Former San Pedro cross-country coach Bruce Thomson dies

Bruce Thomson, left, was inducted into the San Pedro sports Hall of Fame. He died Tuesday. He was 61.
(Jamaal Street)

Bruce Thomson started out as a bookkeeper for a lumber business, then switched to teaching and coaching and became a legendary figure at San Pedro High and in the world of high school cross-country. He collapsed and died Tuesday while working out, his brother, Doug, said. Bruce Thomson was 61.

Born in Los Angeles, Thomson attended Hamilton High and UCLA. He was working as a bookkeeper when he got into coaching with the help of University coach Dick Kampmann and earned his teaching credential. He taught in junior high and coached at Hamilton until arriving at San Pedro in 1998. He’d guide the boys’ and girls’ teams to 15 City Section championships and was inducted into the San Pedro sports Hall of Fame.

He retired from teaching last year and was scheduled to become an assistant coach at Palisades. He was heavily involved in helping the City Section plan its cross-country and track championships.

“For the sport of cross-country, it’s a horrific loss,” said Vicky Lagos, the commissioner of the City Section. “He stayed in contact with all his ex-athletes. He’s synonymous with San Pedro cross-country and every single kid came back to say hello to Coach T. He touched so many lives.”


He is survived by his brother Doug and uncle Brad Brown.