Former Charter Oak Water Polo Coach Dies at 56

Former Charter Oak High School Water Polo Coach Howard Hyde (center) takes a timeout to talk to his athletes during an October, 2011 game at Charter Oak High School. Photo by Aaron Castrejon.

A water polo coach who spent 25 years at Charter Oak High School passed away June 4.

Howard Hyde, 56, died in his sleep, according to Bryan Grant, athletic director for Ontario High School.

Photo courtesy of Ontario High School Athletics.

Photo courtesy of Ontario High School Athletics.

“We are deeply saddened about the passing of Coach Hyde. He dedicated many years to the Ontario Girl’s/Boy’s Water Polo & Girl’s/Boy’s Swim teams. His athletes loved him as a coach and he will be sorely missed by them and our staff. We would like to express our deepest condolences to his family,” Grant said by email.

Hyde died of a heart attack, according to Hyde’s close personal friend and former athlete Mitch Stein.

The Charter Oak Aquatics program wrote on social media “It’s with great sadness to announce the passing of former COHS legendary coach Howard Hyde.”

Hyde coached water polo at Charter Oak High School from 1991 to 2014. Hyde then went on to coach the girls varsity water polo team at Ontario High School during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

In the 2015-16 year, the Jaguars varsity girls team finished with a 19-12 overall record and a 7-3 league record, according to Maxpreps.com.

Tom Parslow, former Charter Oak High School swim coach, played for Hyde during his sophomore year when Hyde first arrived. Parslow then returned in 1996 after graduating to coach with Hyde for 14 seasons.

“He had a huge impact on young people who wanted to play water polo and swim. He had a very positive outlook and I think that’s why people really respected him so much,” Parslow said by phone.

“One of the things you’ll hear a lot was that he was a ‘big teddy bear’ and he really was. He looked like he was mean and intimidating, but at the end of the day he was just a big teddy bear. He was just a good person,” Parslow said.

His legacy was widespread. Condolences from area schools trickled in over the weekend on social media.

The San Dimas High School Aquatics program wrote “RIP Coach Howard Hyde, a wonderful person. Impact on countless young men and women in water polo and swim. Thoughts to his family.”

Don Lugo Boys Aquatics wrote “RIP coach Howard Hyde. It was an honor competing with you over the years. You will be missed.”

West Covina High School Aquatics program wrote “Our condolences to [Ontario High School] with the loss of their Head Aquatics Coach, Howard Hyde. You are in our thoughts. He was a great man.”

Funeral arraignments are pending.

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