Legendary Pirate football head coach Dick Tucker dies; memorial service set for Sept. 15

Legendary Pirate football head coach Dick Tucker dies; memorial service set for Sept. 15

COSTA MESA -- Dick Tucker, Orange Coast College's most successful football coach who helped guide the Pirates to a pair of national championships in 1963 and 1975, died on July 26 at the age of 92.

Also, Dick's wife, Phillippa Tucker, also passed away on July 26 at the age of 90. The couple were married for 68 years.

Tucker, a member of OCC's Physical Education and Athletics Division staff for 33 years, led the Pirates to four conference titles and compiled a 129-102-5 record over his 24-year coaching career (1962-1985). In addition to his coaching responsibilities for the football and men's golf programs at OCC, Tucker was the school's Athletic Director for more than a decade.  

The 1963 OCC football team helped put the college on the global map as the Pirates rose from obscurity to go 10-0 and defeated Northwestern Oklahoma A&M, 21-0, in the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena in front of 44,044 fans to win the school's first-ever national championship. 

Tucker's 1975 team, one of the most dominant squads in all of California Community College football, rolled to an 11-0 record and defeated Rio Hondo in the Avocado Bowl to give the Pirates their second national title.

In addition to those two historic seasons, Tucker helped guide the Pirates to two more conference titles in 1971 and again in 1974 and hundreds of his former players went on to great success, both on and off the football field.

He was inducted into the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame in the 1990s, and into the California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in March of 2004. Tucker was then inducted into the OCC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007 as well as the California Community College Athletic Association's Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Before joining OCC's staff in 1962, Tucker was head coach at Brea-Olinda High for 11 years. He won eight league championships at Brea and two CIF titles.

In 2016, the LeBard Stadium field was renamed Dick Tucker Field, honoring the man who made such a difference to his players, his teams and to all he associated with at Orange Coast College.

"When I first heard about the honor, I was surprised beyond belief," Tucker said prior to the Sept. 17, 2016 home opener against Ventura. "It is such a nice gesture and I really appreciate all of the people who ran with this idea and made it possible. I put a lot of wonderful years into Orange Coast College and I wouldn't change a thing. Again, I am so appreciative of everyone who helped make this happen."

Dick and Phillippa are survived by their sons, Travis, Rhett and Clay.

A memorial service for Dick and Phillippa Tucker will be held on Saturday, September 15 at 5 p.m., in the OCC Fitness Center Gym (north end of football stadium near Monitor and Fairview) and befollowed immediately after by a reception on the Fitness Center Patio overlooking Dick Tucker Field. 

The Tucker Family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made for a scholarship established in memory of Coach Tucker.  Donations can be made payable to:


                        Orange Coast College Foundation (please indicate who gift is for)

                        2701 Fairview Road

                        Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Online gifts can be made HERE.