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Charles Kane, 72; Basketball Coach, Community College Educator in Riverside, Seattle

March 02, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

Charles A. Kane, veteran educator and basketball coach who was president of Riverside Community College during a period of expansion from 1978 to 1991, has died. He was 72.

Kane died Feb. 9 of prostate cancer at his home in Riverside.

Known as a tough taskmaster, Kane led fundraising and property acquisition for the Riverside college to add campuses at Norco and Moreno Valley. In his retirement, he worked to create the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame, which selected its first athletes and coaches in 2003.

Born in Bozeman, Mont., Kane grew up in Riverside, where he starred on the basketball teams for Poly High School and the community college. The 6-foot, 4-inch Kane also played for Pepperdine University, where he earned his bachelor's degree and served as student body president.

Adding master's and doctoral degrees in education administration and counseling at USC, Kane served in the Army and began teaching high school and coaching basketball at Dominguez High School in Compton.

In 1964, he joined Long Beach City College as basketball coach and quickly made the Vikings a winning team. He also began his administrative career at Long Beach, serving as dean of students, vice president of student personnel services and executive vice president. This month Kane will be posthumously inducted into the Long Beach City College Athletics Hall of Fame.

After 14 years in Long Beach and 13 years as superintendent and president of Riverside Community College, Kane served as chancellor of Seattle Community College from 1992 to 1999. In Seattle, he brought together the city's three community colleges and raised more than $20 million for scholarships.

Retiring to Riverside, Kane worked as interim superintendent of Rio Hondo College in Whittier from August 2001 through June 2002.

Kane is survived by his wife, Marie; a son, Russell; four daughters, Karen Kane, Carol Bracey, Kathy Bonelli and Kristy Mapes; a stepson, Dan Hays; a brother, Clark; 13 grandchildren; and two step-grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to the Charles A. Kane scholarship fund at Riverside Community College or the Seattle Community Colleges; the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame; the general scholarship fund at Long Beach City College or Rio Hondo College; or to a hospice of the donor's choice.

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