Q&A: President Zingg’s love of sports


Chico State President Paul Zingg talks during an interview. Photo credit: Ryan Corrall

The Orion: How do you feel about our sports teams this year?

Zingg: I really enjoyed the men’s basketball team’s chemistry this year. They didn’t win it all but everyone on that team contributed, and they understand that concept. Men’s golf right now is as good as it gets, and our decathlon team is the best in the nation. We have all six of our spring teams able to go to the NCAA, all of them have a chance. I am impressed.

When did you become interested in baseball?

I grew up in New Jersey, and you either had to be a fan of the Yankees or choose between the Giants and Dodgers. My father took me to a game in 1955 between the Giants and Dodgers where the Giants won 20-6. Since then, I decided to be a fan of them.

What are your favorite sports?

I have three: baseball, basketball and golf. I played all three in college and played minor league baseball in North Carolina for one year. I also played semi-pro basketball in Virginia for a year. Now I just play golf.

What was it like playing baseball at the semi-pro level?

I didn’t get serious about playing; it was more for fun. My high school baseball coach convinced me to play minor league baseball. I didn’t really play until I told the coach to give me a chance as a pitcher. I threw 11 pitches and got two strikeouts and thought I was doing pretty well. After a few more weeks of not playing, they finally put me in again and I threw 12 pitches, but all of them were balls that weren’t even close to the plate. The relief came in with bases loaded and closed out the game, but technically I did throw a no-hitter. I also had one hit at one at-bat that barely made it into center field. So my batting average is 1.000.

What has been your favorite athletic program out of all the schools you have been president at?

My favorite is always the one I am at. Right now it is Chico State, but at Cal Luis Obispo it was them. I’m always loyal to the school that I am at.

Kenta McAfee can be reached at [email protected] or @KentaMcAfee on Twitter.