Adrian C. Wilcox High School

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Adrian C. Wilcox High School
Santa Clara, California
United States
Color(s)Black and Gold
Athletics conferenceSanta Clara Valley Athletic League
CIF Central Coast Section
MascotCharlie the Charger
Team nameChargers

Adrian C. Wilcox High School is a public school located in Santa Clara, California. It is one of four high schools serving those living within the boundaries of the Santa Clara Unified School District.[1] The school is named after Adrian C. Wilcox, who served on the Santa Clara Union High School Board of Trustees for over 30 years. Wilcox was first accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 1966 and is accredited through 2009. In April 2005, Wilcox officially became a California Distinguished School.


Construction of the school began in the late 1950s. The school was named for the ranking member of the Santa Clara Union High School Board of Trustees, Adrian C. Wilcox. Contrary to popular belief the land for the school was not donated by Wilcox. The school opened its doors in the fall of 1961 to what would become its first graduating class, the class of 1964, which entered as Sophomores. The first graduating class to attend Wilcox for all four years was the Class of 1965.

The student body was split when Marian A. Peterson High School opened in the district and then later recombined when Peterson and Buchser High School's name was converted into middle schools. At that time, the student body voted to change the name of the mascot, newspaper, and yearbook, along with the school colors, to be more inclusive of the new students. The original mascot for Wilcox was The Warrior, the school colors were Green and Gold, the newspaper was The War Chants, and the yearbook was The Promethean. Even though those have changed, the original school song (All Hail Our Alma Mater) and fight song (Fight On Wilcox) are still in use today. They were both composed by Mr. James Paris, the first music teacher at the school. (Mr. Mike Patterakis was not credited as a contributor to either song.)

The school saw a total of seven students, (either students at the time, former students, or alumni) Killed In Action (K.I.A.) during the Vietnam War. They are Doyle W. Clark (Class of 1965, K.I.A. 12 Nov 68, age 21), Fredric B. Davis (Class of 1965, wounded in action during the 1968 Tet Offensive he died on 14 Jan 73 after being in a coma for several years, age 25), Alvin "John" Wesolowski (member of the Class of 1965 though he transferred to Homestead High School prior to graduation, K.I.A. 30 Jan 68, age 20), John R. Kunkel (Class of 1966, K.I.A. 3 Jan 69, age 21), Michael W. Issenmann (Class of 1967 K.I.A. 17 Sep 68, age 19), John E. Young (Class of 1968, K.I.A. 1 Apr 70, age 20), and Kenneth J. Auston (Class of 1969, K.I.A. 12 Mar 70, age 18). The body of each one was recovered and returned home.

In 2001, former head custodian Joe Miller undertook an ambitious project to honor the school's past. The idea came about when Miller located several panoramic class pictures while clearing out a dusty cabinet. As a result of this discovery, he decided to make a wall consisting of the pictures of every graduating class in school history. After tracking down the nine pictures not in the cabinet (by way of e-mails and telephone calls to past students), the Alumni Wall was completed and dedicated on 7 November 2003. Now, the panoramic photo of each subsequent graduating class is added to the wall, which is housed on walls on the inside of the school's main building, next to the elevator.

Miller is also responsible for the Wilcox Vietnam Memorial Plaque, which lists only the six Killed In Action who actually graduated from Wilcox, and a Walk of Fame in front of the flag pole honoring each graduating class. Additionally, Miller had a photo of each KIA enlarged and laminated. These photos are on permanent display in an American History classroom so that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

In recognition of his efforts, Miller was presented with a plaque and certificate by a representative of the Class of 1966 Reunion Committee making him an honorary class member and alumni in a special ceremony given as part of a student rally on January 26, 2007.

In February 2005, the Mission City Center for the Performing Arts, a building constructed adjacent to the school and across Calabazas Creek from the main campus, in an area that was the original Student Parking Lot, opened.

Student life[edit]

The school year typically begins in late August, consists of 180 school days, and usually ends on the second Friday of June.

The school newspaper is known as The Scribe and usually publishes seven issues per year.

The school yearbook is known as The Phoenix.

