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Ron Hull; UCLA All-American, Cal State L.A. Educator

Obituaries

August 16, 2001|LARRY STEWART | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ron Hull was a throwback, a two-way football player who won All-American honors as a single-wing center and middle linebacker at UCLA. He was captain of the 1961 Bruin team that went to the Rose Bowl and lost to Minnesota, the Big Ten champion.

Hull weighed only 205 pounds.

"That was about average size for back then," said his UCLA football coach, Bill Barnes, now 83 and living in Brentwood. "Ronnie was an outstanding player. A tough guy and a good leader."

Hull, who went on to coach football and teach physical education at Cal State Los Angeles, died July 22 of heart failure. He was 61.

Hull's football career began at Los Angeles' Wilson High School, where he played for Vic Cuccia. Hull started as a wingback, but Cuccia switched him to center, the position Cuccia played at Santa Clara.

"I was too slow to play wingback," Hull once told The Times, "so [Cuccia] made me a center. He taught me a lot about the position."

Because Hull played in a single-wing formation in high school, he was attracted to UCLA, where Barnes used the single wing. In fact, Hull was UCLA's last single-wing center.

Barnes, who was replaced as UCLA's coach by Tommy Prothro in 1965, tried a different type of formation when Hull left before eventually switching to the T formation.

Hull also called the defensive signals at UCLA.

"Besides being a great run blocker, he was also a real good tackler," Barnes said.

After college, Hull joined the physical education faculty at Cal State Los Angeles. He worked for the school for 37 years, including two as head football coach.

Hull, an assistant for 13 years, took over in 1976 for Jim Williams, who took a leave of absence after a heart attack.

In 1976, Hull's team had a 5-3-1 record. It was 4-5 the next. Then the school dropped football.

Hull stayed on as director of intramural sports and a physical education instructor.

Faculty members said he was on campus a few days before he died.

Hull is survived by his daughter, Stacey Balmoja; sons Todd and Michael; and four grandchildren. The Ron E. Hull Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established by the university.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Cal State Los Angeles Kinesiology and Physical Education Department.

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