Three longtime Long Beach State coaches who passed away recently will be remembered for advancing sports locally, nationally and internationally.
More than 300 family and friends gathered in July at Blair Field to honor former baseball coach and 1987 Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Robert “Bob” Wuesthoff who died July 12. He was 87.
His education and athletics career spanned 56 years including stints in high school, community college and at San Jose State before joining Long Beach State in 1964. While serving as the 49ers’ head coach from 1964 to 1969, his teams went 161-101-4 and won two conference titles. He also was an associate athletics director and interim director.
In addition, he and athletics director Fred Miller co-founded the popular summer 49er Camp for youths, which Wuesthoff directed for more than four decades.
Alumnus, former men’s water polo head coach and mathematics faculty member Ken Lindgren died Oct. 4 at 75.
He starred at Long Beach State as a player in 1959 and returned as head coach in 1975. Over the next 24 years he led the team to seven NCAA appearances, including a national runner-up finish in 1981. He returned to Long Beach State as interim women’s head coach in 2006.
For Olympic water polo, he was an assistant for the 1980 and 1984 USA men’s teams, an official for the 1996 Atlanta games and an assistant USA women’s coach for the 2000 Sydney games.
Lindgren was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1993 and was a 1991 Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame inductee. Additionally, he taught mathematics at the campus for more than three decades.
M. Joan Lyon, who helped coached tennis and swimming, died May 10 at age 84. As a professor of physical education, she taught kinesiology, exercise physiology and sports biomechanics at Long Beach State from 1958 to 1992 and co-authored the book, The Female Athlete. Outside the campus, she was known among local yacht clubs as an accomplished sailor and also was an avid skier.