Former Cardinal football player dies at age 70

January 04, 2008
Lester Davis, a former Santa Paula High School football player and Cal State Hayward coach has died at age 70. Davis died December 19 of complications from diabetes and cancer. He was born in Corning, Arkansas and was raised in Santa Paula. After high school Davis enlisted in the US Army and served with the 101st Airborne Division. Following his army service he attended San Bernardino Junior College where he played football. From there he went on to San Jose State University on a football scholarship. He finished his formal education with a Master of Arts degree in the School of Education.Davis coached for nine years, finishing up his last year on the coaching staff at UC Berkeley. While coaching at Cal State Hayward, he led his team to a pair of Far Western Conference Championships in 1969 and 1970. His team then went on to win the first annual Bay Area Classic at the Oakland Coliseum. Several of his players went on to play in the NFL.Among his many awards: Far Western Conference football writers Coach of the Year, Northern California Coach of the Year, University and College Division, Newsmaker of the Year Award and in 1990 he was inducted into the Cal State Hayward Athletic Hall of Fame.Following his coaching career, Davis went on to pursue a career in real estate.
A memorial mass will be held at noon tomorrow at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 27891 Second Street, Fremont. A reception will follow at Massimo’s Restaurant, 5200 Mowry Avenue, Fremont.

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