John Valentino

John Valentino, Hall of Fame Athelete

The late John Edward Valentino, was one of the most talented athletes to come out of Santa Barbara High School in the last several decades. According to Caesar Uyesaka, member of the Round Table Hall of Fame Selection Committee, “Valentino was probably the greatest allaround athlete I’ve ever seen. He could do it all,” praised Uyesaka.

While at Santa Barbara High, he starred in four major sports from 1936 to 1939. He lettered three years in football as a halfback and wide receiver, three years as a guard on the basketball team; three years as a shortstop on the baseball squad; and three years as a shot putter on the track team.

In 1937, while playing football under the late Clarence Schutte, John Valentino was the first “lonely end.” Red Blaik, at Army, didn’t use this football formation until1948.

After high school, Valentino played three years of baseball for the Saint Louis Cardinals farm system from 1939 to 1941. For the next four years he was a physical training instructor in the United States Air Force. He later played baseball at U.C.S.B. from 1946 to 1948. He went on to play basketball and baseball at Sacramento State from 1948-50. Following graduation from college, Valentino become an outstanding high school coach in Northern California.

John Valentino died in 1984.