Joseph Radisich Sr., a 2006 inductee into the San Pedro Sportswalk of Fame who distinguished himself as a high school football coach at Mary Star of the Sea in the 1970s and 1980s, died Wednesday after testing positive for COVID-19, his son, Joseph, said. He was 84.
“Last week he got sick and was in bad shape sweating and hallucinating,” Joseph Jr. said. “He had been having health problems. We called 911.”
He said his father was hospitalized and tested positive for COVID-19. Joseph, a former Los Angeles harbor commissioner, said he has put himself in self-quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Radisich was well known in the coaching community, having worked at Santa Fe Springs St. Paul, Bellflower St. John Bosco and San Pedro High, among others. He was head coach at Mary Star for 11 years.
Former San Pedro coach Mike Walsh played for Radisich for one year at the now closed Fermin Lasuen High in San Pedro.
“He’s a great man,” Walsh said. “He was hard-nosed. He spent a million hours preparing. You’d run through a brick wall for him. He was that kind of a coach.”
Among the players Radisich coached was former NFL tight end Tim Wrightman, who wrote on Facebook, “Today, I lost my ‘coach,’ my mentor and a father figure during the most formative years of my life. He didn’t just coach kids how to play football, but how to be men.”