Former Long Beach State track and field and cross country head coach Ralph Lindeman passed away at the age of 70, the school announced Monday morning.
Lindeman came to LBSU in 1985 and served as the track and field head coach until 1989. He would also become LBSU’s cross country coach from 1987-88. During his tenure, Lindeman led The Beach to three top-three finishes and had 17 individual Big West champions.
“His friendship, guidance, and positive influence over the years has been a driving force for me, translating into every accomplishment I have achieved leading this program these past 33 years,” current director of track and field and former coach Andy Sythe said. “The impact he has had in my life is profound. I am so very grateful to him on so many levels and this loss truly hits me in the core of my soul.”
After leaving Long Beach in 1989, Lindeman quickly found a new job as head coach of track and field at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. In his 33 years at the Air Force Academy, Lindeman led The Falcons to nine Mountain West titles and won Conference Coach of the Year 18 times.
Just last week, Lindeman took home Conference Coach of the Year and once again led the Air Force Academy to a conference title.
“Prayers for the Lindeman family,” current Air Force jumper Jalan Rivers tweeted. “We’re going to finish this year off strong for you coach.”
Lindeman is survived by his wife, Cindy, his son, Brian, his daughter, Jennifer, and six grandchildren.