OAKLAND, Calif. - Leo Allamanno, who coached basketball at Fremont High School in Oakland died Monday, just days before his 100th birthday. Friends say he had suffered a fall.
The basketball court at Fremont High is named after him.
"He wasn't doing it for praise or recognition. He had a genuine relationship with the students," says Fremont High School Assistant Principal Nidya Baez.
"Here's a man who was an incredibly successful coach. Yet he was probably the most humble guy you'd ever meet," said Paul Brekke-Miesner, a friend and author of a book on Oakland sports.
Allemanno coached at Fremont high for 30 years, retiring in 1983.
He is in the California Coaches Hall of Fame, won a state championship, and was twice named Northern California Coach of the Year.
"He was great at fundamentals. He believed fundamentals won games. And don't make mistakes...You never knew how much he cared until after you finished playing for him," said Ed Tavis, a former basketball player who graduated in 1965.
Fremont High honored Allemanno three years ago by naming its previous basketball court after him. The name carried over to the new court.
"He just didn't think he deserved to have the court where lead his team to 449 victories that it should be named after him. That's the kind of humble guy he was," said Brekke-Miesner.
Oakland's own M.C. Hammer reacted to our story on Twitter and wrote a tribute saying, "He was an absolute pillar in Oakland and an inspiration. A fantastic human being and a great man. He was a bridge builder and he CARED. R.I.P. Coach Allamanno."