The photos of three teams hang on the wall of Brian Beauchemin’s office at Glendale College as a tribute to his finest squads. There are pictures of the 1983-84 team as well as the group from 1989-90, both of which advanced to the final eight of the state championship playoffs.
But it is the third picture, the shot of the 1984-85 men’s basketball team, that stands out as the first team that Beauchemin coached in his 25 years at Glendale that not only won the conference championship, but advanced to the final four of the state championship basketball tournament before losing to Butte College 79-72 and finishing the season 20-12.
The Vaqueros started the 1984-85 season 0-5 and then were just 2-8 after 10 games. Two of those losses were in overtime and one was by 42 points to the eventual state champions from El Camino College. But Beauchemin would later point out that several of those losses could have gone either way and that his young team was playing better despite losing several close games.
And just like that, in game No. 11 against College of the Canyons on the eve of the start of the Inland Valley Conference opener against Cerro Coso, the Vaqueros found the ingredient they had been missing all season. They beat the Cougars to avenge the season opening loss to Canyons and then reeled off 15 wins over the next 18 games to tie Riverside for the best record in the conference at 15-3 and then beat the Tigers for the fourth time that season, 73-65, in a playoff game to determine the outright Inland Valley Conference Champions.
In the Southern California Regional playoffs, Glendale avenged two early season losses to Valley College with an exciting 87-82 overtime win over the Monarchs, the fifth overtime game the Vaqueros played that year.
This group, coached by Beauchemin and Assistant Coach Joe Petralia, including Bill Carr, Toros Yetenekian, Ted Grissom, John Hoffman, Mark Van Dam, Matt MacFarlane, Randy Alexander, Darren Hubbell, John Johnson and Jacques Owens, have been reunited tonight after 20 years.
Looking back on that team and season fondly, Beauchemin said that the overall team play was a key to their success as was the fact that the Vaqueros led the conference in free throw shooting and
was second in assists per game and third in field goal percentage and in average turnovers. Apart from any individual accomplishments, all of these factors combined with the players’ belief in each other made for one of the greatest seasons in the history of Glendale College Men’s Basketball.