Leo Evans Long
March 16, 1931 – March 9, 2020
Leo Evans Long was born on March 16, 1931 and passed away on March 9, 2020 and is under the care of Lambert Funeral Home.
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Leo Evans Long
March 16, 2021
I worked for Coach Long at his shoe store in the mall.
I remember a man with lots of patience, kind and trusting.
I knew him as a coach, as I went to Los Altos.
He always had a nice word.
Rest in peace coach and thank for a chance to work for you and get to know you in a different light.
Becky Baumbaugh-Troxell 81
March 16, 2021
Thank you Carla. Good to hear from you! We should catch up sometime. Take care cousin . . .
March 15, 2021
Uncle Leo, your physical presence on this earth will be missed. Heaven has gained an angel. I love you Uncle Leo. To Brian, Brent, Doug, David I'm saddened by the loss of your father, you're in my thoughts and prayers.
August 15, 2020
I attended the event dedicating the LAHS track in honor of Coach Long in 2008. I recall two stories from that day.
The first story is how during a dual meet at Los Altos, the opposing coach accused the LAHS track event starter (also the principal of LAHS) of having cheated by not declaring a false start in the 100 yard dash, wherein the LA runners finished 1st and 3rd. Coach Long appeased the accusing, rival coach by allowing a redo of the 100. Before the redo, he told his runners that the opposing coach had accused their principal of cheating and implored his runners to do even better in the redo. His runners indeed did that by sweeping 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in the redo.
The 2nd story was by a 60’s track athlete who was warming up for his event on the track when he tripped over a dog and scraped his hands and knees on the track. He had decided that he was done for the day and was heading to the locker room when Coach Long asked him what he was doing. He told his story and Coach replied that “the body doesn’t tell the mind what to do, the mind tells the body what to do”. That said, the athlete finished competing in the meet. Fast forward a few years and this young man is now in Army training at Ft. Lewis and has parachuted at night with 2 other soldiers into an icy slushy riverbank. Each time they try and make progress towards safety, they seem to slip further into the icy river. On the brink of giving up and letting the circumstances doom their fate, the LAHS athlete recalls the words from Coach Long and decides that he is not going to let his body tell his mind what to do. Suffice to say, the 3 continue to persevere and make it to safety.
Lastly, note that Coach passed away 3 months shy of the 50th anniversary of the storied LAHS State Track Championship. That team, under Coach Long’s tutelage, will always stand as an example to the importance of great leadership and inspiration.
Long live Coach Long and long live his Legend.
August 7, 2020
Leo Long who was my uncle and spoke at my mothers graveside services in Dos Palos, Ca. He remembers my mother who picked cotton in order to buy him his first shoes.
We were so proud of him in that he did so well in athletics and later years in life as a coach.
His nephew, Vincent Foster
June 16, 2020
I dearly loved this man,plain and simple.The inspiration and the excellent coaching I received from him while running varsity track at Los Altos high, along with the many talks that we shared will always be permiated in my heart. Going to state meet at UC Berkeley in 1970 with him as an alternate for the mile relay team was a greater added blessing.I loved all those guys.The gentle demeanor and wisdom Leo gave to all of us we will never forget.Be at peace,and rest my dear friend . Sincerely,Andrew(Andy Tammar.
June 4, 2020
Thanks Coach for your genuine concern for me and my family over the years. Your natural ability to inspire and motivate is legendary. Thanks for teaching me that each day is a wonderful gift and the value of persistence is so vital in life. I have so many cherished memories of Los Altos and you are in many of them. Your friendship and influence has always been powerful in my life. I am ever grateful.
May 5, 2020
I've known Coach Long since I was 12 years old. He had just moved back from Argentina, and bought a house at the opposite end of the street of where we grew-up, on Casita Way. Anyone who was around from 1969-1975, will remember that his 2nd oldest son, Brent, and I, were best friends during that time. We remain best friends to this day. Because of that relationship, I got to know Leo in a way that I wouldn't have otherwise. One of the greatest honors of my life, was when he asked me to be an usher at his wedding, when he and Nancy were married.
