1970 ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATION INDUCTEE
Thirty-four years of high school coaching in Fresno have firmly established J.W. “Pop” Warner in the history of H.S. athletics in the San Joaquin Valley.
Warner began coaching in 1907 at Fresno High. He remained there until February 1922 and then went to Fresno Tech, where he stayed until his retirement in 1941.
He had many firsts, including the first prep basketball team in the Valley and at Tech. He was one of the Organizers of the central section of the California Interscholastic Federation.
Warner coached many of the finest athletes in Fresno’s history at both schools.
Under Warner, Fresno High was power in football and basketball. He continued his coaching success when he moved to Tech.
One of Warner’s fondest memories was when as Tech coach, his team beat FHS 14-7 in Tech’s first victory ever over the cross-town rival. Tech beat Fresno twice in 1929.
In the early 20s, Pop, as he liked to be called, coached the Fresno Normal School basketball team to a Far Western Championship.
After his retirement from the field of battle in high school athletics, Warner took “a fling” at politics, as the deputy mayor of Fresno.
This second career was successful for the veteran coach as he lasted nearly 10 years in the office. He was the deputy for the late Mayor Z.S. Leymel for eight years and served two under C. Cal Evans.
As he dreams and remembers his long and colorful career, “Pop” Warner relaxes in his Fresno home and says, “I’m a firm believer in athletics and would do it all over again if I had the chance.”