Extracurricular groups include a marching band (known as the Black and Gold Regime), orchestra, drill team (Chargerettes), cheerleaders (Spirit Squad), a theater troupe (Wilcox Stage Company), Color guard, a dance team, a debate team, and a choir. They also have a winterguard, which is solo colorguard, and a winter percussion program. There are also many sports teams that students can join on campus, such as soccer, basketball, and football (to name a few).

Some of the extracurricular clubs include Montebello Ridge Club (an environmental outdoors organization), Gay Straight Alliance, French Club, Chinese Club, 日本語 Club, Best Buddies, Thespian Club, Garbage Crew, Key Club, Interact Club, Cycling Club, Math Club, Ping Pong Club, Biology Club, Physics Club, Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Art Club, Creative Writing Club, Travel Club, Film Club, New Life Campus Outreach Club, Middle Eastern Club, Korean Club, Indian Club, Muslim Student Association (MSA), CSF (California Scholarship Foundation), Vietnamese Student Association, FHA Hero, FBLA (future business leaders of America), Martial Arts Club, PHHS (Pre-professional Health Honor Society)and WAC (World Affairs Club).

Each class is also designated a class color. The current colors are:

Class of Standing Color
2019 Senior Blue
2020 Junior Green
2021 Sophomore Yellow
2022 Freshman Red

A way for the students to display class spirit and unity, the colors are mainly used for the annual battle of the classes, known as Fantastics. Fantastics was formed as a spirit activity first held in 1995. Held in March, all classes compete against each other in various physical contests (such as a tug of war). The competitors wear shirts with the color of their class.

The colors are on a four-year rotation, with the color of the graduating seniors being handed off to the upcoming year's freshmen (i.e. after the class of 2015 graduates this year, the incoming freshman of the 2015-2016 school year, or the class of 2019, will receive their class color of blue).

Also to show more unity, the following class colors are "sister" classes. Yellow and Blue are Sister Classes and Red and Green are Sister Classes.

Homecoming and Fantastics are all organized by ASB and the four class councils. ASB is composed of 17 students (13 officers and 4 class presidents). They are in charge of dances, rallies, and school-wide events. Every March, students run to be on ASB, and must have speeches to convince the student body of their potential.

A lower level of ASB consists of the four class councils. Each class council has nine members, with the class president also being part of ASB. Much like ASB, students must run for election to class councils. A class council candidate speaks in front of the class. Most students who are on ASB started as a class council member. Class councils are in charge of class funds, class fundraisers, activities, and Fantastics and Homecoming execution. One must be motivated, spirited, and have a passion for school in order to be on ASB or class council. One notable exception, however, is Vincent Le ('16) who somehow made it onto council despite never attending any school events.

The Wilcox Chargers also compete in the annual Black and Blue Olympics (BBO), an event similar to Fantastics, except that instead of the Wilcox classes competing with each other, Wilcox competes against cross-town rival Santa Clara High School. BBO began in the Spring of 2010, with Santa Clara High School winning that year and the next year in 2011. However, Wilcox won the next four years, claiming the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 BBO titles, making Wilcox High a "BBO Dynasty" after three years, and now a four-peat champion.


The original music department was started by James Paris. Within a few years it had grown to include male and female Glee Clubs, Choir, Chamber Choir, Marching Band, Dance Band, Pep Band, Concert Band, and Orchestra. At one point there were two levels of Concert Band offered with player proficiency used to determine whether a student was eligible for the “A” or “B” band level. Members of the Choir had to have first sung in one of the Glee Clubs. The Chamber Choir was composed of 17 vocalists, 4 Sopranos, 4 Altos, 4 Tenors, and 5 Baritone/Bass singers, chosen from the choir as having the best sound as a group. As the music program grew Mike Patterakis was added to assist Mr. Paris and he later became the director of the music department at Peterson High School when that school opened. During the 1965 – 1966 school year the Marching Band was the first such group in the school district to be invited to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA. The school board denied permission to attend stating that the travel distance was too great. Peterson High was allowed to march in the parade the following year.

The music department at Wilcox is currently directed by Rick South. The instrumental programs listed in the 2015 - 2016 course catalog are Band, Jazz Band, and String Orchestra. Vocal offerings are Chorus and Canta Nova.

