Former Loara Track Coach Cochran Dies

Bill Cochran, former track and field coach at Loara High, died of heart failure Wednesday at Irvine Medical Center, his son, Mike, said Thursday.

Cochran suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized Monday, said Mike Cochran, who coaches track and field at Katella. He was 76.

Cochran started his coaching career as an assistant at Western before taking over at Loara when the school opened in 1962. He coached until heart surgery forced him to retire in 1976. Among the athletes he coached were Dan Ripley, a one-time world-record holder in the pole vault, and distance runner Ralph Serna.

Memorial services will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at University United Methodist Church, 18422 Culver Drive, Irvine.


The Vigilantes have re-signed right-hander Mike Smith, the 1997 Western Baseball League pitcher of the year. He was 10-4 with a 2.95 earned-run average.

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