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Hall of Fame: Lance Stewart (Corona del Mar)

February 04, 2002

Richard Dunn

In the days before the one-sport specialization era, Lance Stewart

defined the meaning of an all-around athlete while at Laguna Beach High.

Stewart, who would later coach the Corona del Mar High girls

volleyball program to back-to-back national championships in 1992-93, was

the rarest of the rare three-sport athletes, reaping All-CIF Southern

Section honors in all three (football, basketball and volleyball).

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"That's what's kind of sad these days," Stewart said, alluding to the

modern-day multi-sport athlete. "It's hard to keep up, and if you're

interested in making a high school team, you've got to also play on some

sort of club team. And that doesn't allow you to play other sports."

A quarterback and All-CIF linebacker in football, a bruising

basketball forward and powerful, four-year varsity volleyball player,

Stewart was the 1981 CIF Player of the Year for Artist Coach Bill Ashen's

volleyball team, which won an unforgettable five-game CIF final over

South Coast League rival San Clemente, 6-15, 15-10, 11-15, 18-16, 16-14.

(There were no divisions within the CIF postseason structure in '81).

Stewart's top athletic highlight, however, is beating highly regarded

Capistrano Valley in football, 7-6, his senior year, as the Artists won

the South Coast League title over Capo Valley, Mission Viejo and San

Clemente.

The Cougars were so good that year, they went on to capture the CIF

Central Conference crown under Coach Dick Enright, beating Esperanza,

11-0, at Anaheim Stadium.

"They were just awesome," Stewart said. "Beating them was an

incredible feeling."

The 6-foot, 190-pound Stewart was voted South Coast League Player of

the Year and first-team All-CIF Division III (combining three

conferences) on defense.

As a coach, Stewart listed his three years at Corona del Mar as a

highlight. "The whole experience, the whole process was great," Stewart

said. "Even in my third year (1994), when we didn't do so well, the whole

experience was just great."

These days, Stewart misses the "daily dealings" with people and

interacting with athletes. In one of Stewart's businesses, he has sold

one client "a million dollars worth of stuff and I've never even met him.

We talk on the phone or exchange emails. It's a whole different dynamic."

Stewart, who earned his bachelor's degree in fine arts at UC Berkeley,

enjoyed an extensive volleyball coaching career in the early 1990s. The

former director of the Laguna Beach Volleyball Club inherited a talented

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