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Al Irwin

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NEWS
July 24, 2004
ROGER CARLSON If at some time someone were to say of you, "He was a complete gentleman and he changed the direction of my life," it would surely speak volumes to your worthiness. It's certainly something everyone would like to be able to claim. It's with that in mind that I find myself wondering how many times has someone said that about one of Newport Beach's great treasures, Al Irwin. Former Corona del Mar High Athlete of the Year Bill Leach and his wife, Julie, along with the Pacific Coast Triathlon field of 1,400, are presently in the process of adding their selves to the long list directed at Irwin in the form of a plaque to be presented to him Sunday morning at the Western Regional Triathlon Championships at Reef Point, the southernmost tip of Newport Beach on PCH. The engraving says it all: "To Al Irwin ... for a lifetime of dedication to inspiring young people."
NEWS
February 18, 2001
Tony Altobelli Al Irwin wakes up every morning at 5:30, hops on his bike, rides 10-plus miles a day, comes home and walks his two dogs four times a day, hits the YMCA pool three times a week and still finds time for other hobbies and pastimes. Did we mention he just turned 83 years old? Once a jock, always a jock. Irwin, who began his legacy on the football fields at Newport Harbor High in the 1930s and used his sports knowledge to coach the Sailors and Orange Coast College in the 40s and 50s, is still fit as a fiddle after all these years.
NEWS
September 9, 2001
Young Chang You would think the first guardian of lives in Newport Beach would be better documented. Jim Felton's history "Newport Beach: The First Century, 1888-1988," tells us his name was Frank Sharps. He was part of a Newport Beach pioneer family that arrived in Southern California via wagon in 1869. They moved to Newport in 1892 and sometime after that Sharps became the city's first lifeguard. His sister Ethel was the city's first telephone operator.
NEWS
December 6, 2003
DON CANTRELL Al Irwin, an outstanding athlete and coach for decades in the Newport Harbor area, has been named to receive the coveted Amos Alonzo Stagg Award for merit from the University of the Pacific Jan. 24 in Stockton. Only 43 other prominent athletic personalities have been honored over the years with the Stagg Award. The recipients chosen by Pacific officials are those who measure up to Stagg's notable examples of integrity, dedication, idealism and team spirit.
NEWS
October 20, 1999
The late Ralph Reed, Newport Harbor High's first athletic director and its first football coach, had fun with football from 1931-1937. His basic loves were basketball and track, but gridiron pressures kept his other coaching desires limited. His early day gang of gridders generally followed Reed's direction with ample respect and good will, but there were some who resented his style and manner of coaching. Some felt that early Newport grid teams were not loaded with the super talent that came along in the championship '42 season and it sometimes prompted Reed to inject some fanciful plays to fool rivals.
FEATURES
By Jessie Brunner | January 7, 2007
Al Irwin inadvertently began his work with the Newport Beach lifeguards as a 14-year-old fooling around with a friend on the beach. Hanging out near the Newport Pier with a lifeguard and fellow member of the Beach Rat Boys, a name his mother gave a large group of boys aged 2 to 16 who rarely left the shoreline, Irwin tagged along when his friend got called to a rescue. Hopping into a dory — a small, shallow boat — they rode out to the offshore gambling barge to pick up a larger boat before heading to the Santa Ana River jetty, where five young girls were caught in a riptide.
NEWS
November 26, 2001
Don Cantrell Rex Bell, a versatile early-day Newport Harbor High athlete who captured 12 CIF medals in swimming and diving, and later served as a walk-on diving coach for Estancia High, is the latest Daily Pilot Hall of Fame honoree. Bell and his older brother, Jack, were born in Pattonville, Texas, in the early 1930s before their father, the late Albert, moved them to the Tustin area in 1936, then Costa Mesa by the mid-40s. The brothers excelled in many sports as young boys, but it was tumbling and gymnastics that finally sparked them into a future career in diving and swimming.
NEWS
January 8, 2002
Don Cantrell One of the great defensive professional football players from the past 44 years is Gino Marchetti of the Colts and one of his high school coaches was Al Irwin, a former Newport Harbor High, Orange Coast College and UC Irvine coach. A one-time gridder under the famed Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg at College of the Pacific, Irwin had the opportunity to coach Marchetti at Antioch High School after World War II in Northern California. Marchetti remains one of the most powerful players Irwin ever coached.
NEWS
August 16, 2001
Don Cantrell The recent heatstroke death of NFL offensive lineman Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings prompted the memory bank to reflect back to one early September in 1948 when familiar heatwaves scorched Davidson Field at Harbor High. Most all players accepted the intense heat as part of the grind in football training and said little or nothing. But the new coach, Al Irwin, who had played on the same field in 1932-35, was well aware of the usual problems.
NEWS
September 5, 2003
DON CANTRELL This summer's intense heat has prompted a fond recall of September of 1948, when the new coach at Newport Harbor High, Al Irwin, stopped football practice one afternoon and waved his players off the field and into the stands. He chose an area heavily shadowed by eucalyptus trees and invited the sweating players to sit down and relax, which drew heavy sighs of relief. Irwin, a former local gridder himself in the early 1930s, understood the conditions and knew it was wise to cool his troops for an hour to avoid heat problems.
