John Altobelli

John Altobelli

January 26 is a dark day for the sports world, and an even darker day for the Orange Coast College community. It will signify the one year anniversary of the tragic helicopter crash that took nine lives, one of which was OCC’s longtime baseball coach John Altobelli. 

The school will hold a virtual memorial service Tuesday at 10 a.m. that will include various speakers reliving some of their memories with Coach Altobelli, and ensuring that those who didn’t know him will remember his lasting legacy.

“I hope people whose lives were touched by my brother and his family get a chance to see this tribute,” sports information director Tony Altobelli said.

A tribute at OCC would have been what likely occurred, but COVID-19 restrictions prevented in-person activities, according to OCC athletic director Jason Kehler.  

“With the pandemic and everything being shut down – that's the hard part,” Kehler said.“We would love to do something on the field, but the campus is closed.” 

Instead, OCC’s marketing team conceptualized the idea for a video tribute to pay homage to Altobelli on the anniversary of his untimely passing.

“It’s going to be a hard day, and even harder because we are not together,” Kehler said. “We wanted to make sure we were doing something.”

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