Years before the recent success of women’s soccer at The Master’s College, a group of young ladies laid the foundation for what would become one of the college’s most exciting and competitive programs.
One of the pioneers of those early years was Heather Halstead, a graduate of Saugus High School and daughter of Dr. Tom Halstead. Four years later, she would be known for more than those two things, etching her name in the program’s record books and preparing the way for future Mustang squads.
Entering as a freshman in 1996 (the second year of the program’s existence), Halstead made a seamless transition to the college game, scoring 13 points on three goals and seven assists. A year later, she became the club’s primary offensive threat during a record-breaking, sophomore campaign. Booting in 12 goals and assisting on 13 others, Halstead tallied 37 points as the Mustangs won a program-record nine times (9-11). All of three of those marks were single-season records at the time and the assist total still stands at the top of the list.
The club struggled in 1998, going 4-16-1, but Halstead still shined offensively, scoring a team-best 19 points. She capped a sparkling career in 1999, pacing the Mustangs to an 8-12 finish. She left the field that fall as the program’s all-time scoring leader with 69 points on 29 assists, still the top mark in school history, and 20 goals.
After graduating from the college in 2000 with a degree in Political Studies, she spent a year volunteering at a Christian school in India. Seeing the great need of counseling and after the death of her mother the following year, she entered the MABC program at the college. The next three years of study, working at Grace Baptist Church, and involvement in ministry with college students served to confirm that God was calling her to return to India as a full-time missionary.
She did so under ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism), becoming the agency’s first and only missionary to India when she arrived in Calcutta in May of 2004. At the same time and unbeknownst to her, God was working in the heart of a young Indian man, Peter Malakar, whom she had met on an earlier trip.
Through much prayer and a desire to work together for the advancement of the Kingdom, the two were married in December of 2005 and moved to Delhi the following August. Following their arrival, God enabled them to begin a church plant, Capital Bible Church, that has grown in the depth of His Word and numbers over the years.
In addition, God moved the couple to start Passion Movement International, a non-profit organization that gives them and nearby university students opportunities to volunteer in serving poor slum families, some of those numbering up to 1000!
Heather and Peter have also been blessed with a son, Prakash, and a daughter, Joy. She calls them “joys to our family and also the work.”
The college basketball coaching fraternity is a special one, made up of men and women who have a great passion for the game and the players who participate. Rare, though, is the coach who uses his profession as a platform to share the gospel of Christ and bring glory to God over a significant period of time and win, too.
For 13 years, The Master’s College had that rarity in Bill Oates.
Arriving in 1993, Oates guided the Mustangs to unparalleled success at the regional and national levels, earning six regional Coach of the Year honors in the process. From 1994-2000, the Mustangs produced seven consecutive 20-win campaigns and made a like number of appearances at the NAIA National Tournament, highlighted by a pair of Elite Eight showings, while being a regular member of the NAIA Top Ten.
In that seven-year window, he posted a sparkling 181-59 (.754) record and completed his 13 years at the helm with a school-record 283 wins. Along the way, he coached six NAIA All-Americans, including former Laker Mike Penberthy. But, there was more to this man than just the time he spent as coach and athletic director at The Master’s College.
Before assuming the dual roles of athletic director and head coach at TMC, Oates had already coached a total of thirty seasons, including five at Santa Ana College (1970-75), seven at St. Mary’s College (1979-86), and five at Menlo College (1987-92). In his five-year run at Santa Ana, Oates led the Dons to a pair of first-place finishes and a 95-55 record. At St. Mary’s, he coached the Gaels to four winning seasons in conference play and the 1980 West Coast Conference title. During his stint at Menlo, the Oaks went 80-51, including a school-best mark of 21-7 in 1989-90.
Coaching success also came at the national and international levels. From 1974-79, Oates coached Athletes in Action (AIA) squads to an amazing 171-28 record. His AIA squads, one of the premier amateur teams in the world at the time, won the 1976 AAU Championship and the 1977 Western Hemisphere Championship. During those two years, Oates’ teams defeated some of the country’s elite college basketball programs, including three which reached the NCAA Final Four.
Following his 13th and final campaign (2005-06) at the college, Oates was hired as Director of Community Outreach at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills where he has worked for the past six years. At a time when other private schools in the Los Angeles area have experienced declining enrollment, Oates has worked not only to maintain but increase enrollment by over 350 additional students, making Alemany the largest private school in the San Fernando Valley.
In addition, Oates has worked side-by-side with Principal Frank Ferry and the school’s athletic directors to develop one of the most successful high school athletic programs in Southern California.
Possessing a rare and balanced approach to basketball and life, Oates has positively influenced thousands of people throughout his coaching career and beyond. Sharing in that legacy are his wife, Jean, and their children, Kelly, Deron, and Kortney.
The Oates’ family attends Northpark Community Church.
Typically, playing sub-.500 ball in a season won’t get a team anywhere, especially to the postseason, and is certainly no reason to celebrate.
