G. Darwin Peavy (Memorial Scholarship)

G. Darwin Peavy (Memorial Scholarship)

G. Darwin Peavy is a “Who’s Who in Gymnastics” athlete and has a place in the memory of countless Salinas Junior College (SJC)/Hartnell alumni from 1937 through 1967. Many played one of the sports he coached; others knew him from seeing his tumbling exhibitions, seeing him on campus or around town, or as a police officer at special events.

Before coming to SJC, Peavy performed hand balancing in Vaudeville, graduated from Oregon State College and Stanford University (with an M.A.), coached Stanford’s gymnastics team for four years and coached gymnastics for the San Francisco Olympic Club. It was natural, then, that he formed an exhibition tumbling team, which performed at many USO’s, military camps, service clubs and schools from 1939-60. The team performed 50 times in 1943-44, and he was awarded a regional honor for his service.

In all of his years at the college, only two students earned a letter in gymnastics by Peavy’s special arrangement and donated time. One of these two is Roy Davis, who went on to captain the University of California gymnastics team in 1959 and competed in the NCAA at Penn State in rope climb and parallel bars. Davis then operated gymnastics clubs in the San Francisco Peninsula for almost 30 years.

Among Peavy’s outstanding tennis players was George Gossler (1947), who was nationally ranked while at the University of California. On his last championship team, Dan Sanchez was number one. Peavy said he chose players by challenge. If a player could beat him while Peavy played right handed, he was in the team. If the player could beat him while Peavy played left-handed, he could try out. Peavy’s tennis teams won the championship several times, starting with his first year and ending with his last, for which he was selected as Coach of the Year.

Among the hats he wore were, bookstore manager 1938-50, athletics director 1944-45, registrar 1937/1945, boxing coach for a championship team in 1939, football coach (5-9 record) 1943-45, basketball coach (13-5 record) 1943, track coach 1945, and baseball coach during WWII, playing catcher on his own team. He also founded and was advisor for what became the G. Darwin Peavy Flying Club, one of the largest college flying clubs in the country with four planes.

In private life, Peavy served as a Reserve Officer for the Salinas Police Department and was a Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. He roller skated (in coat and tie) from home to campus. When the administration admonished him for this unbecoming behavior, he rode one of his kid’s bicycles with one son on his shoulders and the other on the handle bars. When the Salinas Police Department auctioned off its motorcycles, he bought the second largest Harley and, at ‘5’3,” was dwarfed by the cycle, riding daily to Hartnell.

Peavy was inducted into the Hartnell College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013 for his amazing service as a coach.


The Darwin G Peavy Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the memory of G. Darwin Peavy and to support students success, with preference given to students who are interested in flying and who are prepared to pursue or continue flight training.