Former UCLA Soccer And Rugby Coach Dennis Storer Passes Away
Sept. 10, 2007
Former UCLA soccer and rugby head coach Dennis Storer passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Saturday, Sept. 8 after a battle with cancer. He was 75 years old.
Storer, who was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006, came to UCLA from Britain in 1966 and began an extraordinarily successful career as a UCLA faculty member as well as the head coach of the men's soccer and rugby programs.
In soccer, Storer was UCLA's first head coach at the NCAA level. He led his team to a remarkable 103-10-10 record from 1967-73. Although his teams did not field any scholarship players, the Bruins had three NCAA runner-up finishes, three West Coast Championships and five All Cal titles.
In rugby, Storer's teams compiled an outstanding 362-46-2 record against collegiate, major club and international teams during the period of 1966-82 and won three National Championships (1968, 1972, 1975). While at UCLA, Storer also served as U.S. National Team coach in rugby from 1976-82, and 14 of the first U.S. National Team players were Bruins. He was named the National Rugby Association's Coach of the Year in 1969.
Storer was widely recognized internationally as a coach and a great sportsman, as well as for his commitment to helping underprivileged youth. From 1968-82, he served as Director of UCLA's National Youth Sports Programs, and during 1982-84 he served as British Olympic Association Executive Director and Attache in USA for the L.A. Olympics. Storer was honored by Queen Elizabeth II with an OBE in 1994 for services in British/American Education, Sports and Commerce. He became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1999.
Storer, a former captain in the Royal Engineers of the British Army, was also well-known as a television commentator for both soccer and rugby, covering international rugby from England and World Cup soccer from Mexico.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy and his children Gareth, Anna-Kristina and Maria.
'There was no greater friend or supporter for U.S. Rugby than Dennis,' said former UCLA Rugby player Gordon Bosserman, who was introduced to the game by Storer. 'He was in on the ground floor. He was the first coach of the U.S. Eagles rugby team and stayed very active over the years. We've lost a great friend of United States Rugby, and we've lost a real legend.'
'Dennis was a very supportive man who was a mentor, a coach and a friend to all of us,' said former UCLA soccer player and current volunteer assistant coach Jose Lopez. 'He definitely was loved by many.'
Funeral services will take place at Pierce Brothers on 1218 Glendon in Westwood on Sept. 19 at 12 pm. There will also be a celebration of Storer's life planned on campus on the third week of November. Details will be posted on the UCLA Rugby page at bruinrugby.com and the UCLA Soccer page at uclabruins.com.