Longtime junior college football coach Reuben Ale died from an unspecified illness, Monday.
Ale, 55, was a fixture at the JC level, most recently working under Dean Dowty at L.A. Harbor. He was to turn 56 in September.
“He was a great guy and made a strong impression on a lot of young men,” Dowty said. “He will be missed.”
Ale, who is the older brother of current Carson coach Arnold Ale, had also coached at Compton College, El Camino, Rio Hondo, East L.A., L.A. Southwest, West L.A. and Pasadena.
Ale had a 24-year coaching career, which included eight Bowl Game appearances at the Junior College level, three state playoff appearances and three conference championships.
Ale was also the coach at Harbor before Dowty was hired in 2014. He also held the coaching job at East L.A.
“He was the true definition of an old-school, tough-love coach,” Arnold Ale said of his brother. “He coached them hard and loved them later and that’s why there are so many that love and respected him for that.”
“Sometimes growing up with him, was hard, because he was demanding as a brother, but I knew where he was coming me. He loved me and wanted the best from me and for that I’m grateful.”
As news of Reuben Ale’s death began to circulate, several coaches posted tributes on social media accounts.
Long Beach City’s Brett Peabody: “….Despite his tough exterior, no coach cared more for his players and their futures, all about accountability. Personally, I would not be in the position I am today without Reuben Ale…”
Golden West wide receivers coach Pete Moye: “Coach Ale was probably the toughest coach I’ve ever had, but no one made you more prepared than him. Would challenge you every opportunity he could. Definitely will be missed.”
El Camino offensive line coach Ryan Winkler: “Sad to hear of the passing of Reuben Ale. He was the first one to give me an opportunity to coach at the college level during a tough time in my life. Always grateful.”
Gene Engle, who was the offensive line coach at El Camino in 1982, remembered an aggressive Ale.
“We went against him every day. He had an edge when he played, he was a fierce, tough competitor,” Engle said. “Several years later, when he was coaching, he had a completely different demeanor. He was always very pleasant and respectful.”