The Wilcox High School Marching band, the "Black and Gold Regime", is a competitive after school-program. During the 2011 season, lack of members led to the season being cancelled midway. During the 2012 season, the marching programs director lost his job at the end of the season after some budget cuts and miscommunication. The marching program has since been rebuilt with the aid of the Santa Clara Vanguard. Competitions include the Cupertino Tournament of Bands, Foothill High School Band Review, The Lodi Grape Bowl Classic, WBA Independence High School Field Show, and the Fairfield High School Tournament of Champions.

During football/fall season, the concert band class performs at home games as the pep band, along with the colorguard and BGR members not in concert band. The BGR performs their show at halftime for most of the back half of the season.

During the winter season, the department offers after school Winter Percussion and Winter guard. These programs are generally smaller than the fall season's, but rehearse just as often and also perform at competitions. After a few years of inconsistency, both programs have been reborn as of 2013.

The 3 concerts put on by the Wilcox music program are the Winter Concert, the Spring Concert, and the Pops Concert. The Orchestra, Jazz band, Concert band and Marching band/Winter Perc Ensemble perform in the Mission City center for Performing Arts' theater. Admission to these concerts has always been free and open to the public.

The Wilcox Instrumental Music Boosters (WIMB) was formed by parents and friends of the directors and the students. They help raise funds with bake sales, dining-for-dollars nights, and more, as well as feeding the band at competitions and helping with uniforms.


Wilcox competes in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL), a league which is split into two divisions: De Anza and El Camino.

Sports offered at Wilcox include: Fall: Football, Cross Country, Girls Volleyball, Girls Tennis, Water Polo, Girls Golf Winter: Basketball, Wrestling, Soccer Spring: Track and Field, Baseball, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Boys Volleyball, Boys Golf, Badminton, Boys Tennis


Wilcox is known for their dynastic Baseball program, which has won 5 CCS titles in the past 14 years (2000, 2002, 2004,2008, 2014), the second most amount of CCS titles won this century, behind Valley Christian-San Jose's six titles. Over the years they have had four CCS Players of the Year: Roberto Lopez '91 and '92, Erik Dean '00, Daniel Romero '02, and Donald Brandt '04. Wilcox baseball has had numerous athletes compete at the collegiate and professional level, including Carney Lansford.

Track and Field[edit]

From 2009-2015 The Varsity Boys Track and Field Team remained undefeated in league competition. During the same time period The Varsity Girls Track Team was undefeated for a period of four years. During this time period, 2009-2015 the combined varsity boys and girls track teams had an overall win loss record of 84-4 with the boys at 42-0. In 2008-2009 the Wilcox Track and Field Team made history, both the girls and boys team went undefeated in their League for the first time.

During the years 2009-2016 The Track and Field program at Wilcox HS produced:

12 CCS Champions

5 second-place finishers; 8 Third Place; 4 Fourth Place;

26 State Championship Qualifiers;

7 State Finalists; 4 State medalists;

The Wilcox Track and Field Program has had two Olympic Athletes. 1999 Wilcox graduate Amin Nikfar, represented the Republic of Iran in the Men's Shot Put in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. Former Head Coach and long time Science Teacher, Mike Buncic, represented the United States in the Men's Discus Throw in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games

Other Wilcox athletic programs[edit]

In the 2008-2009, the girls Water Polo Team had their first ever perfect regular season before losing in CCS. In 2007, Wilcox's Badminton Team came third overall in their league. Players Max Jo and Matt Yim lost to Independence High School Team in the finals taking 2nd place in CCS. In the 2008-09 campaign, Wilcox sent Richard Jo and Kenyon Kubo Jr. to the Badminton CCS finals where they won the championships in two sets. The Wilcox wrestling team went undefeated in the El Camino League in 2007-2008 season, winning the League champions. In 2008-2009 Wilcox football team made it to the C.C.S Finals against Menlo Atherton. The Chargers fought hard but lost by three points. And in the 2009-2010 season, Wilcox played against Los Gatos in the CCS finals, and lost by 1 point in overtime. In 1995 and 1997, the Wilcox football team had its best seasons with winning 2 CCS Division II championships. The boys volleyball program at Wilcox earned a berth into the 2014 CCS Division 1 Playoffs for the first time in school history after winning the SCVAL-El Camino Division title.

