On November 7,
1983 Zeta Beta hosted an All-Greek dinner featuring USC president James H.
Zumberge. The meeting was designed to help leaders of the Greek community better
understand university affairs under the tutelage of the university president.
that same year ATO teamed with the Delta Gamma sorority to win the Songfest
Sweepstakes award. It won the Sweepstakes award again in 1989 when it teamed
with the Delta Delta Delta sorority. The success in the ‘80’s mirrored the
success enjoyed by the chapter since its founding in the 1950’s.
In 1984 ATO won the coveted Iron Man Trophy, awarded each year for athletic
excellence. In doing so, it became the only fraternity at USC ever to win all
three awards that make up the “Triple Crown.” They include the Iron Man
Trophy, Songfest Sweepstakes Award and President’s Award for Fraternity
Excellence. The ATO’s achieved
this feat within a two-year period!
In the 1980's, ATO established itself as an
athletic powerhouse . Led by Athletic Chair
Paul Desantis, Iron Man Superstar Davor
Fabulich and QB/ Tennis Champ Ron Chavers,
the Taus were runner-up for the coveted Iron
Man Trophy in 80'-81'.
Craig "The Assasin" Combs took over as
athletic chairman in 1981-82 with the mantra
"Iron Man Fever". Despite strong showings in
every major sport, ATO placed third that
year but Combs' legacy would endure as the
Taus had caught the "Iron Man Fever".
In 1982-83, Rick McGeagh took over as
Athletic Chairman. Now a house of over 100
members, ATO ranked at the top of every
sport and had a huge following of Bros and
Lil Sister's at every event. Britt " Luke
Skywalker" Rogers was the athlete of that
year leading the Taus to the finals in
football, basketball, soccer and track. It
came down to the final weekend, but the
inspired effort fell just short in a
runner-up performance for the trophy.
In 1983-84, the stage was set for a breakout
performance and the larger chapter had the
horses to do some damage on The Row. Troy
Linger took over as Athletic Chairman and
fueled the fever with the theme from "Rocky"
before every major event. A championship in
football in the Fall led by QB Jon Appleton
ignited the campaign. Ty Miller and Mike
Heller brought home the points in every
racquet sport. Steve "Tarzan " Klassen
brought home another Superstar award. Dan
Finnegan led the volleyball team to the
championship. Howard Doherty and Kurt James
led the Taus to the finals in basketball.
Once again it came down to the final weekend
with the ATO's and arch rival Kappa Sigs
battling for the cup. ATO rose to the
occasion and swept championships in Track
and Field and Softball to finally bring home
the Iron Man Trophy.
By the end of the decade, Kurt James, John
Gilchrist and others had led ATO to five
more Iron Man Championships in 1986, 1987,
1988, 1990 and 1991. This Iron Man dynasty
put ATO on the map as one of USC's top
1980’s the chapter was not only the perennial
“Iron Man” award winner, but also a house full of terrific athletes.
Several varsity athletes were active in Zeta Beta, including several members of
the baseball and golf teams.