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