IM this article to a friend!

September 20, 2005

Lentz leaves a lively legacy

From: The Argus, CA - Sep 20, 2005

Longtime CSD football coach dies

By Steve R. Waterhouse, STAFF WRITER,
Inside Bay Area

THERE ARE coaches out there who really make a difference.

On Sunday night, the California School for the Deaf lost one of its own when longtime coach, mentor and friend Gil Lentz, 48, died in his sleep.

A family member said cause of death wasn't immediately known.

Lentz was the head football coach from 1987-2000, after having been part of the program in some capacity for the preceding nine years. After retiring from coaching football, he spent time helping out with boys basketball and track and field teams.

"Everybody is shocked," CSD athletic director Mark Burke said. "Nobody can believe it. When I came here three years ago, he was one of the first people I met. He welcomed me to the family. When you think of CSD, the first person who comes to mind is Gil."

Lentz graduated from CSD in 1975 when the campus was still in Berkeley. He went on to Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. After graduating, Lentz made his way back to CSD and became a counselor.

He is survived by his wife, Alyce, and sons, Ivan (Irvington graduate), Dane and Ryan (both Mission San Jose). When his sons played high school football, Lentz could be found handling the chains.

He was more than just a CSD coach, he was a respected member of the community.

About 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, during the weekly pep rally, there will be a dedication to Lentz. Another ceremony is planned before Saturday's 4 p.m. homecoming game against rival CSD of Riverside.

In September 2000, just before his final season, Lentz signed, "It's time for a change, time to move on. Twenty-three years in the business is long enough, but I know I will miss coaching, for sure."

He may have, but those of us who knew him saw a different side when he retired. Lentz became more laid back, and his smile got much bigger.

He continued to help the boys basketball program as an assistant to Oskar Schugg.from Sports 1

"He was in disbelief (Monday)," Burke said of Schugg. "He said he didn't know what to do without him on the sideline. ... They worked together so perfectly."

An avid Cal fan, Lentz went to Saturday's game against Illinois at Memorial Stadium. He even sent a text message to Burke — on the other side of the stadium that day — asking if Cal was overrated.

Burke didn't see the message until Monday. "I looked at it when I came into work and just stared at it," a somber Burke said.

In his 14 years as the head football coach, Lentz compiled a 46-74-1 record. CSD won the Bay Football League title in 1991 and got the automatic North Coast Section playoff berth. The Eagles also reached the NCS playoffs in 1992.

We knew Lentz for a number of years and thought he was a wonderful person. He enjoyed life, and a person couldn't help but be in a good mood when being around Lentz. He always made The Mustard feel welcome on the CSD campus.

The Mustard sends heartfelt condolences to the Lentz family, which should be very proud of what he had accomplished.

TAK UPDATE: It's finally done. Well, not quite, but it's playable and fans can attend the games.

That's right, Tak Fudenna Stadium — which underwent a nearly $5.8 million renovation — will host its first game Thursday when Mission San Jose takes on Yerba Buena at 7:30 p.m. That also means Friday's Amador Valley-Irvington game and the Balboa-Washington clash on Saturday will all be played at Tak.

The Mustard hasn't been pleased with the slow process at Tak, but now that it's nearly complete ... let's play some football.

INJURY UPDATE: The James Logan football team posted a 29-25 win over Skyline in non-league action Saturday. It was Logan's first win over Skyline since an 8-6 victory in 1986.

The victory came at a cost, however. Running back Joshua Neal suffered a separated shoulder and is out for Friday's game with Cardinal Newman. He'll be re-evaluated later in the week.

Players such as Rashad Evans (sophomore), Keagan Wethington and Taven Parker will have to bring up their games a notch to pick up the slack, coach Pete Quesinberry said.

The Mustard can be reached at or (510) 353-7024.

© 2005 ANG Newspapers