College of the Desert

College of the Desert
College of the Desert seal.png
MottoI Am COD
TypePublic, Community College
PresidentJoel L. Kinnamon, Ed.D.
Administrative staff
43-500 Monterey Ave.
, , ,
CampusSuburban, 160 acres (65 ha)
Colors(Roadrunner) Red and (Desert) Gold          

College of the Desert (COD) is a public community college in Palm Desert serving the Coachella Valley of Riverside County, California. COD enrolls about 12,500 students, of which around one third attend college full-time.

60th Anniversary Logo

The college is federally recognized as a Hispanic-serving institution (HSI), receiving Title V grants.[3][4]

COD is the home of the Energy Technology Training Center. COD offers A.A. degrees and certificate programs in culinary management, nursing, turf management, public safety, agriculture, as transportation technology, and digital design.


The "International Fountain of Knowledge" on the campus of College of the Desert

College of the Desert was established in 1958 after a decade of planning for a junior college district in the Coachella Valley. Voters approved the formation of the district and funded the building of the COD campus with a bond issue. On September 21, 1962, the new college opened on its 160-acre (65 ha) site in Palm Desert, and in 1966 it gained accreditation.[5]

The Jeane and Justin Hilb student center and the Carol L. Meier Lecture Hall opened in 1998, and Bob and his wife "Mike" Pollock funded the creation of the COD campus's Theatre One in 1999. The Marks Center for the Arts was built from the generosity of Don and Peggy Cravens, Bob and Barbara Leberman, and the COD Alumni Association in 2003. Their substantial support has permitted COD to further upgrade and expand its arts facilities into 2006 and beyond. College of the Desert's library building, opened in 1996, is unique in California as the only one that is shared by a college with both a city (Palm Desert) and a county (Riverside) library.

From 1966 to 1999, residents in the high desert to the north of the Coachella Valley were also part of the community college district. Their affiliated Copper Mountain Campus in Twentynine Palms was opened in 1984 and remained with the district until 1999, when it was renamed Copper Mountain College and became an independent district.

In 2001, the Eastern Valley Center opened to address a need for more English and ethnic studies classes, such as Mexican American Culture and Intro to African American Literature, as well as for a campus located in the eastern Coachella Valley's agricultural and casino gaming corridor. More than 1,400 students are enrolled in the Eastern Valley Center located in Indio.[6]


Desert Roadrunners
SchoolCollege of the Desert
ConferenceInland Empire Athletic Conference (IEAC)
Athletic directorGary Plunkett
LocationPalm Desert, California
Varsity teams15 teams
Football stadiumRobert F. Boone Field
Basketball arenaCOD Gymnasium at the Bragdon & Inez Garrow Athletic Quad
Baseball stadiumTed Hamilton Field

College of the Desert is a member of the Inland Empire Athletic Conference (IEAC) for 9 of its 15 sports. The Roadrunners programs, such as: Men's Golf, Beach Volleyball, Women's Golf and Women's Tennis, are hosted out to other Southern California Athletic Conferences due to less than 4 IEAC member schools with that sport offering. COD Football is a member of the American Division-Mountain Conference in the Southern California Football Association (SCFA). Each sport has a different competitive alignment within the conference.[7]

COD competes with: Antelope Valley College, (Football Only), Barstow College, Cerro Coso Community College, Chaffey College, Citrus College (Football Only), Copper Mountain College, Crafton Hills College, Mt. San Jacinto College, Norco College, Palo Verde College, San Bernardino Valley College and Victor Valley College.

Because the sport of Football is in its own autonomous Athletic Conference, the Southern California Football Association,[8] COD competes against these schools in the American Division - Mountain Conference: Antelope Valley College, Citrus College, Mt. San Jacinto College, San Bernardino Valley College and Victor Valley College.

From The Desert Sun on 2/15/1984: Robert F. Boone (Left) is congratulated by COD Athletic Director, John Marman

Women's Basketball, Men's Basketball and Women's Volleyball play their home games in the COD Gymnasium at the Bragdon & Inez Garrow Athletic Quad. The Gym was built in 2014. Prior to 2014, COD competed in the Harold & Hazel Wright Gymnasium, which has since been demolished, and in its footprint was placed 8 competition tennis courts.

Football plays their home games at Robert F. Boone Field, named in honor of a COD benefactor. Boone started a mechanical equipment company, B.B. Supply, at the age of 39, in Los Angeles. He later changed the name to Chain Drives Inc. He was a member of the college's President Circle, where he donated $100,000 to the College of the Desert Foundation for the naming rights to the field and the presentation was made at the Homecoming game on November 3, 1984, when the team faced Imperial Valley College. The Roadrunners won the game, 50-8.

Baseball plays their games at Ted Hamilton Field, named in honor of a former Kansas City Royals scout who lived in Indian Wells, California and was a supporter of Roadrunners Baseball. After working 30 years in the motion picture studio business, Hamilton retired to Indian Wells and was appointed as a Planning Commissioner, running for City Council in 1984 and finishing last in the At-Large race. Hamilton was the author of a book, titled "Diamond Dust Tid-Bits,"[9] published in 1982 about his years in professional baseball.

Football Trophy Games

The Roadrunners have two Football "Trophy Games" a season, the longest running of which is "The Palms-to-Pines" game, which occurs each season against the Mt. San Jacinto College Eagles. The trophy was sponsored by The Desert Sun beginning in 1970, but that sponsorship has been discontinued for some time. "The Palms-to-Pines" game has taken place every year since the Eagles added an Athletics program, which was 1967. As of the conclusion of the 2017 season, the teams have a 24-25-2 overall record against each other, with Desert holding a 12-14 record at home. The Roadrunners suffered forfeit losses in 1967 and 1970 and are reflected in the overall record.

