In 1985 Glendale College had its best football season ever. The Vaqueros were ranked 5th in the nation for junior colleges and won the Western State Conference title. The team finished the season 10-1.
That year the Vaqueros played in the 34th annual Potato Bowl at Memorial Stadium in Bakersfield against the 7-1-1 Taft College Cougars. The Vaqueros won 30-24. It was only Glendale's third appearance in the Potato Bowl, winning in 1961 28-14 against Riverside and losing in 1963 to Bakersfield 48-6.
The '85 team, coached by current Athletic Director Jim Sartoris, produced four J.C. Grid Wire All-Americans, and 7 all-state and 22 all-conference players.
But victory in the Potato Bowl did not come without some nervous moments for the coaching staff and fans. In fact the Vaqueros needed to come from behind. Taft was ahead by two touchdowns before Glendale had even one first down. At one point the Vaqs were down 21-3 in the first half. But they managed to score twice before halftime leaving them down by only four points.
In the second half the Cougars increased their lead by seven with a field goal. With Rob Huffman at quarterback, the Vaqueros tied it up. It stayed tied into the final two minutes when Huffman's first down pass to Jeff Jackson turned into a touchdown with only 28 seconds left in the game. Taft did not give up and the Cougars quarterback managed to get to the 10-yard line with 1 second left before the Vaquero defenders stopped him.
It was an especially sweet victory for coach Sartoris as he was the quarterback on the Glendale College squad that lost in the Potato Bowl in 1963.
For the year, the Vaqueros outscored opponents by averaging 35.3 points per game to 14.2. The defense caused 45 turnovers, recovering 25 of 42 fumbles and intercepting 20 passes. They allowed opponents only 154 points in 11 games.
John Cicuto was an assistant coach during that dream season and became head coach in 1989. Assistant coach Sid Stark and equipment manager Pat Colegrove are also still with the program. Current assistant coach Steve Ruedaflores is the son of 1985 assistant coach Gil Ruedaflores.
Honor Roll All-American linebacker Bill Stokes led the Vaqueros in sacks. He later played in the NFL. So did offensive lineman Bill Schultz and many of their 1985 teammates earned scholarships and went on to play at four-year schools.