John Altobelli, the baseball head coach at Orange Coast College, his daughter and his wife were confirmed dead after a helicopter crashed in Calabasas Sunday.
Altobelli’s daughter was on Kobe Bryant’s basketball team, multiple sources have reported.
According to TMZ, who broke the story, Bryant, Altobelli and both of their daughters were among the nine who died in the crash the morning of Jan. 26.
“John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” said OCC Athletic Director Jason Kahler in a press release. “He truly personified what it meant to be a baseball coach. The passion he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes was second to none-he treated them like family.”
Altobelli became the school’s sixth head coach in 1992 and served as head coach at OCC for 24 seasons. He has won Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year five times and State Coach of the Year two times over the course of his coaching career.
A notable member of the Costa Mesa community, Altobelli took the Pirates to three state titles in 2009, 2014, and 2015.
Altobelli also picked up his 600th win as head coach of the Pirates in 2017.
Altobelli was chosen as American Baseball Coaches Association’s national coach of the year last year. He was scheduled to be honored in North Carolina in February.
According to Altobelli’s OCC Pirate Athletics bio: “His enthusiasm and knowledge of the game have helped him turn the Coast program into a perennial favorite to compete for the conference championship.”
This story will be updated.