Biola inducts three to 2013 Hall of Fame class

Biola athletics held its second annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony to honor three former players.



Jim Blagg, Natasha (Miller) Jackson and Tim Worrell receive trophies commemorating their Hall of Fame inductions. The three make up Biola’s second Hall of Fame class. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Tyler Gunhus, Writer

Jim Blagg, Natasha (Miller) Jackson and Tim Worrell receive trophies commemorating their Hall of Fame inductions. The three make up Biola's second Hall of Fame class. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES


On Saturday night, in the presence of former Biola athletes, coaches and administrators, Biola Athletics held its second annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Jim Blagg, Tim Worrell and Natasha (Miller) Jackson were the three athletes in the 2013 Hall of Fame class.

Each athlete was introduced by their coach, which included former wrestling coach Matthew Orr, former baseball coach Charlie Sarver and current track and field coach Jonathan Zimmerman.

“The relationship between coach and player can be of such depth because they have shared memories that do not fade with time,” athletic director Dave Holmquist said. “A good coach will remember events and experiences from 30 years ago as if they occurred yesterday.”

Each of the athletes spoke about the impact their time at Biola had on their athletic career.

Blagg was a wrestler who came to Biola in the ‘70s. When he joined the team as a freshman, he immediately began to excel. For him, though, his connections with his teammates and his love for Christ always took precedent.

“When I was thinking back over the time I wrestled here at Biola, two things stood out for me: One of them was the relationships that were formed and the other was Biola’s continued commitment to biblical values,” Blagg said.

Blagg finished his time at Biola with an overall record of 114-24-2. He is the only national champion in Biola wrestling history and was a two-time All-American. While he is remembered as the most decorated wrestler ever for Biola, his coach and teammates remember his character too.

“I remember Jim being a godly man and incredibly humble. His Clark Kent hid his true identity. He was Superman,” Orr said.

Worrell was a pitcher for Biola from 1986-1989 and is best remembered for his dominant strikeout ratio, finishing his last season with 10.65 strikeouts per game. He was drafted by the Padres and spent 14 years in the majors.

“Its pretty amazing to look back on 14 years and think about all the people who have touched your life — and that’s just on the field,” Worrell said.

Coach Sarver, who coached Worrell as well as his older brother Todd, highlighted the pitcher’s successes and his work ethic.

“I’m am very proud of you, who you are as a person and equally proud of your college and professional accomplishments in this great game of baseball,” Sarver said.

Jackson is one of Biola’s most decorated athletes of all time. The track star racked up 12 NAIA individual championships and 23 All-American honors over her four years. Jackson addressed her experience as a college athlete and what she took away from her time.

“I’ve just had so much opportunity through this place and so much growth,” Jackson said. “My teammates, you guys are my family and I love you. We’ll always be family.”

Both on and off the track, Jackson was described as a class act who let her performance speak for itself and always displayed courtesy to her opponents.

“She competed well: with great sportsmanship, with great attitude, with great Christian love for the people she was going against and then when she fought the best she could,” Zimmerman said.

Along with addresses from President Barry Corey and vice president of enrollment management Greg Vaughn, the evening concluded with both current and former Biola athletes and their families mingling and talking. All three recipients were commemorated with trophies and are featured on the Biola athletics website.

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