Rusty Fairly

Rusty Fairly, Hall of Fame Inductee

“It’s hard to imagine anyone who has contributed as much or as long to coaching in our community as Rusty,” offers Dick Mires, a former high school coach and president-elect of the Athletic Round Table, in reference to Harold “Rusty” Fairly.”

After stints at coaching high school football in Denver and serving as an assistant coach at the University of Denver from 1955 through 1961, Fairly moved to Santa Barbara where he became an assistant football coach at UCSB from 1961 through 1965. It was in 1965 that Fairly was hired by Santa Barbara City College to serve as an assistant football coach and head baseball coach.

In football, Fairly served under a handful of head coaches. It was under head coach Bob Dinaberg that Fairly helped the Vaqueros win four-out-of-five Western State Conference championships. He retired from serving as an assistant football coach after the 1974 season.

Fairly, however, will probably be remembered more as the head baseball coach at SBCC. He guided the Vaqueros to a 255-160 record from 1965- 1981 for a .614 winning percentage. The highlight year for the baseball Vaqueros came in 1972 when they won the Western State Conference title.

During Fairly’s baseball coaching career at SBCC, he saw 37 of his players sign pro contracts. Several of them have gone on to make names for themselves in the major leagues, including Jesse Orosco, Gary Woods, Earl Miller and Mark Silva.

Fairly says there are two key elements for success in his philosophy for coaching: 1. respect and 2. discipline. “I also tried to challenge every young man to live up to his potential,” he adds.

Although Fairly retired from coaching after the 1981 baseball season, he is still active at SBCC and in the community. He has served as division chairman for Health, Recreation, Physical Education and Athletics at SBCC from 1978-86 and president of the Academic Senate from 1985-86. He is currently a Santa Barbara City Councilman.