The San Diego Hall of Champions is pleased to announce the Breitbard Hall of Fame Class for 2008. The four honorees will be inducted on March 4 at the 62nd annual Salute to the Champions dinner at the Town and Country Resort.
The four inductees are Shannon MacMillan, soccer; Steve Scott, track and field; Willie O’Ree, hockey; and Pete Newell, basketball. O’Ree and Newell were elected by the veterans’ committee.
This was the first year a new voting system was in place for the Breitbard Hall-of-Famers. Members of the media and representatives from San Diego’s colleges and pro franchises cast votes, and final approval came from the Hall of Champions Board of Directors.
MacMillan, a San Pasqual High alumnus, is the first women’s soccer player inducted into the Breitbard Hall.
Scott, O’Ree and Newell have lived in San Diego for decades that spanned their careers.
Scott, now the cross country and track and field coach at Cal State San Marcos, ran for the bulk of his Olympic and world-class career while living in San Diego.
O’Ree is an historic figure in hockey that broke the color line in the National Hockey League and was a popular figure for the minor-league San Diego Gulls.
Newell has remained in San Diego since he served as general manager of San Diego Rockets and is considered a giant in his sport.
SHANNON MacMILLAN, soccer
Shannon MacMillan, a San Pasqual High alumnus, is a World Cup and Olympic champion in women’s soccer as a member of the U.S. team that won the World Cup in 1999 and the U.S. teams that won the 1996 Olympic gold medal and the 2000 Olympic silver medal. She played for the U.S. national team from 1994 through the 2003 World Cup. In Olympic competition, she scored the game-winning goal in overtime in the Olympic semifinal against Norway in 1996, and also scored the first goal in the Olympic final against China. She finished her international career with 60 goals and with 175 caps, the 10th most of any woman in history at the time she retired. She was U.S. Soccer’s National Female Athlete of the Year in 2002; the National College Player of the Year at the University of Portland in 1995, when she won the Hermann Trophy that is women soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy; and the CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year in 1990. MacMillan was one of the founding players of the Women’s United Soccer Association as a player for the San Diego Spirit. She is now an assistant coach at UCLA.
STEVE SCOTT, track and field
Steve Scott owned the American mile record for 25 years before his time of 3:47.69 was broken in 2007 by Alan Webb. Scott also holds the world record for most sub-four-minute miles with 136. He was a three-time Olympian and a silver medalist at the 1983 World Championships. He was ranked No. 1 in the U.S for 10 years after wining an NCAA title at UC Irvine. He relocated in San Diego County in 1983, and the bulk of his world-class career came while as a San Diego resident. He was instrumental in starting the world-famous Carlsbad 5,000 road race and is now the cross country and track coach at Cal State San Marcos. He is a member of the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame.
WILLIE O’REE, hockey
O’Ree had a professional hockey career that spanned 21 years and was the first black player in the National Hockey League. Known as one of the fastest skaters of his time, O’Ree played 43 games in the NHL for the Boston Bruins. O’Ree came to San Diego 1967 and played here until 1974. He averaged 50 points-per-year during his time in San Diego and was always a fan-favorite. O’Ree put together his long list of accomplishments despite the use of only one eye after being blinded by a slapshot in junior hockey. O’Ree, who made San Diego his home after his playing days, continues to represent the NHL as Director of Diversity Programming.
PETE NEWELL, basketball
Newell was the general manager of the San Diego Rockets as an NBA expansion team from 1967-68 season to the 1970-71 season. The Rockets emerged as an NBA playoff team in 1968-69 with NBA All-Stars Elvin Hayes and Don Kojis. Newell has made San Diego his home since working for the Rockets, although he later served as general manager of the Los Angeles Lakers. Newell won the 1949 NIT title at the University of San Francisco, the 1959 NCAA title at Cal and coached the 1960 Olympic team to a gold medal. His 1960 Cal team made a second straight trip to the NCAA final but finished as the runner-up. He has also been renowned for his Big Man’s Camps and Tall Women’s Camps. He moved the Tall Women’s Camp to San Diego two years ago.