East County Sports

Hall of Fame Griffin coach Jordan dies

Grossmont head coach DAVE JORDAN following a win during the 2005 championship season.



By Nick Pellegrino

Special to EastCountySports.com

BLOSSOM VALLEY (9-1-2018) – DAVE JORDAN, a member of the California Community College Hall of Fame and one of the most successful coaches in the 56-year history of the Grossmont College athletics department, was found dead, along with his wife, Jean, in their home on Friday (Aug. 31) in an apparent murder-suicide, the county Medical Examiner’s Office said.

Both were 82. The medical examiner said officials found a revolver in Jean Jordan’s hand.

Dave Jordan guided the Griffins to a pair of California state football championships, which remarkably were captured 31 years apart.

Jordan was enshrined into the California Community Colleges Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in March 2012.

Jordan with a plaque indication his enshrinement into California State Community College Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

In 1974, he guided a Grossmont squad led by quarterback JOE ROTH to a victory over Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa) in the title game held at Aztec Bowl.

Then in 2005 in his final season as head coach, Jordan’s troops took down No. 1 ranked City College of San Francisco, 41-38,  at Grizzlies Stadium in Fresno.

The victory capped a run of four consecutive postseason wins en route to the title.

The Griffins first downed Glendale in the Southern California Bowl, 42-10, outlasted top-seeded El Camino, 52-43 in the semifinals, then stopped College of the Canyons, 24-19, for the Southland crown.

After defeating CCSF for the state crown, Jordan was selected a National Coach of the Year.

Grossmont was also ranked No. 1 in the nation by publications and wire services, while Street & Smith tabbed the G-House as the 2006 preseason top-ranked program.

The previous best national ranking for the Griffins was at No. 3 in 1974 and 2003.

The squad’s 13-1 record equaled the school record for wins in a season (2003), with the win over CCSF giving the Griffins a record eight postseason wins over a three-year period.

Not too bad of a way for Jordan to close his coaching career. He continued to be an instructor at the Grossmont campus, too.

Historic start

Jordan attended Compton Junior College in the “glory years” when the Tartars were consistently playing for the National Championship.

Jordan was the starting offensive guard in 1955 when Compton played in the Junior Rose Bowl in Pasadena versus Jones JC from Mississippi before 59,000 fans.

Mike and Dave Jordan.

Compton defeated Jones, and it was the largest crowd to ever see a JC football game.

He eventually transferred to Whittier College and played for two historic coaches, Don Coryell and George Allen.

After graduating, he began his teaching and coaching career at Chowchilla High School, first as an assistant and the second year as the head coach, turning their program around.

His final stop in coaching high school football was at St. Johns. He had winning programs at all of the high schools where he coached.

In 1970, he helped establish the new program at CSU Fullerton as an assistant coach to Dick Coury. Jordan also earned his Masters Degree from CSU Los Angeles that year.

In 1971, Jordan became head coach at Grossmont College, which started his career of community college coaching success.

In 1974, Grossmont went undefeated en route to capturing the state championship and was ranked No. 3 nationally.

Jordan left coaching in 1978 and later returned in 1981 as an assistant.

He again took the reins of the program in 1990 and during the next 16 years, Grossmont compiled a tremendous record, posting three undefeated regular seasons and five seasons of only one loss.

Jordan has had many awards presented to him.

He has been the Conference Coach of the Year selection by his peers 8 times, 3 times California Community College Coach of the Year, and in his last year of coaching, 2005, was named National Coach of the Year.

The San Diego Press Club honored him in 2003 at the 31st Headliners Banquet for his College Sports Leadership.

One statistic that Jordan is particularly proud of is that of having 70-plus percent of his players continue on to 4-year colleges.

Jordan had been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for more than  30 years. He and Jean have four sons, Kenneth, Brent, Michael, and Dave Jr., and one daughter Dee Ann.

Michael Jordan took over as Grossmont head coach for the 2006 season following his father’s coaching retirement.

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