So, here is what I'll say about Coach Long..... His greatest achievement wasn't winning State in 1970, or coaching Adams and Overton to national records-2 years apart by the way. It wasn't even Rick Brown being the first person to win 2 individual events at the State Meet. Don't get me wrong. Leo played a HUGE role in their performances. They couldn't have done it without him.
But those guys were born with greatness. God blessed them with physical skills, that the rest of us could only dream about. You could see it, by the time they were 10 years old. It's not just Adams, Overton, and Brown. The list is long-Stoecker, Smart, Jakle, Hill, Schneider, Ruble, Owen, etc. etc.
In my mind, Leo's gift, was his willingness to work with guys who you were never going to hear about; guys who were 'OK,' average at best. He was a master at getting you to perform in ways, that you NEVER would have done on your own. In short, he believed in you, more than you believed in yourself. He instilled a mental toughness in every single one of us, which set the foundation for the rest of our lives.
I absolutely believe, that because of the time we spent with Leo; whether it was 4 years, or 50, we grew up to be better husbands, parents, siblings, etc. I have no doubt, that we all realize how fortunate we are to have had such a wonderful person, touch our lives.
Class of 1975
March 31, 2020
I had the privilege and honor of both having Coach Long as my Coach and my employer. He defiantly helped mold me into the person I am today. I think that one of his greatest testaments is the legacy he left for generations to come. Both my Son and Daughter ran track at Los Altos High School (2005-2013) and his presence and influence still live on! Some of the current coaching staff had the privilege of know coach Long and the others carry on his tradition.
Mike Wobber. Track & Cross Country 1972-1976
March 24, 2020
Dear Long family,
I was not even a runner when as a freshman in high school I heard that my classmate Mike Sanford, and my older classmates like my neighbor Chris Adams and my brother Bern's grade school running nemesis Rick Brown had just won the California State Track Championship for Los Altos High School. I only knew Coach Long as one of a number of impressionable regular P.E. coaches, and had no idea what accomplishments and accolades he had garnered leading up to that feat in 1970. I probably knew his son Brian Long better, from Spanish class and hanging out . Many of my classmates and close friends like Jeff Norton, Clayton Lockhart, Loren Israelson and Pete Zagar were a part of the program, and by the end of my sophomore year, I decided to quit the baseball team, for which I knew I had greater potential, just to be a part of the LAHS Track Team. I got to experience the inspirational pep talks and the team unity like never before. And I realized I would never letter due to the depth on the team. I even ran cross country for Leo Long and at his 2008 track dedication was able to tell him that I still run 150 miles a month (true now even) and actually ran in the Jr. College State Cross-Country Championships at age 37 - all because of his inspiration to me. I know that my brothers Bern and Bill also loved him and appreciated what he did to instill the importance of discipline, hard & honest work, and working as a team meant. Now hopefully, he, Jeff Norton, and Charlie Giddis are all together with our Maker. Peace and my gratitude to Leo Long and his beloved family. God bless dear Coach Long.
March 24, 2020
Coach Long was certainly a remarkable individual. Not only for the nationally ranked athletes he developed, nor the undefeated seasons and league/state championships won under his tutelage, truly an astounding record, but for his boundless enthusiasm and love of sport and competition. I remember him at his desk with several newspapers from around the country, comparing results of recent track meets with LAHS’s. We always won! Can you forget his singing the Sanford fight song in the locker room prior to duel meets? How about a drizzly Friday, setting the oval on fire to dry-out a soggy track in order prevent cancelling the meet? I am so pleased that the LAHS (I can’t use the new the name) Oval was named in his honor. For those of us who were in attendance at the ceremony, it was evident that Leo Long was more than a coach or teacher, he was a mentor and role model…I know he was for me. Rest in peace, Leo.
Mark Andersen ‘63
March 23, 2020
Dear Leo, this one is for you,
Your profound presents in my life has truly been an unforgettable
During our track years together at Los Altos High School your coaching abilities and insightful guidance carried me through four years of one of the most remarkable times in my life. You instilled in me an attitude of accomplishment that became a springboard for my entire life. Nothing seemed impossible.
Both Judy and I share an enduring gratefulness for all the delightful times we have spent together with you and Nancy in more recent years. Reminiscing, laughing and solving worldly issues always with the promise that we would get together soon again.
