Hall of Fame
Athletic Director Tom Saia and former instructor Archie San Romani have secured spots into Halls of Fame this year. Saia, who coached four Jayhawk Conference Champions and led teams to six community college bowl games, was selected for induction into the National Junior College Athletic Association Football Hall of Fame. San Romani, a part-time instrumental music instructor at Arkansas City Junior College from 1934 to 1941, was inducted posthumously into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame on May 22.
Saia served eight years as a head coach in the Jayhawk Conference and spent another four years as an assistant. His teams played in six bowl games, winning four, and he had an undefeated season with Coffeyville Community College in 1980, capped with a victory in the Beef Empire Bowl in Garden City and finishing second in the nation. He received Jayhawk Conference Coach of the Year awards in 1986 and 1994. He has been Cowley’s AD since 1994. A date and time of the induction ceremony has yet to be determined.
San Romani was one of the most prominent milers in history. He set NCAA records, world records, and qualified for the 1936 U.S. Olympic team. Glenn Cunningham, another great Kansas miler, competed against San Romani in nearly every race. Cunningham edged San Romani in the 1,500-meter run for a victory in the 1936 Olympic trials. Cunning-ham went on to finish second in the Olympics, while San Romani finished fourth with a time of 3:50.0. San Romani was a standout athlete at Frontenac High School before heading to Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia. In college, he set an NCAA record with a 4:19.1 mile in 1935. In 1936, he set the NCAA record in the 1,500 with a time of 3:53. San Romani’s best mile time of 4:09 came in 1936. After a successful career as a business owner and instructor at ACJC, San Romani died on Nov. 7, 1994, in Fresno, Calif., at age 82.