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Richard James Voris

Voris, Richard James "Coach," a U.S. Marine Corp veteran of World War II, joined our Lord, Jesus Christ, at 1:45 a.m. December 26, 2008. Coach was born January 25, 1922, and was a native of Santa Cruz, Calif., where he graduated from Santa Cruz High School. He attended Salinas Junior College and enlisted in the Marines for a four-year tour of duty in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he attended San Jose State College, and graduated in 1949. Coach was inducted into the San Jose State Hall of Fame in 1992. His first coaching position was at Hanford High School. He then coached at James Lick High School in San Jose, Calif. He was named the head football coach at Hartnell College, where he led the 1952 Hartnell Football Panthers to the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. In 1953, he led the Panthers to another undefeated season. In 1954, the Los Angeles Rams signed him to a coaching contract. Then came a move to West Point, N.Y., to coach Army football with Col. Red Blaike. The Green Bay Packers' head coach, Vince Lombardi, made him the personnel director and assistant coach with two World Championship teams. Coach Voris returned home and joined the San Francisco 49ers. He then went on to coach the Saint Louis Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Baltimore Colts, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He retired in 1981 to his "paradise" in Hernando Beach, Fla. He was the beloved husband of 62 years to Idelle; beloved father of Richard James Voris Jr., who joined our Lord December 26, 1967, Susan Voris-Christiansen, and Ronald Michael Voris; grandfather to four loving grandchildren, Cathryn, Candace, Jennifer, and Jeffery; and is also survived by his great-granddaughter, Ava; and his loving pup Dolly. There will be no services per his request.

Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on Jan. 11, 2009
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