Honoring the Past     Celebrating the Present     Inspiring the Future
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The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.


Today we have over 400 individual and team inductees recognizing the accomplishments of the best of the best in Fresno County Athletes. The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, which will soon be located at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus, is a non-profit organization that depends upon the support of the community and local businesses.

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History

The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame was founded in 1958 by John Voenes, the original chairman of the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, and Ed Orman, Sports Editor for the Fresno Bee.

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Our mission, from our inception, as it remains today, is to honor and remember the past accomplishments of our Fresno County athletes, to annually celebrate the enshrinement of our new inductees and to provide inspiration to our youth so they too can become all they can be in their lives.

In Memoriam
In Memoriam
PAUL SCHECHTER
1943 - 2019

Though best known as Fresno State's longtime Head Athletic Trainer and Director of Sports Medicine, the New York City native contributed in many other ways to the Bulldogs' success and to the practice of sports medicine.

After high school, Schechter moved west to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and it was there that he made the switch from athlete to trainer. After Cal Poly, he worked for two and a half years at Hancock Junior College with Coach John Madden’s football team.

Later, he was hired by Cal Poly Pomona as a student athletic trainer where he earned his BS in 1966. While a student at Cal Poly Pomona, he had the opportunity to work with the Southern California Striders track and field team. For the next few years, he traveled internationally with track and field.

In 1966 he was hired as the Head Athletic Trainer at Occidental College. While at Oxy, he continued traveling and working with national and international teams. He was an athletic trainer with the US Military Team during meets in Ireland, Finland, France, Greece and Italy. He was the trainer for USA Track and Field during meets in England, Germany, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Mexico. He also worked two years as a trainer for the British Commonwealth team as they competed against USA Track.

In 1970 Paul took a job as Head Athletic Trainer and Assistant Professor at Cal State LA and, while working full time, earned a Master's Degree in Education Administration from Azusa Pacific in 1973.

In spring of 1973 Schechter accepted the job as the third athletic trainer at Fresno State. In his first year, Paul and two student trainers serviced 21 sports. He focused on program improvement at over the next three decades. In 1978, he hired Ed Ferreira and the certification process was started. By 1982, Fresno State had a Nationally Certified Athletic Training Program. In 2002, not only were there four full-time trainers, three G.A.’s, 20 students and a Sports Medicine Curriculum Department with three professors, but facilities improvements became obvious.

In 1973 the training room was one room, a converted shower plus a converted storage closet at Ratcliffe Stadium. In 1981 Schechter designed the 1,500 square foot training room inside the new Duncan Building. By 1995 he had designed and raised funds for a newer 5,000 square foot training facility. After retirement, the training program and facilities have continued growing.

Schechter’s Fresno State job descriptions included Director of Sports Medicine and Coordinator of Football and Baseball Operations. He oversaw all athletics and worked day-to-day with Bob Bennett in baseball and with head football coaches J.R. Boone, Jim Sweeney, Bob Padilla and Pat Hill. During the Pat Hill era, he spearheaded fundraising efforts that raised millions of dollars to improve Fresno State's training and football facilities.

During Paul’s tenure, he worked with every Fresno State athlete from 1973-2002 who has been inducted into the FAHOF as well as the 15 coaches who are in the Hall of Fame which will now include new inductee Coach Ron Adams.

In 1975 Paul worked with Pete Mehas as Clovis Unified hired the first two full-time trainers at the high school level.

In 1978, Paul, Lee Brownell and Dr. Thomas Thaxter started STAR Clinic, the first Sports Medicine Physical Therapy office in the Central Valley. About this time, Paul began lobbying Pete Mehas, who was then California’s Chief Education Advisor for Governor Deukmajian to require athletic trainers at the high school level and to encourage State licensing for athletic trainers. He also worked closely with Ollie Bidwell who hired six certified grad assistants to work at each high school in Fresno Unified. The GA’s were given the equivalent of a graduate scholarship as compensation. Shortly thereafter, Sanger Unified, Madera Unified, San Joaquin High School and Reedley College hired certified graduate students who received the same compensation as FUSD. Now many high schools in California have a Certified ATC working part-time or as a full-time staff member.

