Football: Former Carson Coach Gene Vollnogle dies at 81
Vollnogle’s teams won 10 City Section championships in his 34 seasons of coaching. He won two City titles as a co-coach at Wilmington Banning from 1957-62 and eight at Carson from 1963-90, when he became the school’s first football coach. His overall record was 289-73-1.
“In the '70s and '80s, he was the guy,” former Carson Coach John Aguirre said.
At Carson, the Colts won titles in 1966, 1970, 1972, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990.
After retiring, Vollnogle served as an assistant coach at Los Alamitos in the 1990s and always made himself available to offer advice on his innovative offensive schemes that featured lots of passing.
“He was an incredible football mind,” Los Alamitos Coach John Barnes said. “He’d watch a film and get more out of it than 10 guys in the room. He’s truly a high school football coaching legend.”
Born on Sept. 30, 1930, in Los Angeles, Vollnogle attended Fremont High and Pepperdine.
Troy Starr, head coach at San Diego Helix, spent one season with Vollnogle as an assistant coach in 1987.
“It was one of my best decisions of my life,” Starr said. “He had such a passion from football. The biggest thing I learned from Gene Vollnogle was to keep working hard, keep getting up the next day and get at it. He was a humble guy. He played a lot of big games, lost some, won some. He had such humility.”
Funeral arrangements are pending. He is survived by his son, Gary; daughter, Teri; sister, Marilyn, and brother, Elmer.
-- Eric Sondheimer
Photo: Gene Vollnogle works with some players at Los Alamitos High in 1994. Credit: Los Angeles Times