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The Original Gaucho Heart: Phil Womble


A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Sir Winston Churchill

He is known as Mr. Gaucho. The University has three awards named after him. He’s been a fan of the Gauchos for over 41 years. He was inducted into the UCSB Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

His autobiography, "Never Give Up,” was a required reading by the late Dr. Walter Capps, a former UCSB professor and Santa Barbara area congressman.

He’s had cerebral palsy since birth.

There is no single person who defines Gaucho Heart more than Phil Womble. Living to be 80 years old, Womble was always a consistent presence on the sidelines and in the hearts of Gaucho fans, staff and the thousands of men and women he has met who have worn the blue and gold. 

From everyone here at UCSB Athletics, our sincerest condolences go out to Phil Womble's family, friends, fans, and the entire Gaucho community. Phil Womble passed away Monday, January 23rd, 2017. Forever in our hearts and always rooting for the Gauchos in spirit, thank you John Philip Womble III. 

Learn more about the uplifting story of this amazing man.



In Memory of John Philip Womble III, Sept. 4, 1936 - Jan. 23, 2017