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Boys' basketball: Long-time coach Yutaka Shimizu dies

June 11, 2012 |  9:13 am

Yutaka Shimizu, who has been coaching basketball for more than 50 years, died Sunday at a hospital in Lakewood of a lung ailment, St. John Bosco Coach Derrick Taylor said. He was 84.

Shimizu was head coach at Los Angeles Hamilton from 1959-81 and Granada Hills Kennedy from 1982-99. In recent years, he served as an assistant at Woodland Hills Taft under Taylor and St. John Bosco.

"He was just my friend," Taylor said. "He's the most underrated, great high school coach in our era. No one understood how good a coach and how brilliant a basketball mind he is. He was a central figure in the Taft success."

Funeral arrangements are pending.

— Eric Sondheimer