Ron Stillwell, who coached baseball at Thousand Oaks, Cal Lutheran and Moorpark College and was co-captain of USC’s national championship baseball team in 1961, died on Monday after a battle with cancer, his son, Rod, said. He was 76.
Stillwell was a teacher for 34 years at Thousand Oaks High.
Born Dec. 3, 1939, Stillwell was student body president at Burbank Burroughs, where he played baseball and basketball. He earned an academic scholarship to USC and became an all-Pac-8 shortstop. He was captain of the 1961 team that won a national championship.
One of his USC teammates was Mike Gillespie, the coach at UC Irvine who’d go on to win a national championship as baseball coach at USC.
“You’ll only find people who speak about him with superlatives,” Gillespie said. “He was a wonderful human being. He was a genuinely nice person. He was just an unselfish, positive, great teammate. He was a very good player. He was a really good coach. There was nothing not to like.”
Stillwell’s son, Kurt, was the second pick overall in the 1983 major league draft by the Cincinnati Reds.
He was a fixture in Ventura County coaching high school and college baseball.
He spent his retirement years in Lake Almanor, where he played golf and enjoyed fishing.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jan, sons Scott, Kurt and Rod, brother Randy and seven grandchildren.
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