Calvin Joseph Rossi March 14, 1924 - January 23, 2013 Former Visalia High School football coach, Calvin Joseph Rossi, passed away January 23, 2013 just two months shy of his 89th birthday. Cal grew up in Santa Barbara, attended UCLA and Harvard Business School for his Naval Officer's training. After a stellar football career at UCLA, Cal was the first round draft pick of the Washington Redskins. However, Cal declined this opportunity to play professional football to follow his heart into a career in education. His first teaching and coaching assignment landed him at Visalia High School. Visalia Union High School Pioneers of 1949 enthusiastically anticipated the coming of Cal Rossi to coach their football team. The previous year had proved a deep disappointment with many losses. Players returning in 1949 were determined to do better. Many felt strongly they had it in them to take the championship. They would not be disappointed. Cal delivered the guidance, and the 1949 team performed to win the CIF Championship of the San Joaquin Valley that year. Rossi brought UCLA's single wing offense to Visalia, which like most high school teams of the day had been accustomed to using the T-formation. This change provoked some controversy, but it withered after the first win over Exeter 40-7. The Pioneers followed this win by systematically defeating their opponents to go undefeated in league play, thereby earning the right to face Merced for the CIF Championship of the San Joaquin Valley. They won it 13-0. This was a crowning glory for the Pioneers and just the beginning of Cal's educational career that would inspire many people to strive for the best. With the Visalia team back on top, Cal moved on to accept his next teaching position with Redondo Beach High School. Cal went on to teach business and coach many young football players. His many years as an educator and advocate for teachers, students and education touched many peoples' lives. Cal eventually became an advocate for teachers' rights through his work with the California Teachers' Association. Cal met the love of his life, Alberta Casier, at Santa Barbara High and married in 1947. He was a loving husband to Alberta for 65 years. Their marriage was a love story filled with wonderful memories. Cal was a devoted father to his three children Randy Rossi, Rick Rossi and Roberta (Rossi) Pyne. He instilled the value of education into his children early in life and all three became educators. In 1971 Cal moved his family to Los Altos Hills, California where he continued working for CTA and his work focused on higher education. He retired from his position as Deputy Executive Director of CTA in 1984. In 1998, Cal was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding performance as a Bruin football player. Calvin is also survived by his daughters-in-law, Cristy Rossi and Debbie Rossi; his son-in-law Kevin Pyne; and adoring granddaughter, Chelsea Pyne. Private family gatherings will be held to remember Cal.
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Published in Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Adv-Register on Feb. 6, 2013