Our fond memories will serve us well as we continue to embrace our sweet Nance in friendship and compassion. Leo, we thank you for your most amazing life. You have truly been an inspiration to all of us who have been fortunate enough to have known you.
Love Bob and Judy Owen
March 23, 2020
Coach Long was a true gentleman and taskmaster. Always an encouraging word followed by "let's pick it up a notch " ! My Track and Cross Country days were some of my best times. He, along with my Father, helped me to become the Firefighter I am. Those hot days running the S - turns as he'd drive along with us in his VW bug, relentlessly getting us to do more than we ever thought we could. When he let us time Kilburn's dog Baron in the hundred with silk track shorts on, only to have Baron lift his leg on a hay bale at the end. I've always been thankful for knowing you Coach. Rest in Peace and may you keep the Angels winning their races now.
Paul Teschner. Track and Cross Country Class 0f 1973
March 22, 2020
Leo Long, Coach Long as I knew and called him with a lot of respect. I first met Coach Long when I went out for track in 1968 & wanted to be a weight-man. He took one look at me & said Teschner your a runner go & he was right. My first cross country race was at Alum Rock. Coach Long put me # 1 in line looked at me & said if your don't sprint the first 125 yards you will be trampled due to the course narrowing down to 3 feet wide. I sprinted and ended up with a metal in that race. Thanks Coach! Coach Long had a way with motivating the team before meets with his speeches and music. He always had a kind word to say and also installed that little extra in your mind to inspire you to do your best! Thank-you Coach Long & Rest-In-Peace!
Phil Teschner - LAHS Class of 1970
March 20, 2020
Leo taught me the shot put. During the season I was stuck on a distance and getting discouraged,I left practice early and was walking across the field on my way home. He yelled at me to go get changed and I went back out and got another three feet that day. I have had a lifetime of wonderful memories of Leo and that season. Bless him!
March 20, 2020
I went to Gunn HS, class of '73, and ran track (distances). Gunn & LA weren't in the same League, but I KNEW of Leo Long. His coaching and scouting of teams was legendary. I ended up coaching at Gunn and then Lynbrook and competed against Los Altos, his name was always mentioned. Met him once and was still in awe of him and loved hearing stories of him. Please, keep the stories coming.
March 19, 2020
Coach Long was an amazing man. He was kindhearted, honest and a master at motivating those that he coached. We probably all remember his psych meetings before big meets. The one that comes to mind was my Sophomore year in 1971 just before the Cupertino duel meet. All of the dope sheets had Los Altos going down to defeat for the first time in the history of the school. But coach had us so fired up prior to the meet. I remember Andy Tammar, all 5-6 of him, taking the batton on the anchor leg of the 440 relay and blowing by 6-4 Craig Conway on the home straight. It was an amazing sight. You could hear the air being let out of Cupertino's balloon as Tammar hit the tape first. I'm not sure how many PR's there were that day, but Los Altos rolled Cupertino.
March 19, 2020
Goodbye Dad. Thank you for raising me in the best possible way, in Argentina and in Los Altos. So many memories. Words cannot describe.
March 19, 2020
We were all touched by his greatness, his leadership, his caring and how he dignified us. We won our blue suits on the track. Coach won his in life!
One step done, another begun. May there be many miles ahead
Thanks for what you gave me coach, you made me a better person.
March 19, 2020
Leo was a groundbreaking coach and an even better human being. A truly great man who will never be forgotten by all the lives he touched. R.I.P Coach
March 19, 2020
Coach Long will always be a part of one of the most memorable moments in my life..winning the Calif. State Track and Field meet in 1970. I didn't realize it at the time but it really became a milestone for my transition into adult life in general. Thanks coach for your encouragement and life lessons. My condolences to the Long family.
LAHS Class of 1970
March 19, 2020
More than 60 years ago, a few well-chosen words of encouragement from Leo in a brief encounter in the halls of LAHS transformed me from a skinny, shy kid with no demonstrable athletic abilities (I was always the last to be chosen for teams, if chosen at all) to a skinny, shy kid whose success in running gave me the confidence I needed for the rest of my life. I’ve never forgotten that moment, for which I’ve been forever grateful. Happily, I was able to express my thanks to Leo during a visit with Robin Ruble to Leo’s home in Lincoln a little over a year ago, where I found him to be as full of life (and schemes) as ever. It was a real shock to learn of his death. I offer my condolences to Nancy and Brian, as well as the rest of his family.
