserved for the playoffs and College World Series, goes local tonight when 10th-ranked UC Irvine visits USC.

It's another homecoming for Irvine Coach Mike Gillespie, who in 20 seasons at USC guided the Trojans to 15 playoff appearances, four World Series and the 1998 national title. Gillespie, however, was forced out after the 2006 season and replaced by Chad Kreuter, his son-in-law.

Irvine hired Gillespie before the 2008 season, and he led the Anteaters to a Super Regional appearance and a 42-18 record. Among those victories was an 11-3 win over the Trojans at USC's Dedeaux Field.

Irvine is 7-4 this season, USC 4-6.

Gillespie has a 812-493-2 career record. Kreuter, who played 17 years in the major leagues, is 59-63 in two-plus seasons with the Trojans.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Mike Gillespie, UC Irvine baseball coach. Credit: Nati Harnik/Associated Press

UC Irvine gets 'black' on track

UC Irvine's marketing department seemed headed toward a UCLA moment (come on down, Fresno State football fans -- watch your team beat ours). Instead, they may be trend-setters.

The Anteaters were playing Cal State Northridge, the Big West Conference leader, Wednesday night. A light bulb clicked on in the marketing department and students were encouraged to wear all black for a "Black-Out Night."

Hardly original, but there was one problem. Northridge's road uniforms are black, so the Matadors came out of the locker room and saw what must have looked like 2,500 hometown fans. That the Anteaters managed to upset Northridge prevented a red-faced moment for the marketing folks. It also might be the next home-field ploy.

Imagine, UCLA fans dressed in cardinal and gold with two fingers (yes two) in the air as the Trojans take the field at the Rose Bowl. Or Ohio State supporters singing "Hail to the Victors" with beer-hall gusto at the Horseshoe. Or Cal fans adding the Stanford mascot to the list of trees they want to protect.

Stranger things have happened. After all, Notre Dame won a bowl game this year.

-- Chris Foster

Kobe Bryant likes the UC Irvine Anteaters! Huh?

Kobe Bryant can opt out of his contract! The sky is falling, Lakers fans.

Kobe will go to play in Greece for enough to keep knee-deep in feta for life! Wait, no, Kobe will sign with the Clippers to fulfill his lifelong dream of being injured in the first year of a multimillion-dollar contract.

Ucikobe_2 Even better, Kobe will sign with Orlando, just as soon as Shaquille O'Neal and Grant Hill complete the purchase of the Magic, because of his deep, personal friendship with Shaq.

But one thing no one has considered is Kobe leaving the game to take a full-time job promoting UC Irvine basketball. You read that right ... UC Irvine.

He seems to already be testing those waters by doing the intro to the Anteaters' video that was shown at their Midnight Madness practice. Now if UC Irvine can only come up with about $136-million over six years....

-- Chris Foster

Photo: Kobe Bryant on the Midnight Madness video. Credit: UC Irvine

Pepperdine, Loyola Marymount turn tables on USC, UCLA

Tommy Hawkins was the master of ceremonies at the Wooden Tip-Off annual college basketball coaches luncheon today at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Hawkins thanked Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount for buying two tables, as well as Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge supporters who bought tables. No thanks extended to anyone from UCLA or USC for buying tables. I guess they don't have the big boosters at those schools.

-- Diane Pucin

UC Irvine sends athletes to "The Little Dance"

Some local universities market their teams by running ads in out-of-town newspapers to attract the opposing team's fans. Others just post videos that highlight their athletes other "skills."

UC Irvine is welcoming back students with a Soul Train-esque music video, starring many of its athletes singing and dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire's "September." Don't miss water polo player Greg Enloe and his fish-out-of-water dance moves.

-- Chris Foster


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