But, such was not the case for Coach Mark Schubert and the 1990 men’s soccer team at The Master’s College which defied mediocrity and the odds to reach the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in school history.
The club did it with a less than sparkling 9-10-5 record but numbers can be deceiving and during this memorable campaign they were. A closer look at the regular season schedule, rated as the toughest in the NAIA by Soccer American magazine, reveals half of the Mustangs’ 20 matches were played against either NCAA Division I or II opponents and although they won only one of those contests (a 6-2 victory over Cal State San Bernardino) the level of competition prepared them for the postseason.
Earning the top seed in the NAIA District III playoffs, the Mustangs blasted Azusa Pacific 7-1 in a first-round game and then punched their ticket to the nationals, beating traditional national power Westmont in overtime to win the college’s first-ever district title.
All that did was earn the Mustangs a first-round national tournament matchup in Boca Raton, Florida, with defending national champion West Virginia Wesleyan. The Mustangs went toe-to-toe with the Bobcats for 90 minutes before settling for an exhausting 1-1 tie.
In their next pool play match the Mustangs easily handled William Carey of Mississippi 5-1 but that wasn’t good enough to advance them into the championship round and their Cinderella season came to an end. Meanwhile, West Virginia Wesleyan moved on and eventually successfully defended its title.
Special teams are made up of special players and there was no shortage of these on this squad. Headlining the group and leading the offensive attack was All-American forward and Hall of Fame member Chris Palm who capped a brilliant career with 51 points (20 goals, 11 assists).
But, the program’s all-time leading scorer wasn’t the only one supplying the offense as freshman Ezequiel Bongarra and senior Randy Whitfield combined for 64 points on 15 goals and a whopping 34 assists, many of those passes leading to Palm’s goals.
On the other end of the field, the Mustangs were in good hands as senior goalkeeper Allan Bowden, turning away shots right, left, and over his head, posted six shutouts.
Recognition for a remarkable season came in the form of post-season honors for a number of Mustangs including NAIA All-American kudos for Palm (2nd team), Whitfield (honorable mention), and Bowden (honorable mention).
Not much was known about a young man named Joclin Julmist from the Grand Bahamas when he enrolled at the college in the fall of 1995. The same wouldn’t be said five years later when he graduated.
After redshirting his first year due to a serious knee injury, the muscular power forward started to display a penchant for rebounding that all but a few observers of Mustang basketball had ever seen. His rise to become, arguably, the greatest rebounder in the history of the college started in 1996-97 when strong inside position and a ferocious pursuit for the missed shot pushed him to the best rebounding season (11rpg, 352 rebounds) at the college in 25 years as the Mustangs reached the NAIA National Tournament for the fourth consecutive year. Overlooked but not underappreciated were his quick hands and excellent timing that led to a school-record 84 steals.
A year later, he followed up that performance with an even stronger sophomore campaign (10.9rpg, 380 rebounds) that culminated in NAIA Honorable Mention All-American honors and the team’s fifth straight trip to the nationals. In two short seasons, he had developed into one of the dominant power forwards in the country and already stood ninth on the college’s all-time rebounding list. And, he had time to lead the squad in steals (76) once again.
In 1998-99, he elevated his game to a prolific level with another brilliant season on the boards, a major reason why the Mustangs advanced to the round of 16 at the NAIA National Tournament. His 464 rebounds (13.3rpg) led the NAIA and was the second-best mark at any collegiate level in the United States. On the way to repeat All-American accolades, he finished in the rebounding top five for the third consecutive season and led the team in rebounding an astounding 32 times, including a jaw-dropping, unforgettable 29-rebound effort against UC San Diego.
All of that led up to a memorable senior campaign that capped one of the finest careers in the history of the program. But, it didn’t start well for Julmist who broke his foot in training camp, costing him the first eight games of the season and, ultimately, a shot at the career rebounding record. However, when he did return, he did so with a vengeance, corralling every missed shot in sight once again and leading the Mustangs to a 28-6 record, a No. 9 national ranking, a seventh consecutive national tournament appearance, and an Elite Eight finish. He became the first three-time All-American in college history following his NAIA Third-Team selection and was the first-ever Mustang to win a statistical title, grabbing a nation-best 14.2 rebounds per game. He finished his stellar career as the third-best rebounder (1,565) in school history and the all-time steals leader (295).
Following graduation in the spring of 2000 with a degree in Liberal Studies, Julmist became a counselor at Sunshine Daycare and Legacy Christian Academy where he worked from 2001-07. During part of that time (2003-06), he was part of Coach Bill Oates’ men’s basketball staff and worked on his credential which he completed in the spring of 2007.
However, the greatest thrill of that period of his life was his marriage to Nikki Hover on the final day of 2002. That relationship has produced four wonderful children: Jayla, Jelissa, Jericho, and Jordyn.
After he completed his credential at TMC, Joclin and Nikki moved to Washington where he was hired at Mary Knight High School in Elma. For the past five years, he has taught physical education, health, history, and Current World Problems.
The Julmist family is currently worshiping at Calvary Chapel in Sequim.