Celebration of life held for renowned lifelong football coach

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A celebration of life was held last Saturday for Rick Loring White, who guided the infant athletics program at Christian High to a surprising CIF San Diego Section football championship in 1975.
White, 63, died after suffering a heart attack on Dec. 30, 2012.

“That was an era when Christian was a small, independent school trying to make a go of things when they first started,” said Greg Webster, who concurrently coached the Patriots boys basketball in the late 1970s. “And Rick always gave 100 percent to all his kids.”

A celebration of life was held last Saturday for Rick Loring White, who guided the infant athletics program at Christian High to a surprising CIF San Diego Section football championship in 1975.
White, 63, died after suffering a heart attack on Dec. 30, 2012.

“That was an era when Christian was a small, independent school trying to make a go of things when they first started,” said Greg Webster, who concurrently coached the Patriots boys basketball in the late 1970s. “And Rick always gave 100 percent to all his kids.”

In just its second season of play, the Patriots shocked the county by capturing the small-school division (then called Division 1A) championship after downing defending titlist Julian, 28-14, making White the youngest coach to capture a section crown.

A year later, the Patriots were back in the title game, but fell in the 1976 finale to Mountain Empire.
“Rick was always a motivator,” added Webster, who continues to work for Turning Point Ministries in the development department after serving as a teacher and instructor for Christian Unified Schools for many years. “But he was also deeply caring about his players’ salvation and connection to the Lord.”

Following White’s early success, Christian High briefly joined the Grossmont Conference in all sports, but the experiment lasted just a single season (1979-80) before the school switched to smaller leagues within the City Conference or other Division IV and V circuits in San Diego County .

Following his stint at Christian, White coached and taught football for more than 30 years at Valhalla, El Capitan and Granite Hills high schools before retiring in 2011.

“I was never very good in science, but Rick made biology fun and interesting,” said Ben Clevenger, who is currently an assistant softball coach at his alma mater at El Capitan. “Because of him, I got As in a course I usually got Cs in.”
White grew up in Pasadena , then went to Adams State College (Alamosa, Colo.) and San Diego State, earning a Master’s degree in education.

Along with football, White held a passion for the outdoors, including golfing and fishing outings from his La Mesa home to outposts such as the Sierra Nevada Mountains or Baja California , along with surfing at La Jolla Shores .

Nicknamed “Boompa,” White is survived by his wife of 39 years, Julie (Heacock), his daughter Megan, his son Casey, daughter-in-law Erin, grandson Moses.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to San Diego Rescue Mission.

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