Long-time Ponderosa High wrestling coach Richard Fox is one of 32 inductees into the 2014 Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame.
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Fox, who retired over a year ago from his teaching career at the campus, will be honored Sunday at an induction banquet and ceremony at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The dinner will start at 5 p.m., with the ceremonies to follow.
Considered one of the section’s top wrestling coaches, Fox spent the majority of his 40-year coaching career at Ponderosa where his teams compiled an overall record of 454-49.
Under Fox, Bruin teams won 14 section dual meet titles, 13 sub-section titles and eight Sac-Joaquin Section championships — the most by any wrestling coach in the section. He’s coached numerous individual league and section champs, state qualifiers and state medalists.
Selected the California state Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1997, Fox was named All Metro Wrestling Coach of the Year four times and once was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “Faces in the Crowd” section.
His passion for the sport has influenced hundreds of young men, 45 of whom have gone on to coach at the middle school and high school levels. During his time at Ponderosa, Fox partnered for over 20 years with Steve Escobar, father of current Bruin head coach Tyson Escobar, who credits the two with building the program’s legacy.
Last year, the two returned mat-side to coach the Bruins to a dual meet win against Bella Vista, and improved their record to 350-43. Together, they enjoyed the nation’s second longest dual meet win streak.
A member of the California Wrestling Hall of Fame, Fox also coached the Bruins’ golf team. On the mat, sons Christian, Brandon and Evan all wrestled under his guidance.
Fox is part of the section’s third inductee class, and now one of 131 members in its Hall of Fame. Of the 32 this year, he’s one of 10 coaches selected and first ever for the county.
One of the notables who will inducted into the Hall of Fame is Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks. A 1983 East Union High graduate, Brooks led the Lancers to the section D-II finals his senior year. He averaged 28.1 points a game his senior year, which ranked him No. 3 in Northern California. He played 10 seasons in the NBA, from 1988 to 1998.