John Altobelli killed in crash that also killed Kobe Bryant

HOUSTON — Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant was among 9 people killed in a helicopter crash in California Sunday.  We’ve also learned that a baseball coach, who played his college ball in Houston was also on that chopper.

Orange Coast College confirmed to the Orange County Register that John Altobelli was killed in the crash.  According to the school’s website, he was in his 24th season, which was longer than any other coach in school history.

As a player, Altobelli was an outfielder and two-year starter at the University of Houston in the 1980s. He was also a team captain. Altobelli earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from UH and was also a graduate assistant at the school. He came to Houston after stints at Newport Harbor and Golden West College in the 80s.  

Altobelli played one year of professional baseball with the Miami Marlins of the Florida State League.

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