Memorial service for El Cerrito High coach George Austin set for July 8


A memorial service for longtime El Cerrito High football coach and teacher George Austin has been scheduled for Saturday, July 8.

The service will take place at 1 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church, 2839 May Rd. in El Sobrante.

Daughter Adrienne Austin said the family has been “a bit overwhelmed” by the outpouring of love from the El Cerrito High School community.

“Overwhelmed, but not surprised because he was so dedicated,” she said.

Austin died early Wednesday, June 28. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the coach had complained about having to “go back to surgery for the 3rd time in three weeks.” His cause of death wasn’t immediately known.

He was a coach, athletic director and teacher over the course of about three decades. Starting in 1988, Austin taught a variety of subjects including English, Mathematics, World History, and advanced placement American Government.

Todd Groves, former trustee for the West Contra Costa Unified School District Board of Education, called Austin a “father to the entire community.”

Groves was one of countless current and former students, colleagues, community leaders and members who have posted tributes on social media since Austin’s death. He was described as “absolutely one of the most caring and laid back teachers,” as a “village uncle” who would “check you and love you all at the same time.”

“He would fight for us, he would take on the administrators,” a former student said.

Raised in Ohio, Coach Austin took over the head coaching role at El Cerrito High last season following the departure of Kenny Kahn and led the team to an 8-4 record and NCS playoffs appearance. He had planned to hand the head coaching role this season to defensive coordinator Jacob Rincon, according to the East Bay Times.