March 18, 2020
Leo had a profound effect on my life as well as that of many of my friends as a high schooler. He was such an inspirational and devoted coach. He brought out the best in his athletes both physically and emotionally as representatives of the sport of track and field. We really believed in his mantra "explode into greatness". I saw him last at his daughter in law's funeral not long ago and he could still remember not only me, who he hadn't seen in decades, but also some of the training he had us do like bounding up the bleachers at the old Stanford Stadium. (For those who don't remember, there must have been 100 rows). Thanks Leo. You won't be forgotten
March 14, 2020
Leo was what everyone that came in contact with him aspired to be like. Even students that did not have him as a coach or teacher knew who Leo Long was when I attended Los Altos High School. May you RIP Leo. You will be missed by so many, many people.
March 14, 2020
Leo always conducted himself with grace, composure, and he exemplified the utmost in sportsmanship and the true spirit of what it meant to be a competitor. He rarely had to accept defeat yet did so with class and dignity. His mere presence commanded respect in the manner with which he commanded these qualities.
His inspirational stories were really parables not only intended to inspire but also intended to teach respect, humility, and the value of dedication, perseverance, and discipline.
He always spoke highly of even the least likely to succeed, carefully checked the ego of the most talented, and tapped into the potential greatness of everyone who knew him. He was slow to anger and quick to encourage and celebrate even the slightest achievement for the individual as well as the team.
Leo was a leader in all sense of the word and and a perfect example what leadership means. Leadership rarely witnessed then and non existent now.
May your spirit continue on in all you inspired to greatness Leo !
March 13, 2020
Brian, your Father was an inspiration to so many. And you are so right that he reveled in bringing out the best in people. He inspired some world class athletes of their time. But, he also inspired those of us who were too slow to be at the front of the pack or too small to heave a shot putt or throw a discus any significant distance. But, he inspired us to work hard and always do our best. Your Father honored some of us by recognizing us a "scholar athletes," and teaching us that Track and Field is a team sport and that every point counts. I have been lucky to have worked with Judge Randy Schneider and Kelly Walker, who remember your Father lovingly. I know that if Jeff Norton were alive today he would join in the chorus in singing your father's praise. Thank you for sharing your father with us all.
March 13, 2020
My first coach and a lifetime inspiration.
March 12, 2020
Greatest father and coach ever. We played golf together nearly every week for the last 18 years. He had a passion for building up others and competing at all levels, from Track and Field to Scrabble to putting contests at his home where he consistently showed us how to putt a ball to a chair leg. He was one of the greatest story tellers ever and also a kind and understanding grandpa and great grandpa. He will be missed by not only his 50+ grands and greats but also by the thousands of athletes and friends from Los Altos to Argentina.
March 12, 2020
When I gather pen and paper and write a list of the top 5 people who really had an influence in my life, other than my dad, Leo would be right there. He was more than a coach. He was a mentor, an inspiration and a friend. Long after high school we would talk about the “good old days” and what they meant to our lives.
As our coach Leo helped all of us love ourselves, our teammates, our school, our country and our God. But the glue behind the LAHS Track success was Leo’s love for us.
In life we are shaped by people. Our character is shaped by our parents. But when it came to competing in life it really started on the track team for most of us. Los Altos was the place and Leo was the man. He showed us how to compete in the world.
The dedication of the track in Leo’s honor was special. I told him “this monument gives you a taste of permanence, a bit of immortality. And in future years when people come and read this plaque they will say in their minds – Leo Evans Long – he was the best there ever was.”
Coach, I love you and I’ll see your later.
Charles (Chuck) Smart
March 11, 2020
"Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God."
Leo Evans Long is loved in Heaven as he is on Earth
March 11, 2020
Awesome man, awesome coach! He will be missed. Helped me get into Stanford with a fantastic recommendation letter.
Chuck Sherman Jr
March 10, 2020
Never had Coach Long as a Track Coach but had him in Physical Education while attending Los Altos High School. Always have had a lot of respect from him and his accomplishments over the years. He was a straight shooter and always full of energy.
Rest In Peace Leo.