By Mary O’KEEFE and Eli LOCKE
“It was a sad day,” said a Crescenta Valley High School student of the mood at the school after word
began to spread that beloved Falcons football coach Gordon “Gordy” Warnock had passed away.
Students and teachers were in tears as they remembered the coach who had been part of the CV High School campus since 1967. But it was the football team that took the hardest hit.
“He loved his boys, every single one of them,” said Bob Fletcher, football booster club president.
Warnock had coached football at several levels from freshman to varsity including several stints as head coach.
The coach graduated in 1953 from Stanford University and served in the U.S. Navy from 1953 to 1958. He returned to college at San Jose State and was a graduate assistant until 1960. Before coming to CVHS he was a varsity assistant at Long Beach Poly, assistant coach at El Rancho High and Valencia High. From 1986 to 1995 he coached at Pasadena City College. Then he returned to CVHS.
In a ceremony for the inaugural CV High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 when three of his players were inducted, Warnock at 79 years old said he was going to coach “as long as they will have me.”
He was still coaching but had indicated that he may retire
after this year, Fletcher said.
“He wanted to stay until these seniors had [graduated],” he added.
Warnock had missed Friday’s game against St. Francis; he had surgery to implant a pacemaker. One of the players had taped his wrist and wrote the coach’s initials on the tape to keep him in the game, Fletcher said.
This afternoon, after football practice the players gathered for an impromptu memorial. They joked about their coach and remembered his mentoring.
“He was an old school [coach]. Tough as nails but at every varsity banquet when he talked about his boys he would [choke up],” Fletcher said.
“I remember my first season. [Coach Warnock] said he expected great things from me. I will never forget that,” said Tyler Martinez, a senior and football player.
During that 2008 ceremony Warnock summed up his feelings about being a member of the school staff. “When you work for the betterment of young people with such a great staff, it doesn’t seem like work at all.”