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SPORTS
By Steve Virgen | November 1, 2013
Family and friends of Al Irwin lined in up in front of the 95-year-old man who sat in a furniture chair in a brand new academic center named after him Wednesday afternoon at UC Irvine. They wanted to congratulate the legend, who was a great coach at UCI, as well as at Newport Harbor High, where he was also a standout athlete. As Irwin spoke gently to the media, while smiling and reminiscing of his past, the line in front of him grew. Irwin talked about the importance of athletics and of how it led to many opportunities in his life.
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FEATURES
By Jessie Brunner | January 7, 2007
Al Irwin inadvertently began his work with the Newport Beach lifeguards as a 14-year-old fooling around with a friend on the beach. Hanging out near the Newport Pier with a lifeguard and fellow member of the Beach Rat Boys, a name his mother gave a large group of boys aged 2 to 16 who rarely left the shoreline, Irwin tagged along when his friend got called to a rescue. Hopping into a dory — a small, shallow boat — they rode out to the offshore gambling barge to pick up a larger boat before heading to the Santa Ana River jetty, where five young girls were caught in a riptide.
NEWS
July 24, 2004
ROGER CARLSON If at some time someone were to say of you, "He was a complete gentleman and he changed the direction of my life," it would surely speak volumes to your worthiness. It's certainly something everyone would like to be able to claim. It's with that in mind that I find myself wondering how many times has someone said that about one of Newport Beach's great treasures, Al Irwin. Former Corona del Mar High Athlete of the Year Bill Leach and his wife, Julie, along with the Pacific Coast Triathlon field of 1,400, are presently in the process of adding their selves to the long list directed at Irwin in the form of a plaque to be presented to him Sunday morning at the Western Regional Triathlon Championships at Reef Point, the southernmost tip of Newport Beach on PCH. The engraving says it all: "To Al Irwin ... for a lifetime of dedication to inspiring young people."
NEWS
December 6, 2003
DON CANTRELL Al Irwin, an outstanding athlete and coach for decades in the Newport Harbor area, has been named to receive the coveted Amos Alonzo Stagg Award for merit from the University of the Pacific Jan. 24 in Stockton. Only 43 other prominent athletic personalities have been honored over the years with the Stagg Award. The recipients chosen by Pacific officials are those who measure up to Stagg's notable examples of integrity, dedication, idealism and team spirit.
NEWS
September 5, 2003
DON CANTRELL This summer's intense heat has prompted a fond recall of September of 1948, when the new coach at Newport Harbor High, Al Irwin, stopped football practice one afternoon and waved his players off the field and into the stands. He chose an area heavily shadowed by eucalyptus trees and invited the sweating players to sit down and relax, which drew heavy sighs of relief. Irwin, a former local gridder himself in the early 1930s, understood the conditions and knew it was wise to cool his troops for an hour to avoid heat problems.
NEWS
February 8, 2003
A fair share of happy birthday cards and gifts used to flow Coach Al Irwin's way down through the years at Newport Harbor High, Orange Coast College and UC Irvine. But when the grand mark of 85 arrives on Tuesday, Irwin has decided "that's enough." With amusement, he said, "At my age, I don't need any more gifts." It is fair to say that he never discouraged a big smile or a pat on the back. One of his main regrets years ago was that he wasn't born in Newport Beach, although he would spend most all his life in Newport Beach right on the ocean front.
NEWS
January 8, 2002
Don Cantrell One of the great defensive professional football players from the past 44 years is Gino Marchetti of the Colts and one of his high school coaches was Al Irwin, a former Newport Harbor High, Orange Coast College and UC Irvine coach. A one-time gridder under the famed Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg at College of the Pacific, Irwin had the opportunity to coach Marchetti at Antioch High School after World War II in Northern California. Marchetti remains one of the most powerful players Irwin ever coached.
NEWS
November 26, 2001
Don Cantrell Rex Bell, a versatile early-day Newport Harbor High athlete who captured 12 CIF medals in swimming and diving, and later served as a walk-on diving coach for Estancia High, is the latest Daily Pilot Hall of Fame honoree. Bell and his older brother, Jack, were born in Pattonville, Texas, in the early 1930s before their father, the late Albert, moved them to the Tustin area in 1936, then Costa Mesa by the mid-40s. The brothers excelled in many sports as young boys, but it was tumbling and gymnastics that finally sparked them into a future career in diving and swimming.
NEWS
September 9, 2001
Young Chang You would think the first guardian of lives in Newport Beach would be better documented. Jim Felton's history "Newport Beach: The First Century, 1888-1988," tells us his name was Frank Sharps. He was part of a Newport Beach pioneer family that arrived in Southern California via wagon in 1869. They moved to Newport in 1892 and sometime after that Sharps became the city's first lifeguard. His sister Ethel was the city's first telephone operator.
NEWS
August 16, 2001
Don Cantrell The recent heatstroke death of NFL offensive lineman Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings prompted the memory bank to reflect back to one early September in 1948 when familiar heatwaves scorched Davidson Field at Harbor High. Most all players accepted the intense heat as part of the grind in football training and said little or nothing. But the new coach, Al Irwin, who had played on the same field in 1932-35, was well aware of the usual problems.
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