SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Dick McMath. equipment manager for Cal Poly Athletics for 28 years, passed away Wednesday afternoon in a San Luis Obispo retirement facility at the age of 72.
Born March 19, 1946, McMath is a native of Fresno and a four-year Navy veteran from 1966-70, serving in Vietnam. After attending Fresno City College for one year (1970-71) and competing on the water polo and swimming teams, he enrolled at Cal Poly in 1971 and served as student assistant director for intramurals from 1973-76.
A graduate of Fresno High School in 1964, McMath received his undergraduate degree in physical education from Cal Poly in 1975 after working with the Cal Poly football team as an undergraduate student-manager. He made the Dean’s List in 1975 and earned his teaching credential from Cal Poly in 1976.
McMath coached water polo and swimming for two seasons at Paso Robles High School part time and, in August 1978, was hired as equipment manager for Cal Poly athletics. In 1992 he was one of the first 94 equipment managers nationally to be certified with the Athletic Equipment Manager Association.
For 13 years, McMath was host and director of the Central Coast Football Safety and Equipment Clinic held each May in Morro Bay for youth coaches and featuring several college coaches, trainers and equipment managers from all levels as well as representatives from several equipment manufacturers demonstrating the latest equipment.
In 1996, McMath was named District IX Equipment Manager of the Year by the Athletic Equipment Managers Association.
McMath retired in June 2007 after a 35-year tenure at Cal Poly, the last 28 years as the Mustangs’ equipment manager. He was a member of Elks Lodge No. 322 of San Luis Obispo, where he played poker every Tuesday until recently, and also was a member of Mountainbrook Church. He attended Cal Poly athletics events for many years following his retirement.
On Dec. 24, 2002, McMath married Sherren Guthrie in Portland, Ore. In addition to his wife, McMath also is survived by one son, R.J. McMath, and his wife Annalisa, of Las Vegas; one stepson, Chris Guthrie; one daughter, Ashley Vernon of Washington state; one cousin, Kathy Ryan, and her husband Jim, of Sacramento; nephew Tom Hancock; and one niece, Colette.
Cremation and interment will be held at Los Osos Valley Mortuary and Memorial Park and a Celebration of Life will be held at Cal Poly in September or October.