Glenn Haller will retire as Antelope Valley College's Sports Information Director at the end of this sports season, it was announced today.
Haller will step away from his position on June 30, after 29 years as the Marauders' SID and 37 in the profession. He will continue with his full-time, tenured teaching position at the school.
There has been no announcement of how or if the position will be filled.
"I just determined it was the right time," Haller said. "I've said for a while that it's a young person's profession and I'm no longer a young man.
"I've also have said, not completely tongue-in-cheek, that I'm a dinosaur. A Cretaceous dinosaur though and not a Triassic one, and while I'm not by any means social media illiterate, I believe that it's time for someone with the background and abilities of modern sports information to guide Marauder Athletics Sports Information forward."
Haller went on to reminisce that when he was hired at AVC as a Sports Information Consultant in 1989 he was offered by then-Public Information Director Steve Standerfer "a desk and a typewriter."
"That's how far the profession has come," Haller pointed out. "I brought my own computer, but still used the typewriter for many things. I had to learn to take, develop and get photos ready for publication. I did stats by hand and created spread sheets to make it easier. Releases were typed, copied, folded by hand and mailed out. Football programs took about a month from the start to the final printing. Now they can be done in less than 48 hours. It's all done so easily and quickly by computers now.
"I still have very vivid memories of after a basketball game against Victor Valley we stopped to eat in what was at the time in the middle of nowhere near Hesperia. While everyone else got their dinner I was huddled in a phone booth without a door, wind howling and probably near zero in wind chill, dictating the box score line by line to three papers."
He laughs about it now, but Haller was left by the team buses five times at various sports venues due to the time needed in the days to file statistics, etc. before the internet and cell phones.
"Football left me in Mesa, Arizona," Haller remembered. "I just watched the buses as they crossed underneath us in the press box. Worse, when I finally got back to the hotel thanks to the AV Press beat writer, Brian Robin, no food was left and I had to borrow money for dinner since we had no per diem for that trip. Basketball was the worse for forgetting me, though. I once waited an hour and a half in Pasadena and was actually on a pay phone to my wife to have her come and get me."
When did the coaches finally figure out they had left him? "When they asked me for the stats," Haller said. "When they realized they didn't have stats, they figured it out and headed back for me. Well, actually probably for the stats, but they had to take me as well."
He also pointed out that his publics have changed significantly in the 28 years in Lancaster.
"When I got here I had three daily newspapers, six or seven weekly or monthly papers, a local TV station, for really big stories the LA local affiliates and three radio stations, including KAVL which broadcast our football and men's basketball games live, home and away.
"Now it's just one paper and social media. Reporters rarely come to games any more, in large part because it's much cheaper to have them to follow the game on the internet and call the coaches and players for quotes."
Haller was the first Sports Information professional that Antelope Valley College has had and in his tenure he came up with much of the identity, graphic and otherwise, for the athletics program. He created the department's name - "Marauder Athletics," slogan – "A Proud Community Tradition" and along with colleague Justin Webb the current logo. He also worked with AVC professor Ed Beyer to create the first Marauder Athletics website and set up and maintains the programs' Twitter, Facebook and Instagram presences.
He has chronicled 50 Marauder conference champions, nine football bowl games, eight state championship basketball (six men, two women) appearances and 22 State Scholar Athletes and one State Scholar Team. For the Marauders he kept stats for over 250 football and 1000 basketball games in those 28 years, along with a sizable number of baseball and softball contests.
Haller's biggest disappointment? "The fact that I don't have a state championship ring from AVC. Most of my colleagues' teams actually have many state championships."
The closest he came was in 2007 when the Marauders lost to Fresno City in the Men's Basketball state championship game.
"That one has the most memories for me," Haller said, "not because it was for the state title, but at that game the TV people told me the information they were given was 'the touchstone for media information at any level' in addition to the fact that it reunited 'The Fresno Connection.'" That is a reference to he and Fresno City SID Woody Wilk, who allowed Haller to work in his office for two years before the he moved on the AVC.
As other top AVC memories he also points to the third place in state softball team, the K-Swiss II Classic Bowl game come from behind win, the Potato Bowl appearance, the overtime win against Chaffey that sent Men's Basketball to state for the first time in 30 years and the 2007 football season that saw a 0-10 team come within a minute of going 10-0.
In 2006 he was honored by the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA) as their BRASS TOP Award winner. BRASS TOP stands for "Bringing Respect And Superior Service To Our Profession" and is given annually to an individual who has made a positive impact in the field of sports information and through their work advances the cause of the community college sports information professional.
In 2007 he received the Scoop Hudgins Outstanding SID Award by the All-American Football Foundation. The award is given by the Foundation to those who excel in their efforts to promote the game of football.
His 1991 Volleyball Media Guide was determined as the second best in the nation by the College Sports Information Association. His 1995-96 men's basketball program was named second in the state by the California Community College Public Relations Organization and in 2002, the office, in conjunction with the Antelope Valley College Department of Government and Public Relations, received a Bronze Paragon Award for Sports Brochure a national award given by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. The two offices also shared a first place in Sports Release awarded by CCPRO.
In early 2000 he was listed 16th on the Top 20 People Who Shaped AVC Athletics list compiled by the Antelope Valley Press.
In his 37 years in the profession he has done stats for football, basketball and baseball at all levels. He has worked on live national broadcasts for CBS and ABC. He did radio stats for Chick Hearn when the Lakers played a pre-season game in Fresno.
"I was considered by many as one of the best basketball statisticians around, but the age of computerized stats and the like have put me again in the dinosaur category."
Asked of his greatest accomplishment as SID at AVC, Haller pointed toward how others view his work.
"The greatest professional honors I've ever had came when three men who I have the absolute respect for claimed what my work meant to them personally and professionally," Haller said. "Brent Carder said that Jerry Lewis and myself were a main part of his success. Newton Chelette called me the best SID he's ever had or seen at any level. Finally, Antelope Valley Press columnist Brian Golden, who covers professional, college and high school teams throughout California called me 'one of the best SIDs in California and maybe the best.'"
Will he miss it all? Haller just shrugs and claims "possibly a little. But there's an old and very true saying amongst the profession that the SID is the first to arrive and the last to leave. I won't miss that.
"Still, twice my wife has told me that after telling a colleague what I do for a living, they responded 'That's my husband's dream job!' And that's probably the toughest thing I will go through now. On Saturday, I will no longer 'get paid to watch the game.' I'll no longer be doing someone else's dream job."