Statement from LBCCD on the Tragic Passing of OCC Baseball Coach, John Altobelli

Press Release

The Long Beach Community College District Board of Trustees, Superintendent-President Reagan Romali, and the Long Beach City College campus community are deeply saddened by the news that one of the nine victims who died in Sunday’s helicopter accident in Calabasas was a member of the California Community Colleges family – Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli.

The following statement is from LBCCD Board of Trustees President Vivian Malauulu:

“Long Beach City College mourns the tragic loss of Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa. LBCC extends our deepest condolences to their family, as well as to the OCC campus community.

Some of us learned of the devastating news while attending the annual legislative conference of community colleges in Sacramento. Details of the helicopter crash that killed basketball great Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, had been discussed at length, but it wasn’t until the identity of one particular passenger was revealed that unmitigated shockwaves assaulted conference attendees. The grief throughout the conference was instant and palpable. It instantly worsened when two additional passengers were identified as his wife and his daughter. 

Coach Altobelli was a professional who dedicated his career to improving the lives of student-athletes in higher education. His achievements as a coach were remarkable and many community college baseball players owe their professional playing careers to his commitment to helping them get to the next level. As a community college educator, he was one of us, and we share the grief that our sister college is feeling.

Our entire college community – but especially our athletics department – is reeling by this devastating loss because we understand the sacrifices that Coach Altobelli has made for his program and his players. We send our gravest sympathies to his family and his team.”

In addition, please see the following statement from Long Beach City College: 
“The entire Long Beach City College family extends their deepest sympathies to the family, friends, and colleagues of Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, Keri, and Alyssa. We join our OCC colleagues in mourning and our thoughts and prayers are with the Altobelli family at this time.” 

About Long Beach City College
Long Beach City College consists of two campuses with an enrollment of over 25,000 students each semester and serves the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, and Avalon. LBCC promotes equitable student learning and achievement, academic excellence, and workforce development by delivering high quality educational programs and support services to our diverse communities. Visit for more information about Long Beach City College.

Stacey Toda
LBCC Associate Director
Communications & Community Engagement
(562) 938-4004