Tehachapi High football coach and Bob Elais Hall of Fame inductee Steve Denman speaks to the audience
at Thursday nights awards banquet at Rabobank Convention Center in Bakersfield. Photo by Nick Ellis, The Bakersfield Californian.

Denman Inducted Into Kern County Sports Hall of Fame

Posted by The Tehachapi News, on February 26, 2016

One of Steve Denman's former players, Brad Manuel, class of 1991, came all the way from Utah. There were three players from his first team, in 1982.

“Then there were players from the 1985-86 teams, and the 90s teams,” Denman said. “It was great, really nice. It was great to see them all there.”

The longtime Warriors head football coach and three others were inducted into the Bob Elias Kern County Sports Hall of Fame Thursday evening, Feb. 25, during dinner ceremonies at the Rabobank Theater and Convention Center in Bakersfield.

“It made me proud to represent not only my family, but the school and coaches and community as a whole,” Denman said by phone the day after the inductions.

“Bakersfield doesn't get to see everything we do up here in Tehachapi. It's just a good platform to show people what we're all about.”

Denman was inducted along with longtime Centennial volleyball coach Brooke Roberts, KBAK sportscaster Greg Kerr and former Arvin football coach Chuck Chamberlain.

They were the 50th class of inductees since the Hall of Fame's inaugural year in 1967.

It was an emotional evening for the inductees and others gathered, including tennis Star Dennis Ralston, the only living member of the original class of 1967. Dozens of earlier inductees also were present.

“They do a real nice job with this each year,” Denman said.

Denman ended the 2015-16 season, his 34th with the Warriors, with 295 career victories and almost certainly will become only the fifth varsity football head football coach in the state to ever reach the 300 victory plateau next season. He would be the only active member of the 300 club.

Denman is a homegrown product, a 1975 graduate of Tehachapi High School. He got a degree from Cal State Bakersfield in 1981, and immediately returned to his high school alma mater, taking over as head varsity coach a year later.

“I'm very humble about getting awards like this,” Denman said. “I just want to represent the program, the school and the community. It's nice to show people what we're all about.”

You can e-mail the webmaster regarding this column at bigesports@yahoo.com