John Richard Beresford. October 9, 1929 – August 2023

Sep 16, 2023 | Obituaries

John Richard Beresford

John Richard Beresford, “Coach B,” was born on October 9, 1929, in Munson, Penn. When the horrible World War II was brewing, John’s family, in 1940, moved to Philipsburg, Penn., a working-class town, where John’s family and many others worked in factories, producing products needed for the war.

John entered Phillipsburg High School in September 1943 and graduated in June 1947. He excelled in baseball for four years and wrestling for three years. John was coached in both sports by Mr. Alf Jones, who played major league baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics (now the Oakland As).

On March 15, 1947, the Phillipsburg wrestling team, coached by Alf Jones, won the Pennsylvania State High School Wrestling Championships.

After high school, John’s life went in many interesting directions. He was employed by the FBI in Washington, D.C. for two years, from 1948-1949. In 1950 he played pro baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics in the minor league system. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War (1951-1953). John, having FBI security clearance, was assigned to “Operation Ivy” on the island of Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands and in 1952 witnessed the first hydrogen bomb test, code-named “Mike.”

He graduated from Long Beach State in 1959 with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration. After that, he attended Arizona State and earned his teaching credential with majors in English, accounting, other business subjects, physical education and athletics.

In July 1965 John married his beautiful wife, Wilma, and their son, John Jr., was born in 1969. In September of 1965, John began his teaching, wrestling and coaching career at Rim of the World High School. In 1969, John coached the world champion Mojave Desert All-Star Baseball Team (ages 16-18). They represented the Big League Division of Little League.

John served as head wrestling coach for 28 years (1965-1993) and volunteer wrestling coach advisor for 10 more years (1994-2003). When “Coach B” started the Rim wrestling program in 1965, Rim was the only school in Rim’s league with a wrestling program. John founded Rim’s 24-team wrestling invitational tournament and served as director and coordinator from 1982 to 1999.  This tournament is named the John Beresford Invitational by the Rim School District and is still active today.

John was honored with the Outstanding High School Teacher of the Year award in 1975 for the counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. He retired from teaching in 1993 but continued to substitute teach in the Rim district until 2018.

John was inducted into the California Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015 and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2023.

John passed away in Lake Arrowhead in August of 2023. He is survived by his wife, Wilma; son, John Beresford Jr.; daughter-in-law Dallas Beresford; brother, George Beresford; and many nieces, nephews, wrestlers and former students who loved him.

A celebration of life for John Beresford Sr. will be held at. 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in the hall at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, located at 27627 Rim of the World Drive. All are welcome to come and share their memories of Coach B.


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