Dan Southern

Dan Southern-2017 Nominee for WORHOF

(Born January 15, 1954 in Inglewood CA. Nominated by Brian Hawkes and Steve Belmonte)

 

“The player (Dan Southern) who for a decade in the 1980’s along with arch nemesis Brian Hawkes won every pro singles crown during that era.” Dan started his pro outdoor career in 1976, becoming one of the two best players of his era. In 1996, at 42, he went out on top winning CA states w/Mike Martinez.

 

OUTDOOR RACQUETBALL ACHIEVEMENTS

– 12 Major Finals; 5 Major Championships in Singles and Doubles and the one player Brian Hawkes proclaimed as his greatest rival ever.

 

  • 2-Time, National Outdoor Pro/Open Singles Champion (1980 over Bobby Stocker and 1985 over Mike Bohne). (1980 and 1985).
  • 3-Time, National Outdoor Pro/Open Doubles Champion (1984 w/Brian Hawkes over Trenton-Fay; 1988 w/Paul Olsen (over Mike Gustaven/Jeff Johnson & 1994 w/Greg Freeze vs Hawkes-Lane. (1984/88/94).
  • 5-Time, National Outdoor Pro/Open Singles Finalist (1981, 1983, 1984, 1986 and 1987). Note: All of his singles final’s loses were to Brian Hawkes, acknowledged as the sport’s greatest player. (1981-87 varies)
  • 2-Time, National Outdoor Pro/Open Doubles Finalist (1986 w/Brian Hawkes and in 1987 w/indoor hall of fame pro Ed Andrews) (1986 and 1987).
  • 2-Time Semi Finalists Singles, National Outdoor Championships. In 1978, Dan lost 11-9 to Davie Bledsoe who beat Hogan in a finals tiebreaker. In 1979, Dan lost in semis. Marty Hogan won event (1978/ 1979).
  • 1-Time, National Outdoor Pro/Open Doubles 3rd place/Semifinalist (1985 w/Brian Hawkes…they lost to champions Harding/Olsen). (1985).
  • 10-Time Ca. State Outdoor Racquetball Singles Champion. He won 1980 singles, doubles & mixed; 1982 men’s doubles, 1984 Pro Mixed Doubles w/Dede Catherman & 1996 men’s doubles w/Mike Martinez etc. (Note: Most CA mixed wins w/Joan Murray who didn’t play nationally with him). (1980-1989).
  • Winner of four majors (“outdoor grand slam” in 1980.”)--Dan won National Singles along w/3 CA state divisions (singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles w/Joan Murray. Note: CA State Championships at the time were considered a major title since at the time most of the top pro indoor/outdoor lived in Ca.


 

INDOOR RACQUETBALL ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Dan had several pro 2nd place finishes in 1986 and 1987 (i.e. Vegas and Walnut Creek) w/Jeff Conine who was a Jr. National Singles champ, USA racquetball team coach and 20 year baseball pro.
 

MISCELLANEOUS ACHIEVEMENTS:

  • Art-Dan is a famous painter/woodworker/sculpturist. He has won 8 international awards for sculpture including a 2011 People’s Choice award and been featured in Fine Woodworking Magazine and Art Buzz. His art is collected and sold internationally. You can view his artwork at www.woodenaddictions.com
  • Surfing-Dan qualified for the US Surfing Championships (1969). A 2-time member of the Goldenwest College National Championships Surfing Team (1973-74), he was undefeated in college-(1969 & 73/74).
  • Bowling- Bowled a 299 at Fountain Valley in a $10,000 pro stop (amateur division) (2004).
  • Pro Motorcyle Racing/Amateur Water skiing- Dan was a pro “Class A” Speedway motorcycle racer.
  • “Cover Boy”-At 19, Dan first made the cover of Surfer Magazine (1973); he appeared on the cover of International Racquetball Magazine in 1985 (at 31); made the cover of National Racquetball Magazine in Oct 1986 (at 32) and finally Dan was featured on the cover of Fine Wood Artists Vol 4 (book).

 

QUOTABLES:

  • “I started playing in 1976. I was coming home from a motorcycle championship race and saw thousands of people watching racquetball at Orange Coast College (OCC) so I went by and watched the finals of an incredible match and I was hooked. I took a class at Orange Coast College (OCC), but they only used saw off tennis racquets so I got myself the real thing and starting competing. “(Dan Southern)
  • (On the differences between 1980 & 2016 racquetball): “I attended the 2016 WOR championships and watched Rocky Carson who is as talented as we were back in the day. The main difference then was the ball was much slower for longer 4 point rallies unless you had a service winner. Also, to get to the finals you had to win about 7-8 matches in pros singles, another 7-8 matches in pro doubles and ref so you were completely spent. This year (2016), there was maybe 10 people in pro singles and just some of the top 20 indoor pros. We had 16 of the top 20 pros playing. “(Dan Southern).
  • When Brian Hawkes was asked the most difficult player he faced, (and the person Hawkes faced most often), the 20-time pro national outdoor champ Brian replied, “Without a doubt, its Dan Southern and he had an incredible career worthy of the Hall of Fame.” (Brian Hawkes) (2016)
  • (On why Steve Belmonte initially nominated Dan Southern to the Hall of Fame): “His [Hawkes] arch rival Dan Southern should be in the Hall of Fame for sure; without question. In those days the men’s draw was about 4-5 times that of the woman’s. When Dan won his first title, the pro open draw was a deep draw with 64 players and it had in it Brian Hawkes, Marty Hogan, Dave Peck, Mark Morrow, Wagner Bobby Stocker and many top indoor pros.” (Steve Belmonte)
  • “Growing up as a young kid here in Orange County and having the chance to watch these great players out there was awesome.  Hawkes and Southern were the Kings and their matches against each other are now of legend. “(Steve Belmonte for his reason for nominating Dan Southern).
  • “This year, Hawkes who is a student at OCC, faced archrival Dan Southern in the finals for the third time in four years.” (International Racquetball Magazine, 1984).
  • “[Dan Southern and Brian Hawkes] will face each other in the finals for the fifth time in seven years. “[Orange County Register 1987).
  • “Hawkes defeated Dan Southern, 21-7, 10-21, 11-4 to win the men’s pro singles division of the Outdoor Racquetball Championships held at Orange Coast College in front of 450. Hawkes has won two straight years and six of the last seven.” L.A. Times Article on the Outdoor Nationals (1987).
  • "In the second game [a loss] I just couldn't find my serve," Hawkes said. "I was missing a lot of first serves, and all my second serves were right to him (Southern), and he was just rolling them out for points. “The loss snapped Hawkes' 19-game tournament winning streak over the last two years. (Brian Hawkes in a quote from LA Times story back in 1987).
  • “This is why they made big money back then…Hawkes won $300 for first place and Southern $150.” [L.A. Times story after Hawkes beat Southern for a grueling title 21-7, 1-21 and 11-4]. (year is unknown)

 

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