Jack Trigueiro, a hard-driving coach who made the Santa Barbara High Dons the scourge of basketball and tennis courts, died Wednesday, September 14, at his home in Montecito. He was 88.
A native of Bakersfield, where he was a notorious street fighter, Trigueiro played on UCSB’s basketball team in 1959-60 and pursued a career in education. He was hired in 1964 as a teacher-coach at Santa Barbara High. Over the next three decades, he compiled a résumé that put him into the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame, class of 1999.
His basketball teams compiled a 204-90 record over 14 seasons, winning five Channel League championships. He coached three future NBA players – Victor Bartolome, Jamaal Keith Wilkes, and Don Ford. Wilkes and Ford played on the 1970 team that went undefeated until the CIF semifinals.
Trigueiro’s tennis teams achieved unparalleled success from 1965-1995. They won 31 league titles, including 30 in a row, and 10 CIF championships, including a streak of eight from 1988-1995. Two Dons tennis players, Mike Falberg and his son Tim Trigueiro, won junior titles at the U.S. Open.
“Tennis is not a team sport, but he had us playing for each other,” Tim Trigueiro said. “My father taught me how to be a man.”
Bartolome was a skinny 6’11” center on the Dons basketball teams in 1964-66. “Coach Trigueiro made me believe in myself,” he said. “He did what was necessary to get the most out of us and build up the strength we’d need later in life.”
Bartolome grew to 7 feet at Oregon State and went on to play professionally for eight years with the Golden State Warriors and overseas. He worked as an account analyst at UCSB and stayed in touch with Trigueiro.
“He’d finish our conversations by saying, ‘I love you, man.’”
Trigueiro is survived by his wife, Sharon, and sons Tim and Rick. The family planned to hold a private service.