Mira Costa loses a legend with passing of Bob Fish

Bob Fish: 1942-2012. Photo courtesy of Jeff Tong

Mira Costa High School lost a legend Sunday when longtime coach and athletic director Bob Fish passed away at the age of 70 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Fish’s booming voice and gruff persona was a staple at Mira Costa for 23 years where he served as cross country and track and field coach. He also was the school’s athletic director for 10 years.

Whether it was in Fisher Gym keeping student spectators in line during a volleyball match with rival Redondo or on the field yelling for his athletes to push themselves in a race, Fish’s voice needed no amplification. Although it was used more softly when he read the morning announcements on campus.

A resident of Yorba Linda, Fish resigned as athletic director in 2009 but returned to coach the Mustang’s boys cross country team the last two seasons. Even during his hiatus from the school, Fish could be seen attending many events in support of Mira Costa athletes.

Longtime head football coach Don Morrow benefitted from Fish’s experience, particularly this year when Morrow accepted the position of athletic director. 

“Bob was always there for the football program when we needed him,” Morrow said. “He helped me tremendously. He knew our kids well and would always check on their progress. He was a great champion of Mira Costa High School. He was a brilliant mind and was never afraid to voice his opinion. He will be greatly missed and was a true friend to Costa Athletics.”

Mira Costa alum and Palos Verdes High School distance running coach Jeff Atkinson knew Fish well. The cross country teams from both schools enjoyed a yearly training session together in Mammoth.

“He was a force of nature,” Atkinson said. “Blustery, passionate, loved to laugh and yell. He always spoke at length about every single kid at the end of year banquet. He knew they deserved it.”

Fish also served as an English teacher and counselor during his tenure at Mira Costa. To view a video presented for Fish by the 2012 senior class at the Mira Costa track and field banquet, visit http://mcxc.org/2012/11/18/for-coach-fish/.

Funeral services have yet to be announced.

Written by: Randy Angel

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