Covich keeping quiet about SJS Hall of Fame induction

By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Always understated, Jug Covich would just as soon not have his name next to the stars and prominent figures he’ll join at Arco Arena Sunday night. But the Sac-Joaquin Section couldn’t help but give a nod to one of Placer High’s greatest athletic contributors when the inaugural Hall of Fame class was announced earlier this year. “Don’t tell anybody,” Covich said of his induction. It’s tough to overlook Covich’s contributions to not only Placer, but many schools in Placer County and across the section. Covich served as the president of the section from 1982 through ’86. A longtime principal at Placer, Covich has served as the commissioner of the Sierra Foothill League for many years. “I’ve always been involved and always enjoyed it,” Covich said. “I enjoyed every minute of it.” Covich is one of 12 administrators and benefactors who will be inducted at the sold-out banquet and ceremony Sunday. A star-studded list of 25 athletes will join him in the Hall, along with four officials, one media member and 13 coaches. Covich’s career at Placer began in 1950, but not before he served in the Air Force during World War II, then graduated from UC Berkeley. Covich’s coaching resume’ includes junior varsity football, golf, softball and basketball. He was also the starter at Placer track meets for half a decade. “I was never an outstanding coach,” Covich said. He wore many hats as an administrator at Placer, too. He was a counselor, the dean of boys, the vice principal and principal on the Hill. Covich saw athletic competition evolve through the addition of playoffs and postseason tournaments, which began in the early 1970s. “It started with basketball and we gradually expanded the playoff program,” Covich said. The Sac-Joaquin Section now offers playoffs in 19 different sports. Among the inductees Sunday night will be Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, who starred at Sacramento High and UC Berkeley before going on to a fabulous NBA career. Covich said he will enjoy seeing Johnson again after watching him throughout his playing career. Covich was also a Sacramento Dragon, where he was a football standout. But he said his best memories are of the Dragons’ crew team. “The real strong point at Sac High was the eight-man crew team,” Covich said. “We competed against teams from all over the Bay Area and we used to row on the Sacramento River. That was the sport that I really enjoyed the most.”