Inducted March 5, 1988
John Garcia came to SMSU in 1941 from Durango, CO and was a Bear track standout from the time he was a freshman. He was a high point man for the Bears in a dual meet against Arkansas his freshman season, setting new school marks in the 100-yard dash (9.9 seconds) and the 220-yard dash (21.7). He was the Bears’ track captain against Arkansas his sophomore year and his high point efforts spearheaded the first SMSU dual win over the Razorbacks in many years. He remained the dominant athlete on the Bruin squad that year, earning the nickname “Colorado Cyclone.” After the 1942 season, Garcia joined the Army Air Corps and served two and a half years in Europe where he was a track participant. His coach was two-time United States Olympian and former Kansas and California coach Brutus Hamilton. Garcia was chosen track captain of the 2nd Bombardment Division which included all the B-24 Bomber groups in Europe and he excelled in a number of Army and inter-service meets throughout Western Europe. Following the war, Garcia returned to Springfield and SMSU his junior year. He missed much of his senior year of competition with a leg injury. At the time he graduated, he held five conference track records. Following his days at SMSU he became a coach and art teacher in Lawrence, KS.