Esper Keiser Jr.

Esper Keiser Jr.
Legendary coach remembered
as a kind, caring individual
by Pat Yarborough

Esper Hardy Keiser Jr., a prominent figure in athletic education in Claremont for four decades, died in his sleep on June 24, 2011 at his home on Balboa Island. ‘Coach’ Keiser was 74 years of age.
A ‘local’ from the beginning, Coach Keiser was born on February 1, 1937 to Esper Hardy Keiser and Christine Rodrigues Keiser in Pomona. His father was in the insurance business for many years.  He grew up and attended schools in Pomona—Emerson Junior High and Pomona High Schools. He was a member of the Pomona High School Class of 1954 and then graduated from La Verne College (now University of La Verne) in 1958.
Coach Keiser was influenced strongly by athletics and particularly by the people involved. He played football from junior high on through his high school and college years. He played for and learned from Coach Harold “Hoppy” Hopkins at Pomona High and the legendary Roland “Ort” Ortmayer at La Verne—and was then a colleague of Len Cohn at Claremont High School.
Coach Keiser was associated with Claremont High School from 1959 until his retirement in 1999 when he followed his dream of being near the ocean with his move to Balboa Island.
There were, of course, championships along the way, but what emerges most strongly is the kindness and caring of the man.
Coach Keiser is survived by his daughter, Laurie Keiser of Newport Beach; by his daughter and son-in-law Linda Keiser McWilliam and Duncan McWilliam of Mt. Mauganui, New Zealand, and by his former wife, Lois Brant of Hermosa Beach.
A celebration of Coach Keiser’s life will be held on Saturday, July 9 at 4 p.m. in the gymnasium at El Roble Junior High School, 655 N. Mountain Ave. in Claremont.
Memorial contributions in honor of Coach Keiser may be directed to the Be Perfect Foundation, 720 Indigo Ct., Pomona, CA 91767 or to the Claremont High School Associated Student Body/Weight Room, 1601 N. Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711.

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