John Altobelli, the longtime baseball coach at Orange Coast College, was killed along with his wife and daughter in the helicopter crash Sunday that also took the lives of Kobe Bryant and the retired NBA superstar’s daughter, Gianna.
Altobelli spent 27 seasons as coach at the community college in Costa Mesa, California. The team won a state championship last year and Altobelli was named a national coach of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. He led the team to more than 700 victories and four state titles.
“John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” said Orange Coast College Athletic Director Jason Kehler. “He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none – he treated them like family. Our deepest condolences go out to the Altobelli family during this time of tragedy.”