SACRAMENTO, CALI - Cosumnes River College alumni, Christine (Tanaka) Jang, now the head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at South Sacramento Kaiser, has been selected as a member of the 2018 class of the California Community College Athletic Association's (CCCAA) Sports Hall of Fame.
Jang was enshrined alongside fellow inductees: Aisha Maston, an outstanding track and field athlete from Bakersfield College, Dick Tucker, longtime Orange Coast College football coach, Ed Galigher, a standout football and wrestling athlete and former NFL player (49ers and Jets) from Chabot College, and Dick Vermeil, a former NFL coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, and football student-athlete of Napa Valley College.
The CCCAA annually honors a select few former student-athletes, coaches and administrators with induction into their Hall of Fame which is the highest honor bestowed in California Community College athletics. Founded in 1984, the Sports Hall of Fame has sought to recognize those who have made the most of their experiences as California community college student-athletes, coaches and administrators, maximizing their own potential, and bettering themselves and those with whom they come into contact. The value of community college education and intercollegiate athletics for hundreds of thousands of student-athletes over the years is best exemplified by the accomplishments of a select few who have used their community college experience as a stepping stone to greatness.
"I'm honored to be recognized in this way," stated Jang. "I never thought anything like this would ever happen. I just competed in my sport."
Jang competed in gymnastics at Cosumnes River College in 1977 & 1979 after graduating from Kennedy High School. She is the first and only female state champion and the first CRC athlete to capture two state titles in the history of the college.
Jang was the state champion in the advanced class at the community college level in 1977. The following fall she broke her ankle during a tumbling exercise, was sidelined for a year and planned on moving onto the four year school to finish her degree. However, her coach Gert Larsen, persuaded Jang into staying at CRC and competing for her sophomore year. After having pins removed from her ankle, Jang returned to compete in 1979 winning all four events at the Valley Conference Championships and was named the conference's "Most Valuable Gymnast".
Jang later went on to win the beam and parallel bars competition and finished second in the vault at the State Championships. As a result of her marks, Jang won the "Women's Individual All-Around" open competition state title and helped her team to a seventh place finish in the State Team Competition.
Jang was also named, "Most Outstanding" and "Most Valuable Athlete" at Cosumnes River College, the only athlete in the history of the institution to win both awards in the same year. She was then recognized as the "Gymnast of the Year" by the Sacramento Athletic Hall of Fame.
After leaving CRC, Jang never competed in gymnastics again. She transferred to Cal State Northridge where she graduated with a degree in Physical Therapy in 1981. She worked as a Physical Therapist for about two years and decided to go to medical school at U.C. Irvine and completed her residency at U.C. Davis. She has since worked as a doctor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Kaiser, South Sacramento and recently became head of the department.
"As the former chair of our CRC Athletic Hall of Fame committee, I received all the nominations of our former athletes," stated Assistant Athletic Director Jeanne Calamar. "The things that she accomplished as an athlete here are amazing. She was the first athlete to be a two time state championship (we only have one other) and is still the only female state champion at CRC. No other athlete in the history of this institution has won both the "Most Outstanding and Most Valuable Athlete" awards in the same year. Those things alone are incredible feats."
With her induction into this Hall of Fame, Christine will join the ranks of 135 current member, all distinguished for their athletic achievements. Jang will join some of the greatest California Community College Athletes including Olympic volleyball standouts Flo Hyman and Steve Timmons, Olympic swimmers Shirley Babashoff and Debbie Meyers, track and field Olympians Valerie Brisco-Hooks and Stacy Dragila, NFL greats Jeff Garcia, Warren Moon and Frank Gifford, basketball player Michael Cooper, baseball standouts Jackie Robinson, Willie Stargell, Joe Morgan and Willie McGee, as well as former CRC student athlete and 2005 World Series MVP – Jermaine Dye, legendary football coaches, Bill Walsh, John Madden, Tom Flores, Herm Edwards, and Joe Gibbs, basketball's Denny Crum, Lute Olsen and Jerry Tarkanian, baseball's John McNamara and even the late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle, who all started at a California Community College.
"I'm continuously in awe of the long history of athletic success at CRC," said Collin Pregliasco, Dean of Kinesiology, Health, & Athletics and Athletic Director. "Christine will be our second individual to be enshrined joining former World Series MVP Jermaine Dye in the CCCAA Hall of Fame. This is always a tremendous evening, but even more special that we are enshrining one of our own. I'm very excited for her as this is a remarkable accomplishment."
Jang was inducted at the CCCAA Annual Convention on March 29, 2018 in Concord, CA