|Title:||Cross Country & Track|
Rich Gehring was born in Escondido and attended Escondido High School, graduating in 1953. While at Escondido he lettered in basketball, football and track and field. During his senior year, he was chosen to the All-League Teams in those three sports. In 1953, he was the Metro League track and field Athlete of the Year and set school records in the 120HH and 180LH. In 1972, Rich was inducted into the Escondido High School Hall of Fame for his high school and professional accomplishments.
Rich transferred to San Diego State University, where he played on SDSU’s Conference Champion Basketball Teams, competing in the 1656 NAIA Tournament in Kansas City and the NCAA Division II Tournament in Evansville in 1957. He also lettered three years in track and field, winning conference medals in the 120HH and 220LH all three years. In the NAIA 1957 and 1958 National Championships, he placed 4th in the 440-yard hurdles. He graduated with distinction in 1958 with a B.A. in physical education and earned a Master of Arts in 1966. While a graduate student, he served as trainer for the football team and was the Freshmen Track and Field Coach under Head Coach Choc Sportsman.
In 1959, Rich was hired to teach life science, coach cross-country and track at Sweetwater High School. He remained there until 1964 when he was offered a teaching and coaching at the new Southwestern College campus.
While at Southwestern, Rich was appointed Chairperson of the Physical Education Division in 1967. During his five-year tenure, construction of the athletic locker rooms, racquetball courts, and swimming pools were completed. In addition to serving on several campus committees, he was the Head Cross Country and Track Coach from 1964 to 1985, winning consecutive Conference Cross Country Championships in 1977 and 1978. He was named Coach of the Year in 1977. In 1968, he hosted California State Community College Cross Country Championships, and in 1975, Rich and Harry Taylor of Chula Vista High School began the South Bay Cross Country Invitational, a premier event held on SWC’s track for many years.
Rich and wife Kathy retired in 1996, and began his hobby racing vintage autos. In 200, the Gehrings returned to Escondido where he served as Chairman of the 50th High School Reunion. He also chaired the annual 50 Plus EUHS Picnic Committee at Felicita Park in 2005 for over 700 former Escondido High School graduates.