Former Dorsey High football coach Glenn Bell dies at 61

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Glenn Bell, a former high school football coach who guided Dorsey High to a city championship in the 1980s and taught for nearly 40 years at Southern California schools, died Monday at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center after suffering a heart attack. He was 61.

Monday was Bell's first day of retirement from teaching, said his brother, Ken.

Most recently, Bell had taught health and life skills at the Santee Education Complex in South Los Angeles. In 2005, he started the school's football program and also coached boys' and girls' tennis.

In 1982, Bell led Dorsey to the Los Angeles City Section 3-A championship. At Dorsey, he was one of the first coaches to enact a "C average/no fail" rule, instituting daily attendance checks and study hall.

"I want higher standards; average is unacceptable," Bell once said.

During his 35 years of coaching, he had overseen football programs at Manual Arts and Palisades high schools and also coached tennis and softball.

In the 1990s, Bell helped Camp Kilpatrick, L.A. County's juvenile detention facility in Malibu, transition from playing eight-man to 11-man football.

Last year, he received the California Interscholastic Federation Model Coach Award, given to coaches who are positive role models in their schools and communities.

"He's one of the finest coaches I've ever met," said Tina Tamura, Santee's athletic director. "He was a true mentor of young people."

Born Jan. 17, 1948, in Los Angeles, Bell attended Manual Arts, where he played football and was a student leader. He later played football at East Los Angeles College and Whittier College, where he earned his bachelor's in physical education in 1970.

Bell is survived by his wife, Sharon, of Pomona; two daughters; two brothers; a sister; and 12 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

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