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Michael B. Ryan, J.D., Class of 1965, star long distance runner and District Attorney. He held 5 National and 3 World High School Records. He won the 1968 NCAA Men’s Cross-Country Championships in course record time while attending the Air Force Academy and finished 2nd and 3rd in the two other years he competed at that event.[2][3][4][5][6]
  • Lance K. Gordon, PhD., Class of 1966, President and CEO VaxGen, a developer and supplier of a new type of vaccine for inhalation Anthrax, inventor of ProHibit, a vaccine for infant meningitis. Gordon led efforts that, in turn, led to a new, more effective vaccine for Whooping Cough. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for ImmuneRegen.[7]
  • Kathy E. Thomas, Class of 1966, Major General, USAF Reserve (highest ranking woman in the A.F. Reserves), crew qualified as an operational space operator.[8]
  • William H. Wade II, Class of 1966, Major General, Adjutant General California National Guard (Retired).[9]
  • Trent Keeble, Class of 1971, Graduate Air Force Academy, Astronaut qualified, inductee Santa Clara Unified School District Hall of Fame.[10]
  • Carney Lansford, Class of 1975, 15-year Major League Baseball veteran (1978–1992). The baseball field at Wilcox is named after him. Sent both sons Jared and Josh to Saint Francis High School. Ironically, they ended up losing to Wilcox in the semifinals of the 2003 Division 1 Tournament.
  • Carlos Noriega, Class of 1977, NASA astronaut, retired Lieutenant Colonel, United States Marine Corps.
  • John H. Hendy, Class of 1981, American football player San Diego Chargers 1985 to 1987 Drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 3rd round (69th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft. Voted First Team NFL All-Rookie at cornerback 1985 was also named AFC Player of the Week 14 for his 2 interception game returning one 75 yards for a touchdown against Buffalo Bills. Also coached successfully at Wilcox for 7 years earning the schools 2 CCS championships.
  • Juju Chang, Class of 1983, journalist and broadcaster for ABC News.
  • Robert Royston, Class of 1988, Dancer, Choreographer, US Open Swing Dance Championship and World Country Dance Championship four consecutive years (1995 to 1998), 2006 USA Grand National Cabaret Champion and the 2006 US National Champion, as well as winning many NASDE Showcase Swing Titles with wife, Nicola. In 2007 he became the youngest person to be inducted to the UCWDC Hall of Fame. Producer and creator of the critically acclaimed show "SWANGO: The Musical". He also co-choreographed the play and starred as the lead dancer. Produced and choreographed a movie titled "Love n’ Dancing" (starring Amy Smart). He also choreographed Lakeshore Entertainments two feature films “Game” (starring Gerard Butler and Michael C. Hall) and “Crank 2” (Starring Jason Statham). Additional credits include performances on: The Today Show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The View, The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Nash Bridges, and the 2000 Tony awards (all performing his own choreography). Choreographed Taylor Swift's "Love Story" video.
  • Craig Dietrich, Class of 1998, Director of the Digital Humanities Studio program at the Claremont Colleges, noted for his work developing software for cultural heritage.
  • Amin Abraham Paul Nikfar, Class of 1999, World Class Shot put, represented Republic Iran, 2008, 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Men's Shot Put. Asian Indoor Champion 2004.[11]
  • Hugo Lujan, class of 2007, Professional Mixed Martial Artist (MMA) of Dragon house, Bellator MMA
  • Kyle Barraclough, Class of 2008, Relief Pitcher for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball.


  1. ^ "Schools in Santa Clara Unified School District - Santa Clara, CA - GreatSchools".
  2. ^ "Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2009-10-27.
  3. ^ "NCAA XC 1967 Men".
  4. ^ "NCAA XC 1968 Men".
  5. ^ "NCAA XC 1969 Men".
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Account Suspended".
  8. ^ Archived January 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^[dead link]
  10. ^ Archived December 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "結婚披露宴の費用や流れ". Archived from the original on 2007-10-17.[not in citation given]