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UCLA Magazine Fall 2002
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Fall 2002
Great Expectations
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Bruin Baseball Hall of Famer Dan Guerrero returns to Westwood as UCLA’s new director of athletics

By Wendy Soderburg '82
Photography by Ann Johansson

Ask UCLA’s new athletic director, Dan Guerrero ’74, about his favorite sports moment while he was a Bruin baseball player, and he’ll mention a man by the name of George Nichols.

“For many years, George Nichols was the cook at my fraternity house, Beta Theta Pi,” Guerrero recalls. “The interesting thing was, with all the athletes who lived at the house, George never went to a sporting event. Ever.”

Until the day Guerrero, a member of UCLA’s junior varsity team, convinced the cook to come see him play baseball at Sawtelle Field. “I told George, ‘If you come, I’ll hit a home run for you,’ ” Guerrero says.

Sure enough, George was in the stands that night, wearing his white apron and chef’s hat. He saw Guerrero in the on-deck circle and asked, “You remember what you promised me?” “George,” Guerrero replied, “I remember.” The first pitch was a fastball right down the middle and Guerrero launched it out of the stadium.

“George leaped out of his chair,” the athletic director says with a smile. “It was thrilling for two reasons: First, because I didn’t hit a lot of home runs, and second, because I delivered the goods for George Nichols.”

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