Bill Musick, revered former wrestling, football coach at Fresno City College, dies at 77

Bill Musick, a former Fresno City College football and wrestling coach who led the wrestling team to four state titles, has died. He was 77.

“Just a wonderful man,” current Fresno City wrestling coach Paul Keysaw said. “He was a mentor and a father figure to me. I’ve always been amazed since the first time I met him as an assistant coach at Bakersfield College in 1991.

“Coach Musick treated me like a man, treated me with respect and he treated me the same way then as the last time I spoke with him. I have yet to find anyone who would say bad words about Coach Musick.”

Mr. Musick had been battling kidney cancer in recent years. He died early Wednesday, according to Michael Der Manouel, a close family friend.

Mr. Musick came to Fresno City College in fall 1965 after serving as an assistant football coach at Fresno High for the 1963 and 1964 seasons. He was a football assistant to head coach Clare Slaughter for 15 years before succeeding him in 1979. Mr. Musick coached the football team through 1987, posting a 30-20 conference record and a 41-47-1 overall record. He entered the Fresno City Football Wall of Fame in 1992 and Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

“Coach Musick was a great man,” Rams football coach Tony Caviglia said. “He would always be willing to go out of his way to help any student, player or coach in need. He is a fixture of our football program.”

Mr. Musick resigned as head football coach and revived the Rams’ wrestling program in 1988, which had been dormant since 1982.

His 1994 team may have been his best.

Led by 134-pounder Yeo Washington, 142-pounder Eddie Ramos and heavyweight Chad Mast, Fresno City went 9-0 in dual meets and 9-0 in tournaments, capped by a state title. The perfect record was the first in state history and landed the Rams a No. 2 national ranking.

Mr. Musick’s 1994 state team was inducted into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.

Former Rams wrestling coach Robert Arballo was an assistant coach during the 1994 season.

“He’s been a mentor to me, not only as a coach but as a father figure,” said Arballo, a two-time state champion under Mr. Musick. “He’s very special to me and he pointed me in the right direction.”

Mr. Musick coached wrestling for 22 seasons, leading his teams to a 247-49-5 overall record. During his tenure, the Rams captured 19 conference titles, 12 NorCal titles and four team championships, and four dual state titles.

He coached individual state champions Arballo, Washington, Mast, Dustin Riley and Paris Ruiz.

A Madera High graduate and Central Section wrestling champion in 1955, Mr. Musick served in the Army for two years. He attended Bakersfield College under Homer Beatty and was an All-American offensive lineman and played in the 1959 Junior Rose Bowl.

Mr. Musick transferred to play football for Fresno State College and played in the Mercy Bowl at Los Angeles Coliseum in 1961.

He is survived by wife Marlene; two daughters, Amy and Monique; and two step-children, Kevin and Martina Miller.