Southwestern College Professor Emeritus Bill Virchis is one of the most irrepressible members of our Hall of Fame. Since his school days at Chula Vista High, Bill’s energy, passion, and outgoing personality have pushed him to center stage. From 1959 to 1962, he participated in wrestling and track, wearing Spartan blue and white and amassing honors from All Metro League Champion to Southern California Interscholastic Federation Champion to two- time Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament Champion.
After graduating from Chula Vista High, Bill enrolled at Southwestern College in 1963 where he competed as a member of the first wrestling team under the tutelage of Coach Richard Robinson. Bill credits Robison with providing him with incredible insight into the sport. However, Bill was more than just a great athlete. Bill’s cherished SWC memories include that he was also SWC’s first male cheerleader and the first actor on stage at Mayan Hall.
In 1969, Bill enrolled at San Diego State University and graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor’s degree in drama. He was the recipient of the Sybil Eliza Jones Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, the University’s highest drama award. He went on to earn his Master’s degree from SDSU as well.
Bill coached wrestling at both Chula Vista High School and Hilltop High School and was instrumental in leading both schools to Metro League Championships. When wrestling was eliminated from the Hilltop High School athletic program in 1980 because of funding problems, Bill teamed with Coach Art Stone to sponsor a club wrestling team. The following year, the team was reinstated into the regular interscholastic program.
During Bill’s professional career, he was a professor and the Artistic Director at Southwestern College from 1973 to 2002. After retiring from SWC, he was named the Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Sweetwater Union High School District. During his career, Bill has accumulated hundreds of honors and awards from professional organizations and for his volunteer service. He was honored for professional leadership at SWC from the Governing Board, faculty and staff, and was recognized at the Theater Educator of the Year by the Southern California Theater Association. He has also received the Rayo Del Sol Award from the El Sol newspaper for his contribution to the Latino community in the field of entertainment.
Bill has been inducted into the Chula Vista High School of Fame and the Sweetwater Union High School District Hall of Fame for his many achievements. Tonight Southwestern College also honors Bill Virchis “The Legend” and welcomes him into the 2008 Southwestern College Athletic Hall of Fame.