Fallbrook High School’s east gymnasium was dedicated to former Warrior basketball coach Jack Sandschulte on Jan. 8.
The dedication prior to the basketball game between the Warriors and Oceanside High School Pirates renamed the facility Jack Sandschulte Gymnasium. Sandschulte coached Fallbrook’s basketball team for 25 seasons and was on the school’s faculty for 30 years.
“It was a delightful evening and celebration for a man, an individual, who made a significant contribution to Fallbrook High School,” said Fallbrook Union High School District superintendent Dale Mitchell.
Mitchell was a three-sport athlete at Carlsbad High School and played against Fallbrook teams coached by Sandschulte. “Certainly those of us who didn’t personally know or work with Jack learned more and more about him as we were doing the preparations,” Mitchell said.
Tim Oder, a former coach who was on Fallbrook High School’s staff for 31 years, was the master of ceremonies and also led the organizational efforts. “He did a great job of organizing it. Tim Oder just pulled it together with so many community people donating,” said Sandschulte’s widow, Lila. “It was a very lovely evening.”
Jack and Lila Sandschulte were married for 44 years prior to his death on Oct. 15, 2011, at the age of 82. The cancellation of their daughter Kim McLaughlin’s flight prevented her from attending the dedication, but their other three surviving children were present as were two of their grandchildren. John Sandschulte, who played for his father, was one of the speakers, as was Lila Sandschulte. Current athletic director Patrick Walker also spoke, as did Tom Pack, who was Fallbrook’s athletic director during part of Sandschulte’s coaching career. Fallbrook High School principal Rod King spoke during the dedication of the plaque which now adorns the gymnasium.
“It was a very rewarding journey. It was a fun thing to do, and it turned out really great,” Oder said.
An estimated 150 to 175 people attended the event. “It was very rewarding to see,” Oder said. “There were some people I hadn’t seen for a long time.”
The co-captains of Fallbrook’s 1963 team drove from Northern California to attend. “That was a lot of fun to meet those guys and hear them talk about the old days,” Oder said.
Approximately $2,000 was raised for the plaque and the food or other reception costs while some of the food was donated. “Just a lot of cooperation there for a worthy project. People stepped up,” Oder said.
The Fallbrook Alumni Association donated the plaque and led the fundraising effort for that item. The boys and girls basketball teams were also involved in fundraising as well as in preparation activities. Fallbrook High School’s Associated Student Body and the school’s AVID program also helped with the setup and preparations. The school’s Madrigals choir sang the national anthem prior to the game.
“There were so many people involved,” Lila Sandschulte said. “I thought that the plaque turned out beautifully and the Alumni Association was very generous in donating the plaque and so many of the players came from long distances.”
The reception included a table of basketball referees. “It was pretty neat to see,” Sandschulte said.
Jack Sandschulte coached the Warriors’ basketball team between 1956 and 1984 including a three-year retirement during that period prior to returning. When he retired for the second time in 1984 he was the county’s all-time winningest high school basketball coach. Sandschulte’s teams reached the CIF San Diego Section finals in 1962 and 1982 and won six Avocado League championships.
Sandschulte played basketball at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles and at Pepperdine University, which he attended on a basketball scholarship. During his Army service he was a player-coach for the Camp Zama team while he was deployed in Japan, and he also played for the Fort Ord team.
Sandschulte began his high school coaching career at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles. He obtained his master’s degree from the University of Southern California before coming to Fallbrook as the Warriors’ varsity basketball coach for the 1956-57 season.
Sandschulte received Avocado League coach of the year honors in 1973, 1976, and 1977. Fallbrook’s 1972-73 season included a 17-1 league record and a 21-4 regular-season record before a 74-64 loss to Hoover in the first round of the CIF playoffs ended Fallbrook’s season and a 14-game winning streak. The Warriors won back-to-back Avocado League championships in 1975-76 and 1976-77 while winning 26 consecutive home games over that two-season span. Fallbrook’s 1976-77 team won 25 games.
The 1981-82 team which lost by one point in the CIF finals posted a 19-3 regular-season record, although two of those losses were in Avocado League play against Vista. During the playoffs the Warriors defeated Sweetwater and Hilltop, the only two other teams to win at least 20 games that season, before the 67-66 loss to Patrick Henry in the CIF championship match. The Los Angeles Times had a San Diego County edition in 1982 and named Sandschulte as the San Diego Section’s coach of the year. The 1961-62 Warriors had a 15-3 record after losing to Vista in the CIF finals.
In addition to Fallbrook’s six Avocado League titles when Sandschulte coached, the Warriors finished second or third in seven seasons. Fallbrook reached the CIF playoffs 17 times when Sandschulte coached the Warriors. In 2004 Sandschulte was inducted as a San Diego County High School Coaching Legend.
When he was not coaching basketball he was a world history teacher, the school’s junior class counselor, and the work experience program director. Sandschulte retired from teaching in 1986 and continued to live in Fallbrook until his death.
Lila Sandschulte still lives in Fallbrook. “It was great to work with her and it was great to see the satisfaction she had with it,” Oder said.
The Jack Sandschulte Gymnasium is the fifth Fallbrook High School facility named after a staff member or supporter. The school also has the Bob Burton Performing Arts Center, the Duke Snider Field baseball diamond, the Marty Hauck track, and the Bill Rienstra agriculture center. “They’ve all been great facilities and great events,” Oder said. “I’m glad that the board sees fit to do this from time to time.”
The Fallbrook Union High School District approved renaming the school’s east gymnasium on Sept. 9.
“It was a good decision,” Mitchell said. “It was important that he be recognized.”
One of Snider’s daughters married John Sandschulte, so both of Hali Sandschulte’s grandfathers are now honored at the school. Hali Sandschulte, who is Jack’s oldest granddaughter, drove from San Luis Obispo for the ceremony.
“It was a celebration and we’re very pleased with it,” Mitchell said.
“We don’t get a lot of opportunities to do these kind of things,” Oder said. “It’s just one of those things I love about working there.”