Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Beach Boys' Mike Love says Coach Kampmann Inspired "Be True to Your School."

"I am certain that his influence on me has been a big part of why the band did so many performances"


January 28, 2017

Update: Coach Kampmann's Memorial is set for Feb. 4, 2017 at 11 am at University High School's Stivelman Theater.

Mike Love, lead singer of the Beach Boys, ran for Coach Richard Kampmann at Dorsey High School in the late 1950's. He wrote to The Observer, recalling Coach K:

What a great soul - our Coach Kampmann! I am 100% certain that his influence on me has been a big part of why the band did 172 performances in 2015 and 160 in 2016 and we are on track to do much the same in 2017.

"Coach Kampmann was the reason that my Dorsey High School buddy Craig Owens and I would get up early enough in the morning , do five miles in the Baldwin Hills before making breakfast, and getting ourselves to school. Dorsey was in the southern league of the Los Angeles city school system. I was blessed to have had him as my coach the year before I graduated in 1959," wrote Love.

"Coach K then went on to Uni - High in the Western League for the majority of his career, where he influenced so many as he did me. The Beach Boys wrote a song in 1963 called " Be True To Your School," which in no small way was influenced by our coach.

Coach Kampmann's influence cannot be quantified . He touched so many lives of so many of us as young guys of varying degrees of talent. Even if you weren't the greatest runner, he made you feel like you were an Olympian."

"He will be honored in heaven for sure. My heart is not sad as much as it is filled, with the warmth of the love and gratitude that I, like so many others, have for that man.

Peace and Love to you always Coach. Love Mike Love, Dorsey High School class of 1959.

"Across the country there are iconic teachers and legendary coaches, and our Coach Kampmann assured his place among that respected beloved prominent group over decades," wrote Chuck Levin, UniHi Class of 1965. "You came to realize on day one , at cross country orientation in the UniHi locker room, when Coach K spoke for 40 minutes about the sport, his philosophy about practice and training, and about improving every week as long as you challenge yourself. He encouraged everyone and he said that you could be any shape any size, tall and skinny, short and stocky and it didn't matter. Just come out to do your best everyday and you'd get better," said Coach."

"He not only taught you about devotion to running, he showed you how to be a respectful competitor, a patient gentleman, and a compassionate person. He was incredibly inspiring, always encouraging and taught patience and excellence. He loved coaching , he loved uni - high and he believed in his students," said Levin.


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