This Month in Matador Athletics - January, 2011

Jan. 1, 2011

Complete January Newsletter Get Acrobat Reader

Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations, offers his monthly insights on the accomplishments on the teams, coaches and student-athletes who compete for Cal State Northridge ... The monthly report includes upcoming key games, and a report on what other activities are happening in the Matador Athletic Department ... This month, coaching a basketball game on your 25th wedding anniversary!!!

Anniversary Analysis ...
When you work as a coach or an administrator in college athletics, there is no such thing as a 9-to-5 job. The schedule always dictates where-and-when you play. Already this year, the men's basketball team spent their Thanksgiving in a hotel at the 76 Classic Tournament while the women's basketball team hosted the Holiday Inn Classic at Cal State Northridge.

Now, we're not complaining, just stating a fact. On Dec. 7, 2010, Matador head basketball coach Bobby Braswell spent his 25th wedding anniversary coaching the Matadors to a 77-52 victory over Cal Lutheran at The Matadome. In fact, CSUN has played on Braswell's wedding anniversary (Dec. 7) the past two seasons.

Now, Braswell is not complaining ... That's just the way the basketball schedule worked out this year, and his 25th wedding anniversary ended with a Matador victory.

Braswell and his wife, Penny, were childhood friends as far back as third grade classmates at LaSalle Elementary School in Los Angeles. Braswell still has the elementary school picture of the two of them.

"Penny told me she used to call me at home but always hung up because she was too shy to talk. She was after me since the third grade," laughs Braswell.

Braswell and Penny didn't date until after their senior year in high school. The couple dated for five years, and then one night at a restaurant in Marina Del Rey, Braswell popped the question ... "Will you marry me?" ... Penny, of course said yes, and they planned their wedding date (Dec. 7, 1985) around the Cleveland High School basketball schedule where Braswell was the head coach. Their honeymoon was a weekend in Santa Barbara because Braswell's high school team did not have a game.

Fast forward, 25 years later, and Bobby and Penny Braswell are still very much in love. Penny Braswell hardly misses a game. She's the one sitting near the top row behind the team bench, cheering the Matadors to victory or sometimes giving the referees an earful.

"Penny and I were made for each other," says Braswell. "We're soul mates. We've been married for 25 years and I'm looking forward to another 25 years. It's been awesome. She is so supportive and has been with me since we started dating back in 1980. She's my MVP ... Most Valuable Penny."

Soccer Stuff ...
It's not very often that a defending NCAA champion visits Cal State Northridge ... The most recent NCAA champions have been in men's volleyball where UC Irvine (2007, 2009), UCLA (2006) and Pepperdine (2005) played the following seasons at CSUN ... In baseball, Cal State Fullerton played at CSUN following their 2004 NCAA title campaign ... In the Fall of 2010, CSUN men's soccer head coach Terry Davila has lined up 2010 NCAA champion Arkron to play at Matador Soccer Field in a four-team Labor Day weekend tournament which also includes UNLV and Cal State Fullerton ... The specific details still need to be worked out but CSUN will play the national champion Zips either on Sept. 2 or 4 ... Back in mid-December, Akron captured its first NCAA title in men's soccer with an impressive 1-0 victory over previously unbeaten Louisville in the College Cup at UC Santa Barbara ... Nearly 10,000 fans witnessed the game at UCSB's Harder Stadium ... With Akron making a West Coast appearance at CSUN, look for a record crowd to witness this exciting match at CSUN's home pitch!!! ... In the Spring of 2011, Stanford University, which won the 2010 NCAA championship in men's volleyball, will play CSUN at The Matadome.

Happy New Year!!!