The name of legendary Taft College football coach Al Baldock will be permanently etched on the building that served as the laboratory for one of the most prolific football programs in junior college history.
At a ceremony Saturday at 3:30 p.m. the campus sports facility will be formally christened as the Al Baldock Cougar Sports Center.
The event is a warm-up to the college’s third annual Cougar Rib-Eye Cookout that will be held from 5-8 p.m. in the campus courtyard.
“We are pleased to honor the contributions of Coach Al Baldock and the impact he had not only on Taft College but also the lives of the young men he coached,” said Supt./Pres. Dena Maloney. “The ribbon-cutting ceremony is a highlight for those who worked with Al Baldock and enjoyed Cougar football.”
Baldock, who died three years ago, guided the Cougar football program from 1976 until its demise in 1994.
Over that span his teams rang up 137 victories, 26 losses and five ties.
TC won two national championships, six state championships and 15 conference titles. The Cougars also won six Potato Bowl titles under his tenure.
The six-time coach of the year, Baldock was enshrined in the Kern County Sports Hall of Fame and was named a “Legend” at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, where he also guided a nationally ranked program.
Impetus for renaming the Sports Center in his honor came from the Academic Senate, a faculty group that oversees the instructional program.
The Senate adopted a resolution that was endorsed by the college’s board of trustees.
Don Bandy, who coached with Baldock for many years, will serve as master of ceremonies for the dedication.
Memorabilia marking Baldock’s tenure at TC will be on display.