Former USC Player And Coach Bob Zuber Passes Away

July 16, 2008

LOS ANGELES -- Former USC baseball player and assistant coach Bob Zuber passed away last Thursday (July 10) at his home in Encino. He was 79.

Zuber was a member of USC's first national championship team in 1948 as a catcher. During the championship game against Yale (against first baseman and future President George H. Bush), he made the first out of a game-ending triple play that clinched the title for the Trojans. He led the Trojans in 1948 with a .407 batting average and was a three-time All-CIBA and Pacific Coast Conference selection (1948-50).

Born in Stockton, Calif., on Nov. 3, 1928, Zuber attended Washington High in Los Angeles and was a member of the 1944 city championship team. In 1946 as a high school All-American, he was chosen to play in the Hearst All-American Baseball Game at the Polo Grounds in New York City.

He earned his bachelor's degree from USC in 1950 and later earned his master's degree in 1952. He was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity while at USC.

He signed with the Chicago Cubs and played for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. He also played for Des Moines (Western League) and Visalia (California State League). After his playing career, he became a coach at Birmingham High in Van Nuys, Calif. from 1956 through 1964. Birmingham High won the league championship four straight years (1961-64) while winning the city championship in 1964.

He served as assistant coach at Pierce College in Woodland Hills (1965-66) before becoming head coach at Los Angeles City College (1967-73). Zuber registered a 198-60-1 overall record at L.A. City College and led the school to numerous conference championships. L.A. City College won the Western State Conference championship in 1968 and 1969 and the Southern California Conference championship in 1970, 1971 and 1973. The 1971 squad won the Southern California Junior College championship and finished as the state runner-up.

In 1974, he became assistant coach at Pepperdine as the Waves won the West Coast Conference championship.

He came back to USC to serve as assistant coach under Rod Dedeaux in 1975 and 1976. The 1975 squad went 42-14-1 and won the Pac-8 championship.

'Bob was a great Trojan and friend of our family,' said Justin Dedeaux, who was an assistant coach with Zuber during his two-year tenure. 'He was dear friends with Rod and my father always considered him one of his all-time greatest catchers. He had a wonderful baseball mind. We will really miss him.'

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Tollis (also a USC graduate); sons Bob (Patty), Rick (Christine) and Ron (Cathy) and seven grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held Saturday (July 19) at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Encino.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the Chordoma Foundation (PO Box 4562, Greensboro, NC, 27404-4562) or to the First Presbyterian Church of Encino's Youth Ministries.

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