Mike Hess, Millennium Hall of Fame

December 15, 1999

In the right place at the right time, and playing the right

position under the right basketball coach, former Corona del Mar High

point guard Mike Hess landed on top of the world in 1981.

Hess, who was never flashy, could've played in the movie "Hoosiers"

with Gene Hackman and fit in perfectly with the style of play.

During the peak of the Coach Jack Errion era, the Sea Kings were

stacked with Mark Spinn, Jeff Pries, Steve Moore and two guard Chris



But the late Errion, famous for his man defense and conservative

offense, wanted a change at midstream and called up Hess, a sophomore,

from the junior varsity, and Corona del Mar went on to capture the CIF

Southern Section 3-A title, finishing with a nine-game winning streak and

22-5 overall record.

"I think that team might have won CIF, anyway. I was just happy to

have a chance to go up," Hess said from Barcelona, Spain, where the

latest honoree in the Daily Pilot Sports Hall of Fame (celebrating the

millennium) is working on a PhD in business from the University of


Hess, a former UCI standout and German professional player for ART

Dusseldorf in 1991, was actually called up from the Sea Kings' JV his

sophomore year and played on o7 twof7 CIF championship teams.

In baseball, Hess was a shortstop, and when the versatile Pries moved

from short to the pitchers mound, CdM Coach Tom Trager needed a reliable

glove to fill in without disrupting the balance of the lineup, and the

Sea Kings won the CIF 2-A championship.

"I'd like to think both CIF titles were because of me, but I think

Jeff Pries was a little more of the reason," Hess said of the CIF 2-A

baseball Player of the Year that year, who later pitched for UCLA and was

drafted No. 1 by the Yankees.

Hess, a 6-foot, 180-pounder who now speaks English, Spanish and German

and hopes to become a university professor, was an exact match for

Errion's '81 squad that also won the Sea View League title.

"(Errion) never mentioned anything to me before," said Hess, who made

his varsity debut after CdM lost to Costa Mesa, 51-48, and quickly

adapted to Errion's way.

"That team was so mature and talented, it was easy to step in. We knew

who the stars were. Those guys made it so easy to play. I just played the

right position at the right time."

In the 3-A semifinals that year, the Sea Kings defeated La Quinta and

Johnny Rogers, 48-29, in a stellar defensive effort, as Spinn kept Rogers

at bay with only six points.

"I never let (Rogers) forget that," said Hess, who would later play

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