James Edwin “Coach Jim” Verdieck

James Edwin “Coach Jim” Verdieck

Birth
Colton, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Death 26 Oct 2001 (aged 82)
Escondido, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Redlands, San Bernardino County, California, USA
Plot Block 8- 8X
Memorial ID 58055598 · View Source
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Jim Verdieck, 82
legendary tennis coach, volunteer

Girls on the Poway High School tennis team knew him as the grandfatherly assistant coach prone to outbreaks of "Oh, boogers!" when he observed a critical mistake.
What many of them didn't know, or at least couldn't quite grasp, was that Jim Verdieck was a coaching legend with a record 921 wins during 38 years at the University of Redlands.
"A lot of what I do is because of him," said Evi Valles, who is in her 23rd season as the Titans' girls coach. "The kids might have been unaware of his accomplishments, but they benefited from working with him -- and they all loved him."
Mr. Verdieck, who began volunteering at Poway after retiring from a college coaching career marked by 35 conference and 15 national titles, died Friday at Pomerado Hospital in Poway. He was 82.
The cause of death was a heart attack, said daughter Debbie Macomber.
An all-around athlete at Colton High School, Mr. Verdieck lettered for three years in four sports. "Everything but tennis," recalled his wife, Frances, who introduced him to that sport when they were high-school sweethearts.
He went on to play football as a 5-foot-10, 175-pound center on the Stanford University team that beat Nebraska, 21-13, in the 1941 Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, he polished his tennis skills and knowledge of the game in winning an intramural title at Stanford.
But tennis didn't share equal time with football until he was hired to coach both sports at Redlands in 1946.
In six seasons as the Bulldogs' head football coach, he compiled a 36-19-3 record, going 10-0 in 1956, the only undefeated season in the school's history.
He continued for a few years as a freshman football coach and varsity assistant while creating a tennis dynasty that included four NCAA Division III titles and 11 NAIA titles at a school that didn't award athletic scholarships.
Among the schools his Bulldogs beat over the years: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and the University of Southern California.
"My whole philosophy is predicated upon if I find out why you lose, tomorrow we may be able to fix it," Mr. Verdieck told The San Diego Union-Tribune in 1996.
His extraordinary record at Redlands led to his appointment in 1973 as coach of the U.S. tennis team in the World University Games in Moscow. It also resulted in his induction into the NCAA, NAIA, Helms, University of Redlands and San Bernardino Valley College halls of fame.
After retiring from college coaching in 1984, Mr. Verdieck moved to Rancho Bernardo. In addition to assisting the girls team at Poway High, and later the boys team at Mt. Carmel High, he taught tennis privately and served on the board of the Professional Tennis Registry.
Three times a year, he would join PTR founder Dennis Van der Meer in coaching at the latter's tennis centers in Hilton Head Island, S.C., or Sweetbriar, Va.
"Coach Verdieck is so current with all his information he fulfills our needs for the most sophisticated coaching for the world's best players," Van der Meer said in 1996.
When he was coaching in college, Mr. Verdieck devised a detailed scoring system that tracks players' winners and errors, breaking them down to specific strokes.
Applying the system on the high school level, he encountered some resistance among the Poway girls.
"They don't always want to know they're making a lot of errors," Valles said. "Most responded, but they were nervous at first."
They often took delight in his "Oh, Boogers!" expressions and the way he stuck his gum to the top of the cap to save it for later. "Why waste a good piece of gum?" he asked.
Mr. Verdieck, a native of Colton, graduated in 1937 from Colton High, where his football number, 33, was retired in his honor.
He continued his multisport career at the two-year San Bernardino Valley College and twice earned all-Southern California honors as a football center.
His extra-point kicking established season and career records for SBVC that lasted until the early 1950s, when they were broken by future University of Redlands standout John Rushing.
After earning a football scholarship to Stanford, where he also played baseball, Mr. Verdieck went on to receive a master's degree in physical education.
During World War II, he became a decorated Marine transport pilot after entering the Navy flight program. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for rescuing wounded soldiers on an island in the Pacific under enemy fire.
Leaving the Marine Corps as a major in 1945, Mr. Verdieck returned to his Inland Empire roots and eventually began his career in coaching and teaching physical education at the University of Redlands.
In 1994, he was recognized by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports with its Distinguished Service Award.
Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Frances; daughters, Chris Sholes of Redlands and Debbie Macomber of Rancho Penasquitos; sons, Doug of Seattle and Randy of Laguna Niguel; sisters, Clara Madsen of Bakersfield and Arlene Watenpaugh of La Mesa; nine grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the University of Redlands chapel.


Find A Grave contributor Jennifer Neilson

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  • Created by: Barbara LeClaire
  • Added: 1 Sep 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 58055598
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for James Edwin “Coach Jim” Verdieck (9 Jun 1919–26 Oct 2001), Find A Grave Memorial no. 58055598, citing Hillside Memorial Park, Redlands, San Bernardino County, California, USA ; Maintained by Barbara LeClaire (contributor 46903377) .