Bob Lee, former EGHS football coach and teacher, dies at 66 | Sports


(updated 8/6/22, 7:50 pm)

Bob Lee, known for his sharp football mind while coaching and teaching at Elk Grove, Delta, Bear Creek and McClatchy High Schools, died July 31 at the age of 66, according to a family member.

Lee was the offensive coordinator under Ed Lombardi during the 1980s and 90s and was the head coach of the Thundering Herd just one year, the 2002 season. He was also an assistant baseball coach under Gary Dreher. He later went on to coach football at Delta High School where his wife Carol was head counselor between 2004 and 2012. Lee also served as the offensive coordinator and JV coach at Bear Creek and then was head coach at McClatchy for a year.

Todd Bloomstine, a former Herd player, posted on Twitter how he remembered Lee when he was an assistant coach and history teacher at Elk Grove.

“Coach Lee’s analytical perspective and all-business mentality perfectly complemented Coach Lombardi’s passionate and emotional style,” Bloomstine wrote. “Those were influential and formative years in my life. I’m grateful for those life lessons that I still carry today.”

The defensive backfield coach under Lee at Elk Grove in 2002 was Alex Aragon, who now teaches in Fairfield.

“He was a very, very smart guy,” Aragon said. “He was always watching films. He was like a brainiac in football – real organised. He had a room in his house that was all tapes where he would go back and look up old plays, defenses, and the like. His playbook was always really organized.”

When Lee became head coach of Elk Grove and again at Delta, he remained his own offensive coordinator and coached the game from the press box.

“It worked because you can see everything up there,” Aragon recalled. “He put that in my head when I coached football by being up in the booth.”

Kristi Maddock knew Lee quite well, first as a student in his history classes in Elk Grove and, later, as her stepfather.

“He was like a walking book of knowledge,” she said. “He was a lecturer. He’s that voice you can never forget, and I can say that now because I am a teacher. It was that voice you knew, ‘That’s Mr. Lee.’”

Maddock graduated in 1994 before her mother married Lee. She recently posted in Facebook under Elk Grove’s Class of ’94 page Lee’s passing and several of her classmates posted messages along the line, “Everyone knew who Coach Lee was. He was the ultimate lecturer.”

As a father, Maddock described Lee as very self-less.

“I have three kids and he would never tell them no. He would pick them up from school, would pick them up and take them to the movies, take them to lunch,” she recalled. “He didn’t have his own kid. We were his family. My three kids were his world.”

She said Lee was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis in 2014 and had a double lung transplant at Stanford University in May, 2015.

“It was a miracle because we had him for seven more years,” Maddock said. “Up to the very end he would always think of other people. He would think about my mom and make sure she was okay. It was never about him.”

Lee attended Elk Grove High School, graduating in 1974 and played football at Cosumnes River College, when that school had a football program, and later earned his teaching credential from Sacramento State. He began teaching US History at Elk Grove in 1980, retiring from the classroom in 2010.

The family plans for a private celebration of life Labor Day Weekend in Half Moon Bay.

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