Feb. 3, 2006
Austin, TX - Courtesy Los Angeles Times...
Pete Yoder, who was the second head football coach at Cal State Fullerton from 1972 to 1974, died Monday of brain cancer in Austin, Texas. He was 65.
Yoder coached under John McKay at USC, won championships as the coach at two high schools and played in the most-watched prep playoff game in state history,
Yoder, who lived in Georgetown, Texas, retired seven years ago from the Tustin Unified School District. He had been, among other things, a vice principal in charge of discipline at Santa Ana Foothill High.
But football was his legacy. He coached running backs for McKay at USC -- known as Tailback U -- in 1970 and '71, then was head coach at Fullerton from 1972 to '74, compiling a record of 18-15. He left to become head coach at Anaheim Esperanza High in 1975. He went 99-35-6 before leaving in 1986.
Yoder won a Southern Section Central Conference title with Esperanza in 1979.
A quarterback, Yoder played for Downey in the 1956 major-division championship against Anaheim, a 13-13 tie at the Coliseum before 41,383, still a record for the largest crowd in the state for a playoff game.
He graduated from Long Beach State and was an assistant at Long Beach Poly before going to Pasadena's Blair, a school he led to the 1969 4-A title behind running backs James McAlister and Kermit Johnson, players who would go on to play in the National Football League.
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte; son, Tom; daughters, Kathy and Laura; and grandchildren.