From the Brewster Whitecaps:
We are heartbroken and shocked to learn that our former head coach, John Altobelli along with his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa perished this morning in the helicopter crash that also claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter. John was our head coach in 2012-14, and his son JJ played for us too. JJ and his other daughter Alexis survive them. Our heartfelt condolences to his family.
Official Statement by Orange Coast College, where Mr. Altobelli served as head baseball coach:
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of Orange Coast College head baseball coach John Altobelli. He was a coach, a colleague, a mentor and a friend at OCC for 27 years.
“John meant so much to not only Orange Coast College, but to baseball,” says Coast Athletic Director Jason Kehler. “He truly personified what it means to be a baseball coach. The passion that he put into the game, but more importantly his athletes, was second to none - he treated them like family. Our deepest condolences go out to the Altobelli family during this time of tragedy.”
Altobelli led the Pirates to numerous conference and state championship titles, notching more than 700 wins during his career and four state championships. In 2019, he was honored by the American Baseball Coaches Association as an ABCA/Diamond National Coach of the Year, a testament to his incredible work ethic and passion for the game. “Coach Alto” was a mentor to his players, often playing a key role in positioning student athletes to obtain scholarships to play at the four-year level.
“We have lost a member of our OCC family, and our hearts are broken,” says OCC President Angelica Suarez. “Coach Altobelli was a giant on our campus - a beloved teacher, coach, colleague and friend. This is a tremendous loss for our campus community.”
Orange Coast College asks the media and the public to respect the privacy of John’s family and friends during this difficult time.