FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – When Gene “Red” Estes took over as head coach of the Fresno State track & field team in the early 1980’s, he had some pretty big shoes to fill: his predecessor was Dutch Warmerdam.
Estes worked alongside Warmerdam for years, having served as an assistant coach on his staff since 1964. Beginning in that same year, he was also the Bulldogs’ head cross country coach.
Estes made his own mark on both programs.
From 1983-1992, Red Estes led Fresno State to ten consecutive Big West Conference championships in track & field. In nine of those ten years, he was named the conference’s coach of the year. He won eleven championships total in track & field, while also winning four conference championships in cross country.
Estes retired in 2000. In his decades-long career, seven of the athletes he coached won national championships and more than 100 of them were named all-Americans.
A 2000 inductee into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame, Red Estes was a 2010 inductee into the Fresno County Athletic Hall of Fame. He passed away on September 29th, 2021.