May 25, 2019
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John Behrens

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Photo Courtesy of Gena Strang-Behrens

John Behrens transferred to California State University, Fresno in the early 1970s to play for the Bulldogs football team under the leadership of Darryl Rogers.

As quarterback, Behrens said playing football gave him the drive to be a better student, as well as some unforgettable games.

“Probably the best game I played was my senior year against Western Michigan. I threw for over 350 yards,” he said.

Behrens graduated with a degree in physical education and went on to teach. He coached football for 22 years at San Joaquin Memorial High School, his alma mater, and then later at Bullard High School.

While he no longer coaches, Behrens remains in education as a speaker for Heald College.

Four years ago Behrens met his wife, Gena Strang-Behrens, in an encounter that he credits to Fresno State.

As an avid athlete and sports follower, Behrens recognized Gena at the golf course as a former, prominent Fresno State softball player. He approached her and mistook her for a different softball player she played with in college – an error they both laughed off.

A case of mistaken identity led to the discovery they shared a similar history with Fresno State as well as a passion for athletics.

“We walked in to the Bulldog Fight Song for our wedding reception,” Behrens said. “There were people there from Fresno State, like coach [Jim] Sweeney. We’re both die-hard Bulldogs.”

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