Catching Up With: Bill Workman

February 25, 2001

Steve Virgen

There are no timeouts. There is no halftime nor pregame film to

have an idea of the future.

Bill Workman, a former football coach at Orange Coast College, says

his life is as busy as ever since retiring from his post three years ago.

Today, he must act quickly without much plan. His father's health and

his family's future depends on it.


He reacts with strength from an unwavering faith in God. And, he draws

wisdom from growing up in the mean streets of Bell, coaching athletes

numbering into the thousands and winning top honors at Whittier College,

Edison High and Coast.

"I'm dealing with an ailing 85-year-old father who lives in Wildemar

and wants to stay in his place," said Workman who travels to the town

near Lake Elsinore at least three times a week to care for his father's

needs, including real estate issues. "It's just like when you're a coach

or a football player, you have certain responsibilities and you take care

of it. You don't go home until all the planning is done. Otherwise,

you've cheated 75 players out of a chance to win. You can't do that. It's

the same thing. This is just my job right now."

Workman's father, Jack, has lived through two heart bypass surgeries.

He is now on the verge of going blind, while stricken with macular

degeneration, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. In December, he lost a

majority of his memory and sense of his state of being.

Workman has since drawn closer to his father. But, as his father, who

is a cowboy at heart, Workman puts aside his emotions mainly because he

must tend to Jack's business of land owned in Bell and Wildemar.

"There are a lot of things to take care of and he can't write a

check," Workman said. "I think it's safe to say that I've become a

businessman. I keep the books for his company. I'm pretty good at

divorcing myself from the emotion."

Workman, 59, lives in Fountain Valley with his wife, Sheri. They have

two daughters, Julie and Jana, and six grandchildren from Jana, four

girls and two boys.

Workman also teaches six hours of exercise and weight training classes

on Wednesdays at OCC.

He says he misses coaching football because he still maintains a

competitive spirit. But, he had to stop coaching because of back


In Workman's final two seasons, his mother died, he learned he had

prostate cancer, his father became ill and his back worsened to the point

that there were threats he would never walk again. He lost 41 pounds

before doctors forced surgery.

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