Mar 08

Whittier’s Friendly Famous, Sports Athletes: Football

Friendly Hiller Friendly Memories:

Whittier’s Friendly Famous, Sports Athletes: Football

Whittier has produced some incredible athletes over the years. Because the list is fairly long, we are going to break it into three segments. Most people first think of football and baseball when considering national sports. Turns out Whittier College had a history of football greats that started in the early 1900s. Whittier, which began playing football in 1907, is famous for having former President Richard Nixon play as a tackle for the 1932 squad, and also for having NFL Hall of Fame coach George Allen lead the Poets from 1951-56. Allen left Whittier to become a Rams assistant coach in 1957, and after bouncing around as an NFL assistant, he was named the Rams’ head coach in 1963.

Our most Famous Whittier Football player is Bob Chandler. Chandler was raised in Whittier and graduated from Whittier High School in 1967. Chandler played college football at USC, was a captain and the team’s leading receiver during his senior year as a Trojan in 1970. He played in two Rose Bowl games and, as a junior, was named Most Valuable Player of the 1970 Rose Bowl. A seventh-round pick in the 1971 NFL draft, Chandler played nine seasons with the Buffalo Bills (1971–1979) and three with the Oakland Raiders (who moved to Los Angeles by his final playing season) (1980–1982). He led the NFL in receptions from 1975–1977 with 176, and was named Second-team All-Pro in 1975 and 1977. He also caught four passes for 77 yards in the Raiders#39; 27–10 Super Bowl XV victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in January 1981. Bob’s father was Whittier’s own council member and Mayor, Gene Chandler. Chandler married his college sweetheart, Marilyn, and had three children: Marisa, Justin and Emma. Chandler went on to work in sports broadcasting as well as earning a law degree from Western State University College of Law. Bob died of lung cancer at 45 in January 1995. In 2023, Chandler’s nephew, Jake George, No. 81, is a wide receiver for the University of Arizona Wildcats. Whittier High School#39;s sports facilities are named the Bob Chandler Sports Complex.

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Another Whittier pro footballer was Adam Snyder who attended La Serna High School and was coached by Ken LaVigne from 1999 to 2000. During college, Snyder played for the Oregon Ducks the final 11 games of the 2001 season. Snyder departed as one of Oregon#39;s most decorated linemen of all time, becoming the Ducks#39; third Morris Trophy recipient as the Pac-10 Conference#39;s top lineman.

The three-year starter and the school#39;s first two-time first-team all-league offensive line stalwart in four decades extended his string of career starting assignments to 35 at three different positions while playing in 48 of 49 outings. Snyder’s professional career led him to play two separate stints with the San Francisco 49ers. Snyder played often throughout his first three years with the 49ers, fielding every position on the offensive line with the exception of center. His versatility and team-first mentality earned him a contract extension in 2006 that put him with the 49ers through the 2009 season. He became a full-time starter before the 2009 season. Snyder signed a contract extension in 2009, keeping him with the team through the 2011 season. After playing a year with the Arizona Cardinals in 2012-2013, he returned to San Francisco for another year only to leave in 2014 to go to the New York Giants to play for a year. Snyder has a journalism and public relations degree. He is the son of Richard and Judi Snyder and has a sister named Bree. Adam was married in the summer of 2006 to Erika Widmark. He and his wife gave birth to their first child, Kael Richard, in October 2008. They welcomed their second child in September 2010. He lives with his family near Chandler, Ariz., where he owns a student athlete performance training facility, “VYDL Performance.”

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David Merle Dalby (October 19, 1950 – August 30, 2002) was an American football center; he played 14 seasons in the National Football League, all with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. In his early years, Dalby was a star linemen at center and defensive end, who led the La Serna Lancers to the California Scholastic Federation AAA football championship in 1967. An all-around athlete in high school, Dalby also played basketball and baseball at La Serna and graduated in 1968. Dalby played college football nearby at UCLA, where he became part of the Bruins’ All-Century team as center, and is a member of the UCLA Hall of Fame. Dalby was the 100th overall pick of the 1972 NFL draft, selected in the fourth round by the Oakland Raiders. He played fourteen seasons in the NFL, all with the Raiders (1972–1985) and did not miss a single game. In his fourth year in 1975, Dalby replaced hall of famer Jim Otto as the starting center, who retired after the previous season. He became only the second starting center in franchise history, as Otto
had been the starter since the team#39;s inception in 1960. For the next decade, Dalby was a part of sterling offensive lines which culminated in three Raider Super Bowl victories (XI, XV, XVIII). During

that 1975–1985 window, the Raiders reached the playoffs eight times (1975–1977, 1980, 1982–1985). Dalby is the only center to have three Super Bowl rings. Dalby suffered from alcoholism and was to have a liver transplant. He died in a car accident on August 30, 2002 at 51.

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James Arthur Zorn (born in Whittier, CA May 10, 1953) is an American former professional football player and coach. Zorn was a left-handed quarterback, and is best known as the
starting quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks for their first eight seasons, 1976-1983. Zorn is closely associated with his favorite passing target, Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent. Largent was the first Seahawk inducted into the team#39;s “Ring of Honor & quot; (1989), and Zorn was second (1991). Zorn was named AFC Offensive Rookie of the Year by the National Football League Players Association following the team#39;s inaugural 1976 season. He was also the Seahawks#39; team MVP, throwing for 12 touchdowns and rushing for four touchdowns. In 1985-86 Zorn left Seattle as quarterback, he played for the Green Bay Packers and then the Winnipeg Bombers. He was the quarterback coach for the Seattle Seahawks from 2001 until the 2007 season. Before the 2008 season Zorn was originally hired by the Washington Redskins to serve as offensive coordinator. Two weeks after being hired, he was promoted as the team#39;s head coach. In Zorn’s early years, he played at the junior college level at Cerritos College for two years. In 1973, he transferred to Cal Poly Pomona after accepting their half-scholarship offer. As a junior that season, he registered 2,367 passing yards and 16 touchdowns, receiving Little All-American, Little All-Coast, and Southern California College Division Player of the Year honors. Zorn and his wife, Joy, have four children: daughters Rachael, Sarah, and Danielle and son Isaac. Jim and Joy Zorn are active in Medical Teams International and Pro Athletes Outreach. Medical Teams International is dedicated to implementing and supporting programs that address the causes and effects of inadequate health care worldwide. Jim Zorn currently resides with his wife on Mercer Island, a suburb of Seattle.

I want to thank those who contribute to Wikipedia for the resources and information about our famous folks from Whittier. If you have any contributions or comments, please write me at FriendlyMemories@gmail.com.
– Dr. John Sudick