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Honoring the Service of Paul De Bolt

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 11, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DeSAULNIER. Madam Speaker, I rise today to recognize the service of Paul DeBolt upon his retirement as an educator in Contra Costa County after forty years.

A West Contra Costa native and graduate of De Anza High School in Richmond, Paul attended Contra Costa College before transferring to San Diego State University, where he was a walk-on member of the Aztecs' basketball team. It was during this pursuit of his passion for basketball that Paul discovered another passion in journalism. He graduated with a degree in journalism in 1977 and earned a Master's Degree in mass communications from San Diego State in 1980.

After completing his education, Paul returned to Contra Costa College, teaching journalism and advising the student newspaper. In the classroom, he introduced Contra Costa's diverse student population to the basics of journalism. Through his tutelage and practical experience, students learned the value that quality, accurate reporting can have on communities across the country. Paul even counted among his students his own son David, who would eventually go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for his role in reporting on Oakland's Ghost Ship Fire.

In 1986, Paul started a women's basketball team at Contra Costa College. By the time he stepped down in 2016, he had led the Comets to 11 Bay Valley Conference titles, four visits to California's final eight, three trips to the final four, and two visits to the state championship. Following the state championship game in 2001, Paul was named the California Community College Women's Basketball Association Coach of the Year.

Paul's work in the classroom and on the court has impacted the lives of countless students and athletes at Contra Costa College. As he retires from Contra Costa College, we wish Paul well knowing that his legacy will continue to inspire all those who have known and worked with him.