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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Baseball

UPDATE: Former UH baseball player John Altobelli among dead in crash that killed Kobe Bryant


John Altobelli, 56, played two seasons with Houston in the 1980s and was the head coach at Orange County College for 24 years before his death Sunday near Los Angeles. | Courtesy of Orange County College Athletics

John Altobelli, 56, played two seasons with Houston in the 1980s and was the head coach at Orange County College for 24 years before his death Sunday near Los Angeles. | Courtesy of Orange Coast College Athletics

Update 6 p.m.: Altobelli’s wife, Keri, and daughter, Alyssa, were also killed in the accident, according to a statement from UH athletics.

Original: John Altobelli, a former Cougar who played two seasons at UH before graduating in 1987, was among those killed in the helicopter crash that left retired NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and six others dead on Sunday morning outside of Los Angeles, according to multiple reports.

Altobelli, 56, was the longest-tenured head coach in the history of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, after holding the post for over 24 years.

“Not only was he a great supporter of the UH program but he was a great friend,” head baseball coach Todd Whitting said to the Houston Chronicle. “He had such a zest for life and was a tremendous friend to all of us that were close to him.

He was named ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year in 2019 after leading his Pirates to a 39-9-1 season and the program’s seventh state title.

The crash, which occurred in the Calabasas suburb of Los Angeles, remains under investigation.

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