Former Football Coach, AD Bill Sandstrom Passes At 77

Bill Sandstrom (1985 file photo).
Bill Sandstrom (1985 file photo).

Bill Sandstrom, who served Pasadena City College as athletic director, chair of the physical education division, and head football coach, passed away at 77. He died Saturday morning after a long illness at his home in Redlands. 

Sandstrom was P.E. AD/chair from June, 1974 to September, 1991. During his tenure as athletic director, PCC won three state titles in men's swimming (1976-1978) and two state titles in men's track and field (1978, 1984). The football program won five Metropolitan Conference titles, the 1977 JC Grid-Wire national championship, and it performed a successful 7-1 record in postseason bowl games. Thirteen members of the PCC Sports Hall of Fame from nine different sports attended the college during his time as AD.

After joining the PCC family as an assistant football coach in 1968, Sandstrom served three different stints as head football coach (1970-72, 1976, and 1985-86). His '72 Lancers were one of PCC's great sports teams. He directed Pasadena to the Metropolitan Conference title and JC Grid-Wire national regular season title with a sparkling 12-1 record. PCC went 10-0 in the regular season and won two state playoff games over West Los Angeles and Saddleback. The fairy tale season ended when Fresno City beat PCC, 21-7, in the Potato Bowl for the state championship. 

Overall his PCC head coaching record was 36-24 and 116 of his players earned 4-year university scholarships. Among players he coached were former NFL All-Pro receiver Anthony Miller (1985). His 1970-72 coaching run featured an impressive three consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus yard running backs in Sylvester Youngblood (1970 All-American), Albert Youngblood (1971 All-American) and Elvin Momon (1972 All-American, who went on to become a superintendent for the Victor Valley Union High School District). 

Sandstrom's players from 1971-72 broke then PCC passing, rushing, and receiving records. Current PCC head coach Tom Maher played for Sandstrom as a tight end and team captain on the '72 squad. From 1997 to 2004, Maher held the annual "Bill Sandstrom Scrimmage," a pre-season event and Sandstrom was a regular attendee who gave motivational speeches to the team.

Sandstrom is survived by his wife of 51 years Sidney and their six children. The Sandstroms were long-time residents in Big Bear. The family announced there will be a memorial held for him planned for mid-July.