The Arizona Community College Athletic Conference has announced the 2020 Hall of Fame Class headlined by two long-time contributors to the conference from Arizona Western.
Athletic Director Jerry Smith and former Matador Baseball Coach John Stratton have been inducted into the ACCAC Hall of Fame.
Smith has been a driving force in the ACCAC since becoming Athletic Director at Arizona Western in 2005. He has converted the Matador programs in a model of stability with seven current head coaches logging a combined 67 seasons at AWC and notching over 2,000 wins wit 20 Region Championships, and 11 NJCAA Championship appearances. Smith has also been a proponent of student-athlete success in the classroom with over 250 student-athletes earning All-Academic Honors from the NJCAA.
Much of that success is due to Smith’s ties in the community as he has envigorated the Matador Athletic Association and helped lead the ACCAC, serving as President of the conference for two years. He continues to represent Arizona Junior Colleges at the NJCAA level, serving as the Region I Director of Women’s Athletics for the past eight years.
Stratton retired from his post in 2011 after leading the Matador Baseball team for 27 seasons and 817 wins. Stratton is the all-time winningest coach in in Matador history and the longest tenured coach ever at Arizona Western. He led Matador teams to 11 ACCAC Playoff Appearances including league titles in 1986, 1995, 1996, and 1999. The ’96 squad finished the season 3rd at the NJCAA National Championship.
Stratton’s career at AWC also impacted Baseball at the National and Professional levels, including time coaching the NJCAA All-Star Team in Netherlands at the Honkbal Championship. Coach Stratton also saw two former pupils advance their careers out of Yuma, with Benji Molina and Sergio Romo each having long Major League careers.
The pair is apart of the sixth class in the history of the ACCAC Hall of Fame, joining five others from around the conference.
The ACCAC Hall of Fame now consists of 47 members.
Full ACCAC Release