Bill Trumbo, who coached at Santa Rosa Junior College men's basketball teams to league championships, died October 28 at his home in Hawaii. Trumbo, who was 79 and had been suffering from Alzheimer, also coached at Sonoma State.
It was at Sonoma State where Trumbo made a name for himself. The then Cossacks were coming off a 3-24 (0-12 in conference) season. In his first season, Trumbo orchestrated one, if not the biggest turnarounds in NCAA history. Sonoma State went 18-9, won the Far West Conference and made the NCAA Div. II tournament. In his second season, the Cossacks were 18-10, which include a school-record 13 straight victories. He was named Far West Coach of the Year. It was a remarkable reversal for a once-faltering program.
After Sonoma State dropped its men's basketball program, Trumbo ventured to Santa Rosa. Under his leadership, Santa Rosa re-established its program. The Bear Cubs were 212 and 68 under Trumbo, won seven conference titles and made three trips to the Final Eight tournament.
When all was said and done, Trumbo had transitioned two programs from NAIA to NCAA status. His other career stops included Idaho, Texas-El Paso, Hawaii-Hilo, Cal State Cal State, Monterey Bay, Diablo Valley College and coaching the Kenyan national team. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame at both Sonoma State and Santa Rosa College, and was inducted into the UH-Hilo Hall of Fame in 2014 after serving as athletic director there from 1990-2000.
Trumbo was born in LaRue County, Kentucky and attended Chapman College in Orange, CA. He was a two-sport athlete for four years: a forward in basketball and a catcher on the baseball team from 1957 to 1961. He was team captain and also student body president.