The other trophy game is the "COD-SBVC Challenge Trophy" game, which has occurred off-and-on since 1981, with San Bernardino Valley College holding a slight edge in the overall record, 18-15. The Roadrunners last won the "Challenge Trophy" in 2015 and has a home record 8-8.

Teddy Roberts Memorial Trophy

Teddy Roberts Memorial Trophy

From 1976 to 1986, the Teddy Roberts Memorial Trophy was awarded to the Men's Track & Field team MVP

1976 – Kirk Mullen 1979 – Greg Strange 1982 – Greg Tiedeman 1985 – Lih-Jaiu Hendery
1977 – Kirk Mullen 1980 – Troy Love 1983 – Carlos Cota 1986 – Kyle Korcha
1978 – Cedric Sutton 1981 – Tyrone Robinson 1984 – Lih-Jaiu Hendery

Athletic championships

College of the Desert has numerous accomplishments in the field of competitive sports. Below will soon include a listing of those athletic achievements only bestowed on a select few.

National champions

Men's Tennis (1966–Present)
1 time National Champion

State champions

Men's Tennis (1966–Present) Women's Tennis (1971–Present) Men's Golf (1965–Present)
15 time State Champions 2 time State Champions 6 time State Champions
1981, 1982, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 1997, 2009 1966, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2004, 2012
Women's Golf (1994–Present) Football (1962–Present)
4 time State Champion 1 time State Champion
1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 1989

Conference champions

PCAC Championship Trophies for 2018 for Men's Golf & Men's Tennis.
Baseball (1964–Present) Men's Basketball (1965–Present) Women's Basketball (1978–Present)
4 time Conference Champion 7 time Conference Champion 6 time Conference Champion
1966, 1967, 1968, 1971 1964, 1966, 1971, 1975, 1980, 2001, 2008 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1990
Men's Cross Country (1962–Present) Women's Cross Country (1978–Present) Football (1962–Present)
3 time Conference Champion 5 time Conference Champion 11 time Conference Champion
1975, 1976, 1980 1981, 1988, 1999, 2000, 2004 1970, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1986, 1989, 1994, 1996, 2007, 2015, 2016
Men's Golf (1965–Present) Women's Golf (1994–Present) Men's Soccer (1978–Present)
44 time Conference Champion 7 time Conference Champion 5 time Conference Champion
1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2014, 2018 1978, 1979, 1991, 1999, 2018
Softball (1977–Present) Men's Tennis (1966–Present) Women's Tennis (1971–Present)
7 time Conference Champion 22 time Conference Champion 16 time Conference Champion
1984, 2003, 2004, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 1970, 1979, 1982, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2018, 2019 1979, 1980, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009, 2012, 2018
Men's Track & Field (1963–1997) Women's Volleyball (1976–Present)
10 time Conference Champion 5 time Conference Champion
1966, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 1980, 1981, 1984, 1991, 2007

Wright Gymnasium

On a wall inside of the Cravens Student Services Center, sits a display of the old center court Roadrunners logo and plaque from the old Wright Gym.

In 1964, voters in the Coachella Valley approved a new $2 million bond issue to complete the first phase of COD construction. Within three years, construction was completed on the gymnasium and several other buildings on campus. The architects selected for the gymnasium and related areas were Williams and Williams, a Palm Springs firm.

On April 1, 1981, a resolution was presented to the Board of Trustees by Mrs. Hazel C. Wright, widow of Harold D. Wright, who graciously offered to the Coachella Valley Community College District (as it was known at that time) and College of the Desert a gift of $100,000. The gift was to be used exclusively for refurbishing the interior and exterior of the gymnasium which would henceforth be known as Wright Gymnasium with appropriate plaque and signage.

Over the years, Wright Gymnasium hosted many notable activities. Not only did students utilize the facility for their classes, athletic events, and dances, but well-known performers such as Billy Idol, Seals and Crofts, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Cash performed concerts there. The Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball teams held training camps in Wright Gymnasium.

A new upgraded facility was under construction while Wright Gymnasium was razed in 2014. Now in its place are new tennis courts.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ California, State of. "California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office – Data Mart". datamart.cccco.edu. Retrieved 5 June 2018.
  2. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: College of the Desert
  3. ^ College Information, College of the Desert (last accessed February 3, 2018).
  4. ^ List of FY 2016 Eligible Hispanic-Serving Institutions, U.S. Department of Education.
  5. ^ Sun, Desert. "CHistory: College of the Desert was 'needed' at the time". desertsun.com. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2006-11-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Athletics, College of the Desert. "College of the Desert Athletics". codathletics.com. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  8. ^ Football Association, Southern California. "Southern California Football Association". scfafootball.com. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  9. ^ Tid Bits, Diamond Dust. "Diamond Dust Tid Bits". amazon.com. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  10. ^ TV Broadcaster, Angels. "Victor Rojas tweet". twitter.com/VictorRojas. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  11. ^ Bulls, Chicago. "Gar Forman biography". nba.com/bulls. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  12. ^ Robinson, Bryan. "Bryan Robinson stats". pro-football-reference.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  13. ^ Geiberger, Brent. "PGA Tour website". pgatour.com. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  14. ^ Rodriguez, Raul. "Step Up For COD website". stepupforcod.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  15. ^ Renner, Jack. "PGA Tour website". pgatour.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  16. ^ Harmon, Craig. "Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, NY) website". democratandchronicle.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  17. ^ Pineo, Warren. "PGA website". pga.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  18. ^ Pineo, Warren. "Toscana Country Club Golf & Locker Team". toscanacc.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  19. ^ Wilson, John. "PGA Tour website". pgatour.com. Retrieved 3 June 2019.

External links

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