Sam Nicolopulos, (posthumously), Head Coach, Wrestling
Highly respected by athletes, coaches and faculty alike, Sam was a leading force in the Physical Education Department at Cañada College. Sam’s coaching career spanned 53 years. For 39 years Sam was a Head Coach of football or wrestling starting at Carlmont High, San Carlos High and then Cañada College. In 1968, the year that Cañada College opened its doors, Sam was recruited from San Carlos High School and named the Head Football Coach at Cañada College. Football was never instated by the college and Sam was named the Head Coach of the wrestling program. Sam had numerous Wrestling State Champions and runners-up throughout his coaching career that spanned from 1968 to 1985. He is remembered fondly by his grapplers as a coach who cared for them both on and off the mat. He was the co-founder of the Fitness for Life Institute, at that time the largest and best known fitness program in the County. Sam led the fitness testing for the county Fire Departments as well as the Sheriff’s Department, held at Cañada College. He also served as the Division Dean and Athletic Director. A former colleague best sums-up Sam’s character: “He did not need to be asked to pitch in; he just saw problems and solved them expecting nothing in return.”
Family: wife Bette and sons Steve, the Head Football Coach at Woodside High School, and Craig, who resides in South Carolina.
Clifton Holland, Baseball
A former San Carlos High School standout, Clif was a baseball player for the Colts in 1971–1972 and was a first round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1972. A left handed pitcher, he helped lead the Colts to a State Championship in 1971 and was named the State Tournament MVP. That same year, Clif was named to the All-American team. After playing at Cañada, he transferred to USC and helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back NCAA College World Series championships in 1973 and 1974. Clif was a 1st Round Draft Pick by the Chicago White Sox in 1972 and played four seasons with the AAA Portland Mavericks. He currently resides with his wife, Laurie, in Oregon.
Lyman Ashley, Head Coach, Baseball
Lyman was the head baseball coach from 1969 to 1983 and won the State Baseball Championship in 1971 while earning the distinction of being the youngest Head Coach ever to win the State title. In 1975 and 1976, Coach Ashley was an Assistant Coach and Head Coach of the Kenai Peninsula Oilers of the Alaskan Summer Baseball League, the premier summer baseball league on the west coast made up of top Division I college baseball players. Coach Ashley is a member of the California Community College Baseball Hall of Fame. Aside from baseball, Lyman also coached the Cañada College Men’s Golf team from 1986 to 1999. Lyman has three children - Karen, Brian and Chris.
Andy Lucchesi, Tennis
Andy, a right-handed tennis player out of Menlo Park, came to Cañada in 1975 and won the Tennis State Championship in both singles and doubles. Andy then went on to star at USC where he helped lead the Trojans in winning the NCAA Tennis Championship in 1976. Following the 1977 tennis season, Andy was named to the All-American team. In 1978, he then went on to play on the professional tennis circuit for two years in men’s singles play. His highlights in 1978, included participation in the U.S. Open and also playing in the SAP Open Tournament in San Francisco (now held in San Jose) where he fell to Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg in the first round. He finished his competitive playing career in doubles in 1986.
Off the court: Currently, Andy is a lead model for the Tommy Bahama Sportswear line.
Rich Anderson, Head Coach, Men’s Tennis
A native San Franciscan and Junior College product, Rich oversaw the Cañada Men’s Tennis program from 1971 to 1983. During that period his Colt teams won eleven Conference Titles, eight Nor-Cal Championships and eight State Championships. He was inducted into the California Community College Tennis Hall of Fame and the San Jose State Athletic Hall of Fame. His overall JC coaching record is 142-15. As a player, Rich was a JC State Champion out of CCSF, ranked #17 nationally at SJSU, and participated in mixed doubles at Wimbledon and singles at the U.S. Open. Throughout his playing career Rich has always been a ranked player in his age group. He is currently ranked in the top 10 nationally in the senior rankings. Coach Anderson left the tennis court for the classroom and taught Mathematics and Computer Science. In 2005, he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award from the California Community College Mathematics Council.
Married to Darcy and has two sons, Kevin and Jeff.
Jim Zylker, Soccer
An intense competitor, Jim was a two time All-American at Cañada College and also an All- American at San Jose State. Jim helped lead the Colts to back-to-back Soccer State Championships in 1969 and 1970. During the 1969 season, he scored a school record 54 goals that still stands today. Jim also played for the U.S. Olympic Team in 1972 and 1976. He played in the NASL for the San Jose Earthquakes in 1974 and 1975 and was traded to the San Antonio Thunder where he finished his career in 1976.
Jim is married to Trisha and has three daughters; Rebecca, Angela, and Elizabeth. Jim came back to Cañada and was the Women’s Assistant Soccer Coach from 2001–2004. He and his daughter, Liz, helped lead the Lady Colts to two Coast Conference Championships and four State playoff appearances.
Silvano Vial, Head Coach, Men’s Soccer
“The Hay is in the Barn!” was a common catch phrase heard by fitness students of Coach Vial symbolizing a hard days’ work had ended. That could also be said for all the athletes that played for Coach Vial as his teams were known to be one of the most mentally and physically prepared teams in the state. Coach Vial was at the Men’s Soccer helm from 1969–1982 and led the Colts to back-to-back State Championships in 1969 and 1970. In 1971 the Colts were state finalists and then won the State Championship again in 1972. In all, Coach Vials’ teams won eight conference titles, five Northern California Championships and played in four State Championship games. Five of his former soccer players went on to represent the U.S.A.— two in the Olympics and three in the Pan American Games.
Before coaching soccer, Sil was an outstanding football player. A three sport star and Hall of Famer at Serra High School, Sil went on to play quarterback at the University of Idaho where he was elected team captain and led the Vandals in total yardage in 1960. Sil created and produced the Gym Tone fitness bar and was also the co-founder of the Fitness for Life Institute at Cañada College. His former students still take fitness classes at Cañada after 30 years. A fitness enthusiast, Sil still teaches fitness classes and is an avid cyclist.
Married to Maria and father of daughter, Erica, and sons Conrad, and Frederick.