Jan. 9, 2013
Torero Spotlight written by Sarabeth Pollock
This month, the USD Athletic Department is proud to recognize John "JC" Cunningham. The name should sound familiar. Chances are good that you've seen JC before, especially if you've been around USD for a while. JC celebrated his 50th year at USD in 2012. Over the years he has held a variety of roles, but he is best known as the longtime coach of USD Baseball.
JC's career at USD began in 1962 when he was hired as the Director of Intramurals, a job that included roles as the head coach of the freshman basketball team and as the assistant coach of the varsity basketball team. He became the head baseball coach in 1964 after the departure of Mike Morrow. Over the years, he guided the Toreros to two D-II College World Series stints (1971 and 1978) and had seven seasons with thirty or more wins. He also led the Toreros through the transition from a D-II to a D-I program. When he finally hung up his cleats in 1998, JC had tallied 843 wins over his 35 year tenure. In 1991 he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2003 he became a member of the USD Athletic Hall of Fame.
Given that current USD baseball pitcher Dylan Covey was in diapers in 1991, most of the current Athletic Department staff and student athletes know JC from his role coordinating transportation with the Torero bus fleet. JC can be seen behind the Sports Center making sure the buses remain spotless, and his glory day stories are the best part of a long bus trip. It isn't unusual to hear current coaches pick his brain during those bus rides. He's always happy to share his perspective and offer advice. His passion for golf is widely known and he has left his mark at many illustrious courses around the country.
In February 2013, JC will be honored for his five decades of service to USD at the dedication of Fowler Park and Cunningham Field.