Gene Vollnogle — longtime Rossmoor resident and longtime Los Al HS assistant football coach — and incidentally, at one time the winningest high school football coach in California history (mainly at Banning and Carson) — passed away Thursday in his sleep at his Rossmoor home. He was 81.
Vollnogle won two Los Angeles City Championship as a co-coach at Banning from 19576-62, then won many more as the sole head coach at Carson… 1966, 1970, 1972, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1990. His overall record was 289-73-1. When he retired he was the winningest high school football coach in California, although others have since passed that record, including Vollnogle’s longtime friend, Griffin coach John Barnes.
He was an original homeowner in Rossmoor and got to know Barnes when Vollnogle’s son Gary attended Los Al HS. After retiring as a teacher and head coach in 1990, Gene couldn’t stay away from football and signed on to work part-time helping out the Griffin football program. Almost immediately after joining the program, which had been fairly successful for six years, the Griffins went to another level, winning three consecutive CIF championships and moving among the national powers for the next ten years.
He was mainly a Varsity assistant, but for a few seasons — including the time that John Barnes’ own son Jimmy was on the freshman squad — Vollnogle handled the freshman team.
After a second hip surgery Vollnogle finally retired for good around 2002.