Leo Calland

Leo Calland

c. 1925
Sport(s) Football, basketball
Biographical details
Born (1901-02-24)February 24, 1901
Died March 17, 1984(1984-03-17) (aged 83)
La Jolla, California
Playing career
1920–1922 USC
Position(s) Guard (football)
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1924 USC (assistant)
1925–1826 Whittier
1927–1928 USC (assistant)
1929–1934 Idaho
1935–1941 San Diego State
1927–1929 USC
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1929–1934 Idaho
Head coaching record
Overall 62–61–5 (football)
38–10 (basketball)
Accomplishments and honors
Football:     2 SCIAC (1936–1937)
Basketball: 1 PCC (1928)
Leo Calland
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1942–1945
Rank Commander
Unit Training
Battles/wars World War II

Leo Blakely Calland (February 24, 1901 – March 17, 1984) was an American football and basketball player and coach who later became a San Diego city parks administrator. He was the head football coach at Whittier College (1925–1926), the University of Idaho 1929–1934), and San Diego State College (1935–1941), compiling a career college football record of 62–61–5. For two seasons, Calland was also the head basketball coach at the University of Southern California (USC), his alma mater, tallying a mark of 38–10 from 1927 to 1929.

Early years

Born in Ohio, Calland moved with his family as a child to western Washington, where he attended school in a log cabin on Lopez Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, where all of the other students were Native Americans. He was an outstanding athlete at Broadway High School in Seattle, where he played football under coach Gus Henderson.[1][2]

Henderson became the head football coach at USC in Los Angeles in 1919, and Calland followed him south. He lettered as a guard for three seasons (19201922) and as a senior was named both team captain and most inspirational player on USC's first Rose Bowl team. Calland was named player of the game in the Trojans' 14–3 victory over Penn State on New Year's Day, the first bowl game in the current namesake stadium, and also lettered in basketball at USC.

Coaching career

After graduating from USC in 1923, Calland became an assistant coach there, leading the Trojan freshman squads in football, basketball, and baseball.[3] He left in 1925 to lead nearby Whittier College for two seasons in multiple sports, then returned to USC as head basketball coach in 1927. Calland posted a 38–10 record over two seasons, winning the Pacific Coast Conference title in his first year with a 22–4 (.846) mark. His .792 career winning percentage remains the highest by a USC basketball coach. In these two seasons he was also an assistant football coach.[2]

In February 1929, Calland was named head football coach and athletic director at the University of Idaho in Moscow, also in the PCC.[1][2][3][4][5][6] He compiled a 21–30 record in six seasons on the Palouse, but his overmatched Vandals were just 5–25 (.167) in conference play, defeating only Montana. He resigned after the 1934 season,[5][7][8] then returned to southern California at San Diego State College, where he posted a 34–22–4 (.600) record in seven seasons. His Aztecs won consecutive SCIAC championships (1936, 1937), with players including John D. Butler, a future mayor of San Diego (1951–1955).

Military career and later life

In his early forties, Calland entered the U.S. Navy during World War II, and served as a recreation officer at the 11th Naval District in San Diego. In 1945, he became director of San Diego's Department of Parks and Recreation; during his fifteen years in the post, he oversaw the development of Mission Bay Park and the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Calland became managing director of the San Diego Hall of Champions in 1960 and remained in that position until retiring in 1977,[9] and was himself inducted into the Hall in 1974.


Calland died at age 83 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in La Jolla. He was survived by his wife Sarah, two daughters and a son, and was buried in Fairhaven Cemetery in Santa Ana.

Head coaching record


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Whittier Poets (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1925–1926)
1925 Whittier 35 22
1926 Whittier 441 421
Whittier: 791 641
Idaho Vandals (Pacific Coast Conference) (1929–1934)
1929 Idaho 45 14 T7th
1930 Idaho 47 05 10th
1931 Idaho 34 14 8th
1932 Idaho 35 14 T8th
1933 Idaho 44 14 9th
1934 Idaho 35 14 8th
Idaho: 2130 525
San Diego State Aztecs (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) (1935–1938)
1935 San Diego State 341 221 T3rd
1936 San Diego State 611 50 1st
1937 San Diego State 71 41 1st
1938 San Diego State 521 321 3rd
San Diego State Aztecs (California Collegiate Athletic Association) (1939–1941)
1939 San Diego State 27 02 4th
1930 San Diego State 531 111 T2nd
1941 San Diego State 64 03 4th
San Diego State Aztecs: 34224 15113
Total: 62615
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title


  1. 1 2 "Calland named to coach Idaho in Erb's stead". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. March 1, 1929. p. 10.
  2. 1 2 3 "Calland to head Idaho athletics". Spokesman-Review. (Spokane, Washington). March 2, 1929. p. 14.
  3. 1 2 "Calland undecided upon his assistant". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). March 2, 1929. p. 1, sec. 2.
  4. "Calland will have charge of sports". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. March 2, 1929. p. 10.
  5. 1 2 "Coach Leo Calland resigns as director of athletics at University of Idaho". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. December 16, 1934. p. 9.
  6. "1932 football season". Gem of the Mountains, University of Idaho yearbook. 1933. p. 200.
  7. "Leo Calland resigns as coach". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. December 15, 1934. p. 1.
  8. "Gonzaga coach looks at Idaho". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). December 17, 1934. p. 15.
  9. "Deaths elsewhere: Leo Calland". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. March 21, 1984. p. 16.

Additional sources

External links

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