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ASU Track and Field Remembers Ron Kamaka, Ralph Lindeman

Apr 19, 2022

TEMPE - Sun Devil Track and Field lost two of its best last month with the passing of Ralph Lindeman '73 (G' '76) and Ron Kamaka '85. Lindeman was a legendary coach in his 33rd year at Air Force at the time of his death, while Kamaka was the head coach of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. Both Sun Devils died March 6, 2022. 

Air Forces' memories of Ralph Lindeman
Lindeman's Air Force bio
Mt. SAC Announcement
Kamaka's Mt. SAC bio
Ralph Lindeman, the head coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy since 1989, passed away on Sunday, March 6, 2022. The highly-accomplished coach made historic headways at multiple universities. Lindeman graduated from ASU with a degree in physical education and a master's in exercise science. Lindeman coached at ASU, Arizona, and Long Beach State before becoming the men's track and field coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he coached his teams to multiple national victories during his 33 years there. He led the Academy to nine Mountain West titles and finished within the top-3 of the of the conference championship standings 32 times.
Lindeman was responsible for 42 Western Athletic Conference individual championship titles and 146 MW individual championship titles. He  produced two NCAA champions, including Callie Calhoun, who earned five Division II titles during her career, and Dana Pounds, who collected back-to-back titles in the javelin at the Division I level, while earning nine additional top-three finishes at the NCAA Championships and 77 All-America awards. For all his accomplishments, Lindeman earned eight Mountain West Indoor Coach of the Year awards and 15 total conference COTY nods. In 2018, Lindeman was on the coaching staff for Team USA men's track and field team that competed in the 2018 World Championships in Birmingham, England.
A Valley native, Lindeman graduated from Arizona State in 1973 and earned his master's in '76. After various coaching stops around Phoenix, Lindeman joined Len Miller's staff at ASU as the men's field coach, and in 1982 helped lead the team to the 1982 Pac-10 title.
Ron Kamaka, the head coach at Mt. SAC, passed away on March 6, 2022 due to Covid-related complications at 59 years old. While at Arizona State, Kamaka participated in the high jump and had a best of 2.22m/7-3.50 in 1984 for fourth all-time in program history­. Shortly after he graduated, he was paralyzed from the chest down after a body-surfing accident. Following his injury, Kamaka found a passion in coaching. Starting as a volunteer elementary school coach in California, he eventually worked his way up to coach at Cal State Fullerton for 12 years before joining Mt. SAC in 2008. He went on to takeover head coaching duties in 2013. Once Kamaka took over as Mt. SAC's head coach, he led his teams to three California Community College State Championships in 2015, 2016, and 2018. He was named the South Coast Conference All-Sports Men's Coach of the Year three separate times. Kamaka competed at ASU from 1983-85 and was a team captain his senior year.