Reese Pieces Together Titles
Professor Renford Reese has led All-Action to three straight league titles.

By Milaru Yamamoto
2003-01-21


When Cal Poly Pomona professor Renford Reese accepted a teaching position in 1996 in the political science department, it was with the understanding that his new school had no football team.

"I knew that [Cal Poly] had one at one point in time," Reese said. "But it was taken away from them."

The former NCAA Division I standout safely found a way to fulfill his football desires on campus by joining All-Action, as Associated Student, Inc, intramural football team.

All-Action has won three straight league titles since its inception for years ago. It has won its last 23 games dating back to 2000. Reese is its coach and star quarterback.

Reese, who played against future National Football League pros while at Vanderbilt University, was ranked eighth in the nation as a safety. He even worked out with trainers from the NFL's Green Bay Packers.

Reese said he as even found himself drawing up plays during faculty meetings. As the only faculty member on the intramural team, Reese has given his All-Action teammates a clear advantage.

"I wouldn't have it any other way," said Son Nguyen, the founding member of All-Action who recruited Reese to play. If it was, we wouldn't have the same amount of success."

Nguyen, who graduated from Cal Poly last quarter, credits Reese for there even being a team. He said that Reese's performance on the field will "amaze and dazzle" opponents and spectators.

Reese said his participation in the intramural leagues is about more that just winning or losing.

"By playing on an intramural football team, I think that is an example of how I've decided to get involved with students," Reese said. "It's an extremely rewarding experience for me."

In 1999, All-Action first year, they lost in the championship game, which Reese said increased his drive to win.

"I realized it was a big deal, "Reese said. "I recommitted and rededicated myself to the science of the game.

Since finishing as runners-up, the team has won the last three league titles.

"You think to yourself, "Well, eventually we have to lose, but we haven't, "Nguyen said. "We keep on winning and I think we might go out like that. We don't want to put a blemish on our records."

Nguyen said in his seven years in the intramural league no team had ever won back-to-back titles, let alone three consecutive ones.

But All-Action does not always have the look of a championship team. Unlike most other teams, they have not uniforms. They check out the uniforms from the ASI Intramural Sports office.

"We're sort of like the rag-tag bunch," said Nguyen. "We just consider ourselves like blue collar workers..we just want to play, and sometimes that's the way it looks."

But they have their uniform championship T-shirts.

In his classes, Reese offers a challenge to his students. He challenges them to compete against him in any sport. In seven years, he has lost twice, once in golf and once in bowling.

When students lose, they have to tell the class what happened. If they win, they write a paper.

In March, Reese will go on a nine-month sabbatical to Europe and South East Asia finishing some documentary and a book and a film project.

As for his teammates, they are looking forward to September 2003, when they begin their quest to "four-peat".