Hall of Fame honors Thomason, three of his teams

Bob Thomason

Bob Thomason at a West Coast Conference news conference in 2012. 

Bob Thomason ’72, who won 436 games as head coach and led University of the Pacific to five NCAA Tournament berths in men’s basketball, will receive the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit from the Pacific Athletics Hall of Fame.

Three of Thomason’s teams that made the NCAAs also will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a reception and dinner Friday, Feb. 23 in the Janssen-Lagorio Gymnasium on the Stockton Campus. Tickets are available online.

The men’s basketball teams of 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 all earned NCAA Tournament berths and two teams advanced to the second round.

Football standout Mark Nordquist '68, women's tennis national qualifier Tracee Lee '95 and water polo All-American Dragan Bakic '07, also were named to the Hall of Fame. The men's swimming and diving teams from 1964-68 will also be honored. In each of those years, Pacific swimmers earned multiple All-America honors.

John Noce '53 also will receive the Award of Merit.

Men’s basketball

The teams from 2003-04 through 2005-06 completed the best three-year stretch in Pacific history, finishing with a 76-20 overall record, including a combined 47-3 mark in the Big West Conference. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big West championship in 2004 and 2006 and earned an at-large bid to the 2005 NCAA Tournament after finishing as the tournament runner-up.

The Tigers swept the Big West Player of the Year honors with Miah Davis honored in 2004, David Doubley in 2005 and Christian Maraker 2006. Thomason was named Big West Coach of the Year in all three seasons.


John Noce and Bob Thomason

John Noce and Bob Thomason

Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit

The Amos Alonzo Stagg Award of Merit recognizes alumni who participated in athletics at Pacific and achieved distinction in their professional lives through notable examples of integrity, dedication, idealism and team spirit that Coach Stagg personified and to which Pacific is dedicated.

Thomason served for 25 years as the Pacific men's basketball head coach (1988-2013). He led the Tigers to five NCAA tournament appearances (1997, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2013) and was named Big West Coach of the Year five times. Thomason experienced the NCAA Tournament as both a player and a coach as he was a key player on the 1970-71 team that earned a spot in the 1971 tournament.

Noce was the head coach at the College of San Mateo baseball program for 31 years (1962-91), capturing 13 conference titles and finishing runner-up three times in the California community college playoffs.He also had a 20-year career coaching in Italy and was an assistant coach in the Olympic Games for the Italian National Team in 1984, 1992 and 1996. At the time of his retirement, he was the winningest coach in California community college baseball history.

Noce started his collegiate career at San Mateo before transferring to Pacific where he played on the 1951 and 1952 squads.

Noce was honored in 2023 with the Lefty Gomez Award from the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Tracee Lee, Mark Nordquist and Dragan Bakic

Tracee Lee, Mark Nordquist and Dragan Bakic

Mark Nordquist

Nordquist was a key offensive lineman for the Tigers in 1966 and 1967, helping Pacific average 22.3 points per game in 1967, the best offensive output in nine seasons. 

Nordquist was a fifth-round pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1968 NFL draft. He spent seven years with the Eagles and finished his NFL career with two seasons with the Chicago Bears. After his football career, Nordquist co-founded DonJoy, a leading manufacturer of orthopedic knee braces.

Tracee Lee

Lee was a two-time NCAA Tournament qualifier for the Tiger women's tennis team under coach Bill Maze. She qualified in singles in her freshman year, winning two rounds before falling in the Round of 16. She returned to the event as a senior, paired with Marsa Kuurne on a doubles team.

As a freshman, Lee served notice to the tennis community when she upset Harvard's Erika deLone, who was ranked No. 1 in the country at the time.

 In 1995, she helped lead Pacific to one of its top dual meet wins when the Tigers upset fifth-ranked UCLA. Lee picked up a key win at No. 1 singles, defeating UCLA's Jane Chi, who was ranked fifth in the country at the time.

Dragan Bakic 

Bakic was a four-time All-American for the Pacific men's water polo program, leading the team in scoring all four years. He finished his career with 245 goals, which was third on the all-time scoring list. He played in a program that was building a national reputation as he helped the Tigers to a 19-14 mark in 2005, earning second-team All-America recognition.

Following graduation, he served as an assistant coach for the Tigers, as well as the head coach for the Saint Mary's High School program.

Swimming and diving

In the mid-1960s, a small group of student-athletes earned qualification to the NCAA College Division Swimming and Diving championships and placed in the national championship for five consecutive seasons. Three individuals, John Ostrom (100 butterfly), Phil Strick (50 freestyle) and Jim Hayes (200 breaststroke) won national championships during the five-year run.

Nine individuals earned All-America honors over the time, many multiple times. The best team finish was ninth place in 1965 and 1966.