I always think of Sam Barry when USC plays at Cal, so it’s worth retelling this story.
If you ever attended at USC-Cal game at Berkeley, you experienced walking up the hill to Memorial Stadium.
On Sept. 23, 1950, Barry died of a heart attack while he walked up a hill west of Memorial Stadium. Barry was scouting the Santa Clara-California game for USC. He was an assistant football coach prior to the 1950 season but confined to scouting because of poor health.
When Barry collapsed, police sergeant Jack Fink held Barry on his lap as they raced to Cowell Memorial Hospital in a commandeered jeep. When they reached the hospital, Barry was pronounced dead.
More than 300 attended a mass at St. Vincent’s church on Figueroa St. and Adams Blvd. There were more than 70 honorary pallbearers. The actual pallbearers included Barry’s assistant baseball coach, Rod Dedeaux, athletic director Willis O. Hunter, assistant football coaches Ray George, Roy Baker and basketball coach Forrest Twogood.
Barry is one of only three coaches in college sports history to lead teams to the Final Four and College World Series. He also coached USC’s football, basketball and baseball teams at the same time. And he created the center stripe and 10-second rule in basketball.
Barry is also the only USC coach to adorn a Wheaties box.