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Remembering Mr. Loren L. Lansberry

U. S. Marine
Teacher - Coach
Carlmont High School Faculty Member 1956 - 1988

2002 San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame

LOREN LANSBERRY July 27, 1928 - November 17, 2005
Coach Loren Lansberry dies - The Legend Goes On

Mr. Lansberry had a distinguished 32 year career coaching Carlmont High School (Belmont, CA) track and cross country teams. Those students who were fortunate to know Coach Lansberry, learned more than athletics from him. They learned to dance, run hills, to climb mountains, and develop leadership skills. More importantly, being on his teams, created devotion, loyalty, team work, discipline and top performances. Loren was born in Oregon City, Oregon. He attended Seward H.S., Seward, Alaska, in his senior year, then went on to the University of Alaska and San Jose State where he also participated in a Marine Officers Training Program. While in Alaska, he was a Brakeman on the Alaska Railroad, in the Forest Service, and a commercial fisherman. Loren will be fondly remembered and deeply missed by family, friends, and former students. He is survived by his devoted wife of 55 years, Barbara, loving children, Mark, Cynthia Frank, son-in-law, Pharaoh Frank, daughter Teri Simas, son-in-law, Ken Simas. A celebration of Loren's life will be held next year.
Published in the San Mateo County Times on 12/3/2005.

Mr. Lansberry was a TEACHER first, and a coach second. His mountaineering PE classes were very popular, demanding, and appealed to a wide range of students. Mr. Lansberry defined what a track program should look like. He built Carlmont into a track powerhouse that lasted for years. His dedication and oft times single mindedness set the standard for track in the NCS, and then the CCS. - Terry Stogner

In addition to coaching and teaching PE, Loren was also a teacher in the Carlmont Social Studies Department. His coaching philosophy came from his background as a U. S. Marine and he was a spokesperson for the “No pain, no gain” style of coaching. He also initiated mountaineering and rock climbing classes at Carlmont. Do you remember the rocks glued on the walls of the gym? Insurance was always an issue and he eventually had to give up the program, One of his climbers Ron Kauk, a nephew of Bob Kauk, came to be recognized as one of the best climbers in the world. - Dr. Bob Hunter

And who can forget Mr. Lansberry’s ballroom dancing class!!! - George Metropulos, Class of 1974

I thought it was funny when during ballroom dancing class, after playing various classical pieces, Mr. Lansberry put on "Like a Virgin" by Madonna to teach us the cha-cha.  I thought that was very open-minded of him! ~ Katie Glasspool, Class of '88

What I can remember about coach Lansberry was his ability to evaluate talent, to see something in you, you don't see in yourself. I remember when he told me that I should run the 440-yard dash and the mile relay. I was so upset because I thought I was a 100-yard dash man. He knew that I could best help the team by running those events. My relay team went on to be undefeated that year. The man was stern, but honest and fair. -- Semper Fi Coach Lansberry - James Simmons , Class of 1985, Former Marine Sergeant

Never have I ever had a person that could bring out the best in me like Coach Lansberry. Thank you and you will always be my favorite coach.- Dave McHuron class of '61.

Semper Fi. From one Marine to another. - Gene Bailard, Ph.D., San Carlos, California, Carlmont Scots '63

Coach Lansberry had a deep and lasting and positive impact on hundreds, perhaps thousands, of young men and women who grew up on the mid-Peninsula. I learned something valuable from Coach: To succeed, you don't have to be the best; you just have to contribute to the team the best you can and help the team succeed. I was never one of the fastest, but when running for Coach Lansberry I always felt like a winner. -- On behalf of everybody who ran, climbed, danced and learned under the eye of Coach Loren Lansberry - thank you. - Clint O'Conner, Cross-country and track, '72-'76

As a transfer student from Seattle in 1959, I was overwhelmed by my new school, new state and new home. The most familiar thing to me was running track..this was the same circle and challenges.

Coach Lansberry welcomed an experienced hurdler to his team and made me feel like I belonged. He also made me work harder than I had before, as competition was stonger in California as well. I ran hurdles for Loren for the three years I was at Carlmont, usually the second best hurdler in NCS, the first was always a teammate, Jim Goerke, Al Rockwell, and my still great friend, Bob Sawyer. I left Carlmont for college and then spent a few years in the service. The determination that Coach Lansberry instilled in me, probably saved mine and a number of my soldiers lives in combat… Of all the peole I have met and owe thanks too, I am most sorry never to have had the occaision to tell Loren Lansberry his impact on me. However, I think he knew… Ron Tredway-Class of 1962 Coach Lansberry encouraged my talents and made me feel that I could always improve. His patience and guidance on the 1970 Scots track team will always be fondly remembered by the over 100 students that were on that team--including his son Mark. It was a great time, and Coach Lansberry had much to do with that. - Jerry Griffin, Class of 1970

How can I forget Coach Landsberry.  Two words:  Hill Run. 

