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home : sports : local May 24, 2016

9/11/2012 9:58:00 AM
Williams Middle School football coach makes alma mater's Hall of Fame
California Lutheran University graduate Tad Wygal to be inducted into the college's Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend
Defensive lineman Tad Wygal back in his playing days circa 1982. Photo courtesy of CLU
Defensive lineman Tad Wygal back in his playing days circa 1982. Photo courtesy of CLU

David Yankus

WILLIAMS, Ariz. - Williams Middle School football coach Tad Wygal will be inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame at California Lutheran University (CLU) during their 10th Annual Lunch and Induction Ceremony on Saturday.

The ceremony, held at the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center on campus, will see the induction of five athletes from five different sports. The main 225-acre campus of CLU is in Thousand Oaks, Calif., located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

Wygal, class of 1982, was a four-year starter on the defensive line for the CLU football team. After breaking his leg at a junior college out of high school, Wygal recovered from that injury and transferred to CLU in 1979. As captain of the defensive unit his senior year, he was an NAIA Division II First Team All-American selection, after earning Honorable Mention status the previous year. During his senior season he was also named the 1981 NAIA District III Player of the Year (the fourth consecutive CLU player to receive the honor) as well as CLC Player of the Year.

"The first part of June is when they let me know about my nomination," said Wygal. "On Sept. 15 there will be an induction ceremony before the home football game, and after that there will be halftime introductions. I just feel really honored to be a part of this."

Wygal was a member of four straight NAIA District III Championship teams, including the 1979 team that qualified for the NAIA playoffs his sophomore year. During his four-year collegiate career, the CLU football team posted a 30-8-2 record including six shutout victories.

"I know they're getting me a ring, I know that much," Wygal quipped. "They'll probably take some photos that will go up on their website too, among some other activities."

In each of his final three seasons, Wygal wrapped up 73 or more total tackles including a career best 85 as a senior. In 1981, the CLU defense allowed only 109 total points to the opposition in 10 games.

Working for the Highway Patrol is what brought Wygal to Williams in 1996, eventually he would transfer to the city of Williams Police Department. His love for the game of football is what drew him to coach youth athletics within the city.

"First I coached at the high school, and now I'm co-head coach at the middle school," Wygal said. "This is my fourth or fifth year coaching at the middle school, but it's my ninth year overall as a football coach."

The ever-modest Wygal did not want to make a huge deal about his CLU Hall of Fame induction, but said he is proud and honored to not only be nominated, but also to now become a class of 2012 member of the CLU Athletic Hall of Fame. He added that he hopes his players will enjoy and get a kick out of all of this as well.

According to an official CLU statement, the California Lutheran University Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame was founded to honor, pay tribute to and perpetuate the memory of those individuals who, either through participation, support or interest, have made outstanding contributions in the field of intercollegiate varsity athletics and who have helped to bring recognition, honor, distinction and excellence to CLU. The Alumni Association Athletic Hall of Fame is housed in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center.

For more information on CLU, the Hall of Fame ceremony, other inductees, alumni, and the athletic and educational departments visit

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