Former Bolsa Grande football coach Jim Lamb, 58, who stayed positive in the face of struggles on the field and was beloved by his athletes, died Tuesday night of a heart attack, Matadors athletic director Scott Snyder said.
Lamb coached Bolsa Grande from 2002 through 2012 and teamed with Snyder as a physical education teacher at the school. Lamb coached the freshman football team this past fall.
“We was a fun-loving guy. Always kept people smiling,” Snyder said Thursday night. “He was always positive with kids.”
Bolsa Grande was coming off consecutive 0-10 football seasons when Lamb took the reins in 2002 after arriving from Hawthorne, where he coached football and boys volleyball.
The Matadors continued to struggle on the field but showed progress in 2006 by winning four games under Lamb, the most victories for the program since 1996. Lamb also led Bolsa Grande to four wins in 2008.
Lamb also coached boys and girls soccer, swimming and the throws in track and field.
Snyder said students were drawn to the popular coach. Lamb’s office at Bolsa Grande has been adored with photographs, flowers, a signed football from the freshman team and letters since his death.
The son of two teachers in Orange County, Lamb graduated from Fountain Valley High. He is survived by children Crystal, Jacob and Cody, according to Bolsa Grande.
Bolsa Grande has already been dealing with the death Coleton Mondy, 17, and Joshua Morales, 19, from a car accident May 25 in Silverado. Mondy was a Bolsa Grande baseball player and Morales had graduated from the Garden Grove League school.
Another Bolsa Grande student in the accident, senior softball player Unique Valdez, remains fighting for her life, Snyder said.
“It’s been tough,” Sndyer said. “(But) we have a great student-body. They’re strong-minded kids.”
A tree dedication for Lamb has been scheduled for June 12 in front of the athletic office at 8 a.m. Bolsa Grande’s graduation ceremony is June 14 at Garden Grove High.