In 1977, Paul served as Head Athletic Trainer covering Track and Field at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv, Israel. In 1978, he worked at the U.S. Sports Festival in Colorado Springs and in 1984 served as Velodrome site trainer during the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Finally, in 1987 he served as trainer for the West Team during the Japan Bowl in Tokyo.

At the beginning of his career, Paul started a golf tournament to raise scholarship money for the Far West Athletic Trainers Association. That tournament is now called the Paul Schechter Golf Tournament. He continued facilitating this golf tournament for about 25 years. In 1992 the organization honored him with its Distinguished Service award and in 1998 he received the Special Service award. He was inducted into the Far West Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 1994 Paul was on the California State University Athletic Insurance Board Rules Committee and during his tenure on the board, helped write the rules for the Cal State University Self-funded Athletic Insurance program.

It was because of Schechter's passion for his profession and Fresno State that team physician Dr. Eric Hanson and Sierra Pacific Orthopaedic Center awarded the Paul Schechter Courage Award in 2003 to a student-athlete who has overcome a physical challenge to excel in college athletics. Every year since then, an athlete or athletes have been presented this award.

In 2015 the Crosby Family awarded the first Paul Schechter Excellence Award, a scholarship presented to an athletic training student who demonstrates commitment to leadership through his/her service to others.

Paul’s most important legacy is the work ethic he taught and modeled as well as having former students working as educators and athletic trainers all over the country from all levels of public education to the professional sports level as well as a college president and the president of the National Trainers Association.

Paul and wife, Deborah, have two children, Fred and Marcie.

Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
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View Past Inductees
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Enshrinement Dinner
2019

More information coming soon.

YOUR 2018 FRESNO COUNTY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
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OUR MISSION: TO INSPIRE THE FUTURE!

We hope to empower and to encourage our community members to realize that through commitment, hard work, and dedication anybody can achieve their goals and their own individual levels of greatness in life. As with any team sport, our community will thrive with the combined efforts of individuals. We support, encourage, and motivate one another to achieve success.

Just as our outstanding athletes have achieved success with the support and guidance of family, coaches, and mentors, our youth and the future of our community will also require guidance, life coaches, and mentors to thrive. You can become a mentor by contributing to the success of our exhibit and providing a place where children can be inspired and motivated to overcome the negative influences in their lives and to realize the opportunities that they have available to achieve greatness in their own way.

The Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to honoring the accomplishments of our great athletes and community leaders and telling their stories to inspire others to achieve success in their own lives.

HELP US REALIZE OUR VISION

The future home of Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame, will soon be located at the Save Mart Center on the Fresno State campus. We are a non-profit organization that depends upon the support of the community and local businesses. You can become a proud participant by pledging your financial support today!

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THE FUTURE
THE FRESNO COUNTY ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME
Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame Board of Directors
  • Gordie Webster, President
  • Tim Leary, Vice President
  • Bill Chaltraw, Treasurer/Secretary
  • Jean Ainger
  • Gena Strang-Behrens
  • Walt Byrd, Jr.
  • Diane Carbray
  • Jeanne Contel
  • Steve Darnell
  • Dick Ellsworth
  • John Higginbotham
  • Tom Kane
  • Andrew Marden
  • Pat Ogle
  • Donna Pickel
  • Tom Sommers
  • Ron Thomas
  • Shelly Van Houwelingen
  • Jackie White
  • Auxiliary Board Members
  • Mark Cameron
  • Joe Cooper
  • Kellie Deyer
  • Pete Esraelian
  • Bill McEwen
  • Tom McFerson
  • Jim Pardini
  • Casey Rowe
  • Jim Sandrini
  • Chris Torrence
  • Mike Watney
  • Rod Webster
  • Jim Yovino
  • DeWayne Zinkin
  • Committee Chairs
  • Walt Byrd, Jr., Capital Campaign
  • TBD, Dinner Committee
  • Diane Carbray & Jean Ainger, Women’s Conference
  • Tom Kane, Peter G. Mehas Memorial Scholarship
  • Pat Ogle, Individual Selection Committee
  • Jeanne Contel, Team Selection Committee
Honoring the Past
Celebrating the Present
Inspiring the Future