Louis “Luka” Cvijanovich Jr., 92, passed away on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, at home in Oxnard, California, surrounded by his loving family.
Louis was born on Sept. 7, 1926, in Jerome, Arizona, to his Yugoslavian immigrant parents, Luka and Anica Stelian Cvijanovich. He had four older siblings: Joe, Millie, Sam and Mary. He was an All-State Athlete at Jerome High School.
Louis served in the United States Navy from 1944-1946. He graduated in 1952 from Arizona State College, Tempe, Arizona.
Louis and his beloved wife, Martha Sue, then moved to Oxnard, where they established their family and he began his lifelong passion of teaching and coaching.
He started his career at Wilson Junior High School (1952-1956); then Haydock Junior High School (1956-1957); next at Camarillo High School (1957-1958) and finally at Santa Clara High School (1958-2001). Coach C instilled in his players a hard work ethic, a sense of community, the tenacity to persevere during difficult times and the importance of traditions.
His teams’ accomplishments ensured his many years of success as a coach. Whether he was coaching basketball, baseball or football; his teams won state championships, southern section championships, league championships, as well as, numerous city titles.
Coach C received many accolades, both locally and nationally, for his professional accomplishments. However, Coach C always credited his players first and foremost. He forever stated, “It’s not about me; it’s all about these kids and seeing them develop into men, winning and losing is secondary.”
One of his mottos throughout his career was Pressure + Poise + Pride = Success.
As a Serbian-Orthodox, Coach C received a rarity, the Apostolic Blessing from His Holiness, John Paul II, a truly overwhelming honor he said and called it another great moment in his life.
Coach C is survived by his wife of 70 years, Martha Sue Stanley; his eight children: Sam (Kathryn), Stefan (Suzy), Stan (Debbie), Stuart, Sue, Scott, Sherri and Stacey (Michelle); his seven grandchildren: Jasmine Grissom, Brandon Frazier, Samantha Cvijanovich-Martinez, Mikala Cvijanovich, Samuel Cvijanovich, Madison Cvijanovich and Bennett Cvijanovich; his four great-grandchildren: Justus Sampson, Emery Sampson, Winter Sampson and Jezel Garin; his sister in law, Betty Lou Young; his 10 nieces: Margaret Elvey, Sammie Lou Rothrock, Dorothy (Chuck Call) Galovich, Charlotte (Ken) Causey, Leslie MacDonald, Donna (Jim) DeFeece, Sandy Young, Diane (Tim) Milby, Susan (Keith) Yamasaki and Cyndi (Rich) Feydo; his seven nephews: Stanley (Charlene) Shavonis, Richard Williamson, Harry (Ginny) Williamson, Scott (Diana) Young, Bruce (Lydia) Young, Todd (Chello) Rothrock and Trevor Rothrock. He also leaves behind numerous grand nieces and nephews along with great-grand nieces and nephews.
Upon his passing, Papa Lou, as he was also known within the family, was greeted with open arms by his first grandson, Stefan Scott. Along with his parents, Louis joins Joe Cvijanovich, Millie and Lazo Galovich, Sam Cvijanovich, Mary and Howard “Mac” MacDonald, Robert Rothrock, William Clinton Stanley, Sarah Hunter Stanley, Michael and Helen Shavonis, Ruth and Forest “Smokey” Williamson, Donald Young and Sonee Frazier.
There was a public viewing of Louis Cvijanovich, Jr., held on Nov. 30, 2018, at Reardon Funeral Home in Oxnard. Santa Clara High School will host Coach C’s Celebration of Life on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Coach requested for donations be made to the Coach C Scholarship Fund at Santa Clara High School, 2121 S. Saviers Road, Oxnard, CA 93030.
Information provided by survivors.