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Redwood Bark

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Remembering the spectacular life of Al Endriss

On Thursday, Nov. 9, former Redwood baseball and football coach Al Endriss passed away at the age of 95. Endriss had many talents; he played minor-league baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers and football for the San Francisco 49ers. Additionally, he coached baseball, basketball and football for a combined four decades and coached golf for an additional decade. In all of these tenures, Endriss showed his passion for sports, proving his success with everlasting mentoring and modeling of how a coach should act.

(Photo courtesy of Redwood Athletics)

Throughout Endriss’ time at Redwood, he accomplished incredible feats in almost everything he did. From 1970 to 1981, his baseball teams won 10 out of 12 Marin County Athletic League championships and three North Coast Section (NCS) championships in 1977, 1978 and 1980. Additionally, Endriss won NCS Coach of the Year in 1974 and 1975 and earned the title of California Coach of the Year in 1976. However, his most crowning achievements were winning the National Championship in 1977 and having Redwood named as national “Team of the Decade” for the 1970s.

Current Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, who played baseball and football for Endriss from 1965 to 1968 at Redwood, remembers him for his accomplishments and for the impact he left on the people in the community. 

“He was an iconic guy in our world. He always handled himself so well and he had this [confidence] about him that we all loved. He was able to touch the heart of every single player he coached,” Carroll said.

Varsity baseball coach Mike Firenzi also played for Endriss’ team, graduating from Redwood in 1983. As Firenzi has grown as a coach, Endriss’ teachings have provided valuable insight to help him along the way. 

“He was 50 years ahead of his time. So many of his teachings are still applicable today, and I still use what I learned from him to be a better coach,” Firenzi said.

Al Endriss converses with other coaches while coaching the Branson golf team. (Photo courtesy of Marin IJ)

Not only was Endriss a coach, but he also taught physical education at Redwood for over two decades. However, Firenzi credits him as a teacher in all aspects of life, not just in the classroom.

“He was always teaching. Every situation he encountered was a lesson to be [learned]. I try to instill that in my coaching, finding ways to teach my players lessons in and out of baseball,” Firenzi said.

Even as Endriss grew old, he stayed active in the Marin community, coaching golf at Branson High School well into his 80s and attending Redwood baseball games and practices into his 90s.

Endriss’s hard work has paid off over time, as he has been recognized for his many achievements. Endriss was inducted into the San Francisco State University Hall of Fame, the Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame and the National Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame. While Endriss’ time has ended, he will never be forgotten for his accomplishments and contributions to the Redwood community.

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About the Contributor
Matthew Knauer
Matthew Knauer, Sports Editor
Matthew Knauer is a junior at Redwood High School and is a sports editor for the bark. He enjoys playing baseball, surfing, and hanging out with friends.