Basketball Coach Bill Wagner Honored

Coach Bill Wagner and his former players - 2014

Coach Bill Wagner and his former players – 2014

Forty five years ago men’s basketball Coach Bill Wagner assembled the first of what would become three consecutive Avocado League basketball championships.

1967-68         1968-69        1969-70

On January 24, 2014, Coach Wagner was honored in a ceremony assembling his former players, former cheerleaders, and Pirate alumni who gathered at Wally Malifua Gymnasium on the Oceanside High School campus to honor the man who influenced thousands of students and athletes in Oceanside schools. The veteran Pirates celebrated the unveiling of three new championship banners and showed thanks to their alma mater and coach.

Those in attendence included Coach Wagner and his wife, Ruth
1968 League MVP Steve Waddell
1970 League MVP Tom Waddell
NFL first round draft picks Willie Buchanon and Bill Sandifer
All League guards Alan Ruden and Michael Swayne
All American 7 foot high jumper Jerry Culp
Defensive player Criss Beimer (along with his  Senior Olympian parents. Mr. Beimer was coach at Jefferson Jr. High and Oceanside’s best ever free throw shooter)
Steve Stendahl, Albert Wright, Jeff Shimanoff, Roger Phillips, Dr. Russell Holmes
Former OHS Cheerleaders Laurie Nelson Boone, Georgie Nelson Gipner, Lorraine Elmore, Janet Rivette
Current OHS Athletic Director Dave Barrett
2014 OHS Cheerleaders
(Present in spirit but sadly absent was the late 1969 MVP Jim McCargo whom we lost to heart disease last year.  Jim was one of the driving forces in getting this event in motion.)

It was a once in a lifetime event to share the memory of victorious basketball seasons with the coach who was instrumental in Oceanside High athletics success for decades.

Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate!

(Our special thanks to Dr. Russell Holmes for his contribution to this article)