COSTA MESA -- Prior to Friday night's women's volleyball match, Orange Coast College took time to honor and dedicate the Peterson Gym floor to former longtime coach, administrator and lifelong friend of the Pirates, the late Jane Hilgendorf.
"It was great to see so many members of her family and friends as well as so many former co-workers of hers take the time to be here for this event," OCC Athletic Director Jason Kehler said. "She will forever be a Pirate, not just on the gymnasium floor, but throughout this department."
Hilgendorf began her OCC career in the fall of 1970 as a P.E. instructor, but not as a coach. Her first coaching stint began in 1971 when she helped develop OCC's co-ed volleyball team. Two years later, Hilgendorf took over the Pirate women's program and over the next 18 years, she helped build one of the more successful programs in all of California community college athletics.
Over that span, Hilgendorf compiled a 233-100 record and helped guide the Pirates to 15 playoff appearances in 19 years, five conference titles and three state championships (1978, 1980, 1982).
Hilgendorf passed away on March 27, 2016 at the age of 74, but her memory will forever live on throughout Orange Coast College, thanks to an incredible $1,012,500 donation following her passing. Per her requests, 75% will be donated to the OCC Kinesiology and Athletics Department, while the remaining 25% will go to the Friends of the OCC Library. Additionally, $20,000 was received from the trust for a scholarship benefitting outstanding transferring OCC women's volleyball players.
Hilgendorf's generosity has already made an impact in the Pirate women's volleyball community. At last year's Women's Volleyball Honors Night, OCC sophomore setter Measha Lindstrand was the first-ever honoree of the Jane Hilgendorf Scholarship ($1,000) and is now attending Hope International University.
Following her coaching career, Hilgendorf moved to the administrative side of the Athletics Department, where she was the Assistant Athletic Director for seven years (1991-1998), and the Dean of Physical Education and Athletics – as well as Athletic Director – for three years (1998-2001).
In addition to her work on the OCC campus, Hilgendorf was also a member of the state Commission on Athletics from 1981-1987 and was the president of the Orange Empire Conference in 1998.
Hilgendorf's tireless work with the Pirates earned her an induction into the Orange Coast College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.
"Jane absolutely loved Orange Coast College," former coach and athletic director Barbara Bond said of her longtime co-worker in a statement. "She worked tirelessly as athletic director and dean to improve the athletic programs and improve the competitive experience for the OCC students. She was also one of the pioneers for women's athletics at the state level, ushering in Title IX and its impact on women's sports throughout the California community colleges."