Looking back 20 years, I'd never have guessed that those greuling runs through the hills in Belmont would start me on a sport that lasted this far in my life.  I'm an avid runner thanks to Coach Landsberry. - Lawrence Turner

Wow, My freshman year was spent recovering from first period PE with Mr. Lansbury.  "Run the Hills", "The Grinder", and various loop descriptions were all synonomous with 1st period PE.  I was always late for 2nd period math with Mr. Usher, (another great guy).  I guess they can discuss that in detail now.  So what they taught us was never give up, keep trying and push push push.  To this day I am a reborn runner and think of that freshman year with fond memories of running in the rain and mud, showing up late for math class and of course falling asleep each night at 7:00.  That experience also taught me a valuable lesson, join the swim team! - Dan Bobay, Class of 73

Mr. Lansberry was as instrumental to Carlmont Track & Field as he was to me individually.  Sure his "no pain, no gain" gave us the stamina and skills to crush our opponents, but it was his ability to convey the importance of persistence and teaming that brought out the best in all of us.  We were kids and needed the hard impact straight talk from Mr. Lansberry that I now look back on and realize helped shape my life.  A hard Marine mountaineering exterior with an understanding and caring interior...ah, how sweet it was to be on the Carlmont Track & Field team with Mr. Lansburry. - Bill Wright, Class of '80

Coach Lansberry was certainly inspirational during my days of Cross Country and Track and Field.  He will surely be missed. - Paul  Dempster ’72, Pole Vault

My PE Teacher in my Sophomore and Junior years at Carlmont, 1977 and 1978.  A very good man indeed.  God Bless Him. - Dennis Brown, Carlmont High School, Class of 1979

I had the fortune of being in Mr. Lansberry's Mountaineering II, which was comprised of the more experienced climbers/hikers.  What a tremendous man - back as a 16/17 year old, we thought he was corny and old fashioned, but as I became an adult I realized what he taught was wisdom and values.  How I wish I could tell him now what an honor it was to have learned from him.

I'd like to take this opportunity to add to his legend.  In June of our senior year, our Mountaineering II class took a final backpacking trip to the Sierras.  Our class was split into two groups, with each heading to a different mountain summit as the goal; these peaks were several miles apart.  Mr. Lansberry set off on his own, telling us he'd try to keep an eye on us.  Neither group had a set itinerary nor set campsites - the only plan was to climb the mountain, and meet back at the bus three days later.  None of us slept in tents, since we packed light, and the weather was fine, so we slept in the open.  During this trip, I woke up early every morning at 6; I usually sat up in my sleeping bag, watched the sun rise and took in the fresh air, then waited to awaken the others at 8 AM so we could hike while the snow was firm.  After we climbed the peak and got back to the bus, Mr. Lansberry smiled at me and said, "Boy, you wake up very early, Emory.  We saw you contemplating."  How he tracked us, and watched our group that early, and without being seen, I'll never know.  He was a giant of a man. - Emory Fong, M.D., Class of 1975

Mr. Lansberry was by far the best PE teacher and coach Carlmont ever had. He taught his students (like me) to repect ourselves and our bodies. He was TOUGH but always, always, fair. He is a teacher I remember fondly even after all these years.

I was a high school Dweeb. A nerd was at least smart. I was a slow learner, too skinny, had thick glasses, poor posture "bad" heart, and low self esteem. Mr. Lansberry's PE classes required off campus runs. I discovered that I was very good at these runs. For me, they were stress relievers, self-esteem boosters, and my health improved.  Further, Mr. Lansberry once told me to try out for the Cross Country Track Team! (My MD told me no). I regret this to this day.

If we had more teachers like Mr. Lansberry in the schools, teaching his way we would not have an obesity and laziness problem with our young people. 

May you rest in peace, Mr. Lansberry. You were one of the best. God Bless. - Wendy Elise Crow (Richmond), Class of 1983

Wow, what a bummer! Mr. Lansbury was one of the kindest teachers that I had at Carlmont, and definitely gave me an appreciation for running!! Who can ever forget those torturous "HILL RUNS" every Tuesday and Thursday?? His "BALLROOM DANCING" was a total kick, and to this day, I still love Ballroom dancing!! He will be missed greatly, by former students, and future ones also - Trish Barringer-Beebe, Class of 1983

He was definitely my favorite coach. When he saw me running in one of his PE classes during my freshman year, he immediately pulled me out of regular PE and put me on the track team.  No pain, no gain was definitely his philosophy during track practice, and he showed me I could push myself farther than I thought was possible.  I believe that is what has stuck with me the most over the years, thanks coach!  - Chad Morrison class of ‘90

Mr. Lansberry was by far the best PE teacher and coach Carlmont ever had. He taught his students (like me) to repect ourselves and our bodies. He was TOUGH but always, always, fair. He is a teacher I remember fondly even after all these years.





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