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California State University, Long Beach
Alumni Association

John McConnell, Professor Emeritus, Physical Education (1953-1986), Baseball Coach (1954-1959), Associate Dean, School of Applied Arts and Sciences (1968-1986)

John McConnell's Portrait

When did you begin teaching for LBSC?

I began in the Fall semester 1953.

Describe your experience working as faculty/staff of LBSC.

I was very fortunate to be in the right place at the right time. Because of the rapid growth of the College I was able to advance professionally in a way that would be almost impossible today. I was hired to start the Baseball program in 1954 and subsequently held a variety of positions including Men's Physical Education Department Chair, Student Teaching Coordinator and finally associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the school of Applied Arts and Sciences.

Why did you decide to teach at LBSC?

We were in the process of completing the Doctoral program at the University of Iowa. Dr. Peterson, Long Beach State President came to the campus on a recruiting trip. He interviewed me on a cold, snowy February day. It was a very brief interview and he kept checking his watch. I felt that I had not made a very favorable impression but found out later that he had a taxi waiting so that he could get the last train to Chicago. After Commencement in August my wife and I packed our car with our belongings and set out with our sons ages 3 and 6 months for sunny California.

It was a matter of Long Beach selecting me for a position and for that I will be forever grateful.

What was one of your most memorable experiences while at LBSC??

I am unable to point to any one experience but the many friendships developed over 32 years stand out in my memory. I have been involved in numerous reunions with former Baseball and Football players. Since 1995 I have been meeting with a group of retired faculty once a month for breakfast.

Do you still stay connected with the university?

Yes, I serve on the Golden Graduates Committee. In addition, I am a member of the 49er Club Advisory Board and the Director's Circle. We have season tickets for all athletic events and attend Emeriti faculty luncheons.

What are you doing today?

Early in our retirement we traveled extensively. Highlights were trips to Hawaii and Alaska including the entire family, 12 in all. I have recently had a book published titled, Cooperstown by the Numbers: An Analysis of Baseball Hall of Fame Elections. My son contends I am the world's oldest first time author. I have been telling friends that the book is guaranteed as a cure for insomnia.

1954 LBSC First Baseball Team photo

Long Beach State's first baseball team in 1954 under Head Coach John McConnell, pictured in the far right of the second row.


Portrait of Coach John McConnell.

John McConnell as Head Coach for the LBSC Baseball Team.

John and Kathie sitting at table.

John and his wife, Kathie in attendance at one of many enjoyable university events.

John and Kenneth pose for picture.

John and Kenneth Barlett, fellow Emeritus Professor take a quick picture from this past 2010 Spring Emeriti Luncheon, which was hosted at the new Residential Learning College.

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