SK resident Proctor named to Bruin Hall of Fame

For the last four years, nothing ever kept Ken and Marilyn Proctor away from watching their granddaughters play basketball at South Kitsap High School.

There wasn’t a game missed when Hannah Proctor played (1998-00), and that looked to be the case with Rebekah Proctor as well (2000-present).

But when Ken was told last summer he had been inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame and the ceremony would be in January of this year, he knew he would miss a string of Rebekah’s games.

Rebekah didn’t mind. It was an opportunity too good to pass up.

Even after attending the ceremony Jan. 26, the thought of being in the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame seems like a dream to Ken.

Gary Adams, coach of the Bruins baseball team over the last 25 years, was the man who informed Proctor of his accomplishment.

“He called me on his cell phone and said ‘Ken, I’ve some good news for ya. You were elected into the hall of fame last night.’ ” Proctor said. “I said ‘Whoa, you’re kidding me.’ There’s usually about 50 or 60 nominations every year so I really didn’t think about it.”

Proctor was one of UCLA’s early baseball stars.

After batting .340 in 1944 as a freshman on UCLA’s Pacific Athletic Conference and Southern California Collegiate Baseball Association’s championship team, Proctor served the next three years in the Navy before returning to athletics at UCLA from 1947 to 1949.

Though baseball was his strong sport, Proctor also played football and basketball at UCLA — a rarity in modern college sports.

He “got knocked around” on the football field and “sat on the bench” for the then-new basketball coach John Wooden.

But he attributes Wooden as a huge influence in his life.

“The influences in my life were my mother and father, my wife and John Wooden,” Proctor said. “Even though (Wooden) wasn’t my baseball coach, he influenced me in terms of success, which built the foundation for my coaching.”

Wooden’s famous pyramid of success included the instilling of values such as honesty, responsibility, leadership, and fundamentals.

“It was all the things I believed in,” Proctor said. “John influenced me in life and sports.”

The relationship isn’t in a past-tense form either.

The two stay in contact.

Two years ago Wooden even wrote a personalized note wishing the SK girls basketball team the best of luck at the state tournament.

It was baseball that led to a career that included long coaching stints at the high school and college level.

After graduating from UCLA Proctor came to a crossroads.

“I wasn’t sure what I was going to do,” he said. “I could have signed and turned pro, or I could coach. I had a chance to sign but I decided to get married and coach.”

After a year of working at the local YMCA, Proctor was hired as the baseball coach at Chaffey High School in Ontario, Calif., and stayed there for 15 years.

His teams from 1956 to 1958 still hold the record as the only California prep team to win three consecutive California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) baseball championships.

“When you win the CIF, you’ve beaten a lot of teams,” Proctor said. “You really play a lot of ball.”

He retired from Chaffey High in 1958 on top with a 187-30 record (.900).

After working three years as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles, Proctor said the city life got too big and wanted to move his family to Spokane, where he worked as director of admissions at Whitworth College.

“The LA area was getting crowded and smoggy,” he said. “So I took the offer, which was a good move for us.”

After a five-year stint in Hawaii, Proctor moved to Seattle in 1975 and coached the next 10 years at Seattle Pacific University before retiring from coaching in 1985.

The experiences Proctor had with Wooden hasn’t stopped with him.

The Pyramid of Success has trickled down through his family.

Just watch Rebekah Proctor on the court and you’ll swear she was coached by the Wizard of Westwood himself.

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