Former El Camino coach and administrator Dave Shannon passes away at 75

Dave Shannon, right, sits with late Warriors football coach John Featherstone at the 2018 ECC Athletics Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy of Mark Nielsen)
Dave Shannon, right, sits with late Warriors football coach John Featherstone at the 2018 ECC Athletics Hall of Fame. (Photo courtesy of Mark Nielsen)

TORRANCE - Former El Camino College coach and administrator Dave Shannon passed away suddenly, Aug. 17, in San Diego. He was 75 years old.

Shannon was a member of the El Camino College athletics family for 31 years and was one of the most highly-decorated and esteemed coaches in Warriors' history.

"The news of Dave Shannon's sudden passing is hitting us hard today," ECC Athletic Director Jeff Miera said. "He was a staple of the Warriors' athletic fabric for more than three decades and his mark and presence is felt at El Camino to this day. He was a beloved member of our Warriors family and I send my thoughts to his loved ones. The world lost a great Warrior."

He began as an assistant coach for the Warriors' men's cross country in 1976. He served in the capacity until 1979 when he took over as head coach for the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams, a role he held until 1988.

As the men's and women's cross-country coach, Shannon's teams compiled 127 dual-meet wins and just 11 losses. The men's team took home consecutive state championships in 1983 and 1984 and Shannon was voted the California Community College Cross Country Coach of the Year in 1984. Overall, Shannon's teams won 10 Metropolitan Conference titles, four South Coast Conference titles and four Southern California Regional titles.



With the men's and women's track and field teams, Shannon led the women's team to state championships in 1979 and 1985. Overall, Shannon's track teams won three state titles, two Southern California Regional titles, 26 individual titles and nine relay titles. The women's team also set six National Junior College records during his tenure.

"Dave was one of the most distinguished and respected individuals in the California Community College Athletic Association," ECC Track and Field and Cross-Country Head Coach Dean Lofgren said. "He was admired by his army of student-athletes and colleagues for his professionalism as a great teacher, coach, and administrator and equally as much by his competitors – which truly speaks volumes for his character."

In 1988, Shannon was named the Assistant Athletics Director, a role he held until 1989 when he was promoted to Athletic Director. Shannon served as the AD from 1988-2007 while also serving as the Interim Dean of Health Sciences and Athletics from 1999-2000.

Shannon was named to the California Community College Cross-Country and Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame in 2004 and was inducted into the El Camino Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010.

Shannon resided in San Diego with his Labrador Duke and cat Mary Grace. His late wife Joanie, whom Shannon met while they both worked at El Camino College, passed away in 2014.

"He always seemed to have an upbeat attitude and was a man with a great sense of humor," Lofgren added. "In addition to all of his human friends, he was especially fond of his pets which WERE his family and we are all thankful they have found good homes. He rarely went anywhere where his dog couldn't come along as well.  While not by blood, Dave was a family member in our hearts whether we considered him the father, uncle, or brother we all wished for. In Dave's words, we are all better people for having had the opportunity to know him. His impact will always be remembered by the lifelong friends he brought together and his positive impact on so many lives. He will be dearly missed by so many."

(El Camino College Athletics)