Athletics retirees continue involvement at Mesa

Lauren J. Mapp, Features Editor

After more than 20 years of service to San Diego Mesa College apiece, Head Athletic Trainer Sue Lalicker, former track and field Coach Arnie Robinson and former Physical Education Department Chair Jerry Milburn have begun the relaxing road to the life of retirement.

“You know, all three of them have been really well loved by the students. All their classes were always very positive,” said Sports Information Director Simone Sherrard in response to her experience working with the newly retired faculty members.

Milburn formerly coached the water polo team at Mesa College and taught swim classes within the aquatics realm. His hard work and dedication to the aquatics program – especially in keeping the early morning classes intact – helped to keep the program alive.

“Jerry was very instrumental in the aquatics program, and help keeping that running. He had early morning classes, which kind of became a big ritual for a lot of people to come to that first thing in the morning swim class,” said Sherrard.

After stepping down from the labor intensive coaching position, Milburn continued to work at Mesa College as the department chair for the athletics department until his retirement last spring.

In addition to her expertise in athletic training, Lalicker was also an athlete growing up. She played sports in high school and while attending Fullerton Community College, she played on both women’s and co-ed volleyball teams.

After graduating with her master’s degree in 1984 from San Diego State University, Lalicker began working at Mesa College in the fall semester of 1985. As the head athletic trainer, she has evaluated the injuries of student athletes and helped them to recover in order to continue their athletic careers, therefore touching the lives of many of Mesa College’s former students.

“Sue kind of helped keep the athletes together. Literally, physically take care of them from the moment they had their injury all the way through rehab and to get them back onto the field,” said Sherrard.

As an avid hiker, Lalicker plans on continuing her goal of hiking The Pacific Crest Trail piece by piece.

“I’m just doing pieces at a time, like every summer do a couple hundred miles or something so I’ve done all of California and I’ve done Oregon up to Crater Lake, so I’ve done over half of it,” said Lalicker.

One of her other main goal in retirement is to continue to give back to the community by pursuing volunteer opportunities.

Robinson graduated from Mesa College in 1969 before receiving a scholarship to attend SDSU. He is a two time Olympic medal winner, having earned bronze and gold medals in the long jump event in the 1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal games respectively. He also won a gold medal in 1971 and a silver medal in 1975 during the Pan American games.

“It’s the greatest feeling to be the best in the world,” said Robinson in response to the memory of his experience with Olympic medal achievements.

Robinson returned to his alma mater to begin coaching in 1983 and later became a full-time faculty member in 1988. Before his retirement, Robinson coached the track and field team and taught several classes, to include the weight training and basketball courses that he continues to teach today.

Despite the fact that they are now considered retired from their full-time positions, both Lalicker and Robinson are continuing to stay on as part-time faculty at Mesa College.

This trio of retirees is to be honored by Mesa College’s Physical Education Department at a retirement party in Pacific Beach on Oct. 23.