Former College of the Redwoods basketball coach Pete Mathiesen passed away recently at the age of 85.
Mathiesen was the Corsairs’ first head coach when they began playing men’s basketball in 1966 and oversaw the team for four years before taking over as head coach at Chico State in 1970.
Born in Marysville, Mathiesen graduated from Fremont High School, where he placed third in the nation for speech and debate.
He would go on to attend Humboldt State, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, before completing a master’s at San Jose State University, and then earning a doctorate from the University of Sarasota.
The Corsairs’ first-ever head coach compiled 49 wins in four seasons, a good return for a new program trying to establish itself at the time.
It was just the beginning of an impressive coaching career for Mathiesen, who coached at Chico State for 17 years and won 243 games and five conference titles there.
He also was named conference coach of the year four times during his time with the Wildcats.
After stepping down as Chico State head coach in 1987, Mathiesen would go on to hold coaching clinics all over the world, including Thailand, Panama, Malaysia and Ireland.
He also served as the national coach of the Cyprus Olympic team from 1992 to 1994, as well coaching the Geelong Cats in Australia’s National Basketball League and the Sacramento Kings NBA Summer League team, where he compiled an 11-3 record.
Mathiesen is survived by his wife of 63 years, Kathi; sons Marty and Pat; and grandchildren Reece, Blake, Kourtney, Kyle, Carly, Billy, Kevin, and Olivia.