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Gary Torgeson

Class of 2008

Inducted as member of the Pioneer Category

Cal State Northridge: 1982 - 1994

Cal State Northridge feature (Written December 2008)



Gary Torgeson, a former football coach at Cal State Northridge, became one of the winningest softball coaches in NCAA history after he took over the softball coaching reins at the institution in the fall of 1981. In nine seasons at the NCAA Division II level, Torgeson’s Matadors won four national titles and placed worse than third in the nation only once.

Cal State Northridge moved to NCAA Division I in 1990, with Torgeson at the helm. Just four seasons later, Torgeson’s squad was playing against Arizona in the Women’s College World Series finals after a stellar 52-10 season and the school’s second consecutive Western Athletic Conference title. Although the Wildcats won the championship game 3-1, most considered the Matadors’ march to the finals a remarkable feat considering that the city of Northridge had been struck by a massive earthquake during the season.

Shortly after the Women’s College World Series, Torgeson turned in his resignation to take a dean’s position at Sacramento City College. In his 13 years in Northridge, Torgeson finished with a 636-216-8 record and a .744 winning percentage in which he never lost a regular-season conference title. His players earned 24 All-American honors and numerous region and conference honors.

He was named NFCA Division II National Coach of the Year four times, and is a member of the Cal State Northridge Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the NFCA Hall of Fame in 2008 in the pioneer category. Just a few years earlier, voters had selected him the NCAA’s Division II coach for the first 25 years.

Torgeson is a former NFCA board of directors member and was involved in NFCA committee work throughout his coaching career.