1964 COACHING-FOOTBALL INDUCTEE
Erwin Ginsburg was one tough customer. In his days at Tulare High School before graduating in 1922, he racked up All-Conference honors in football, basketball, and track. He was always known for his work ethic and his “all for the team” attitude. At Fresno State College, he was a multi-year starter on the Bulldog basketball team and an all-round performer on the track team. Erwin was a ten-flat sprinter in the 100-yard dash and his long jump efforts of over twenty-three feet brought him close to a world record. His work ethic was also present in his schoolwork as he served as the Fresno State Student Body President and Valedictorian of the Class of 1922. He completed his Master’s work in English with Honors and was ready to embark on his long career as an English teacher and coach in the Fresno area.
He taught and coached at Fresno High for twenty-eight years from 1929 to 1956 and the results were of legendary proportions. In football under his tutelage, the Warriors had 101 wins, thirty-six losses and nine ties in sixteen years with valley championship years in 1937, 1938, 1940, and 1952. In basketball, his teams had eighty-six wins and fifty defeats including two Valley titles in 1934 and 1937 and at one stretch, they won twenty-three consecutive games. Ginsburg coached track at Fresno City College for eleven years in which his teams won seventy of ninety-three dual meets along with three conference titles and three Northern California Championships.”Erwin was the most innovative man and the most inspirational man I ever met,” said Robin Rush, who was a football player on Fresno High teams under Ginsburg and would go on to a successful football coaching career himself at Hoover and Bullard.
Erwin Ginsburg was known as a strict disciplinarian and an excellent judge of talent. He talked Les Richter, a junior at Fresno High who had never played football, into coming out for the Warrior team. Richter later went on to become an All-American player at Cal and an All-Pro with the Los Angeles Rams. Richter once said of his former mentor, “Coach always expected 100% effort, nothing less. Erwin practiced what he preached and he preached a pretty good sermon.” Robin Rush remembers, “As a teacher and a coach, Erwin wanted things done right. He dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. He was very demanding. When I became a coach, I had kids run a lap and I wanted that last step in that lap to be a full, running step. I got that from Erwin Ginsburg.” After he retired in 1967, he served as the Superintendent of Northern Officials in the North Central California Interscholastic Federation until 1976. He was inducted into the California Coaches Hall of Fame in 1967. Ginsburg passed away in 1989.