2023 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees Announced
January 19, 2023
The Central Community College Athletic Hall of Fame will add three individuals and one team during induction ceremonies on Saturday, Feb 25, 2023. The event will be held at the Columbus Innovation Center, 1365 24th Ave., and begins with a social hour at 6:30 p.m. followed by the induction at 7 p.m. The 2023 inductees are:
Gutierrez joined CCC on July 1, 1980, as the men’s basketball and golf coach as well as the financial aid director. In 1992, he accepted the role as athletic director and retained his role as men’s basketball coach. Gutierrez led the Raiders to five national tournament appearances, including a fourth place finish at the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II tournament. In 1983, the Raiders were the runners-up in the National Little College Athletic Association championship game. He stepped down as men’s basketball coach following the 2006-07 season with a career mark of 418-386.
The next season, Gutierrez started up and became the head coach of the CCC softball program. Under his direction, the Raiders won Region IX titles in 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2018.
As athletic director, Gutierrez oversaw the addition of men’s and women’s soccer and softball and the return of golf and women’s basketball. During his service, the CCC Athletic Hall of Fame ceremonies were established, and all-star games were implemented. Gutierrez was also instrumental in facilities improvements including the remodel of the Raider Fieldhouse and the addition of the turf soccer and softball complex.
An outfielder on the CCC softball team, Larson had a stellar career in 2013 and 2014. As a freshman, she led the Raiders in stolen bases (35) and slugging percentage (.766). As a sophomore, Larson led CCC in runs (45), hits (48) stolen bases (46) and slugging percentage (.730). Her 81 career stolen bases stood as a CCC record until 2022.
Larson was twice named All-Region 9, All-Nebraska Community College Athletic Conference (NCCAC), Academic All-Region 9, Academic All-NCCAC, and Region 9 All-Tournament Team.
An early childhood education major at CCC Larson sported a 4.0 GPA. She had planned on transferring to Concordia University to earn a bachelor’s degree and play softball but died in a car accident in July 2014. In memory of Larson, funds given to the CCC Foundation are being utilized for book scholarships for CCC softball players.
Riley Callan Smith
An outside hitter for the Raiders in 2008 and 2009, Smith was CCC’s first two-time National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American. As a freshman, she led the Raiders to the NJCAA national volleyball tournament. Smith is a previous CCC volleyball record holder with 1,028 kills.
Smith was named NJCAA Second Team All-American as a freshman and NJCAA First Team All-American as a sophomore. She was twice named All-Region 9, All-NCCAC, Academic All-Region 9 and Academic All-NCCAC. She was also named as the Sertoma Athlete of the Year.
Smith transferred to Morningside College where she played volleyball for two more years. Today, she is a licensed mental health practitioner in Ord and is the head volleyball coach at Ord High School.
1999-2000 Men’s Basketball Team
Under the direction of Jack Gutierrez, the 1999-00 CCC men’s basketball squad posted a record of 21-13 and won the Region 9 and district championships. At the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, the Raiders took fourth place and finished fourth in the final rankings. Team members were Beau Brown, Gayle Carey, Jeron Epting, Jesse Hart, Andy Johnson, Vernon Johnson, Jeff Kopecky, JJ Oberg, Bill Parker, Travis Ratzlaff, TJ Rickert, Ted Standing Soldier, and Justin Vogt. Brian Doke was the student manager and Saul Soltero served as assistant coach.
Tickets are $20 apiece and further information will be available on the CCC athletics website beginning in January. For additional details, please contact Sara Rood in the CCC athletic department at 402-562-1454 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.