Junipero Serra family mourns loss of coach, mentor

LOS ANGELES - 03/20/2010 - (Scott Varley/Daily Breeze) Serra boys basketball team beat Centennial 74-50 in the CIF SoCal Boys Div. III Regional Championships at USC's Galen Center. Serra coach Dwan Hurt hugs a staff member as he celebrates his team's win.

LOS ANGELES – 03/20/2010 – (Scott Varley/Daily Breeze) Serra boys basketball team beat Centennial 74-50 in the CIF SoCal Boys Div. III Regional Championships at USC’s Galen Center. Serra coach Dwan Hurt hugs a staff member as he celebrates his team’s win.

Junipero Serra staff, faculty and students came together to celebrate the life of Dwan Hurt.  Hurt was both the Dean of Discipline and the boys varsity head coach.  He was 53.  Serra hosted a prayer service Monday morning in the school gymnasium for students, friends and family.  Serra opens their season against Inglewood High School, Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.

From the DailyBreeze:

Keith Shamburger learned the hard way not to give anything less than maximum effort with coach Dwan Hurt.

In the midst of the Serra basketball team’s run to a CIF State Championship in 2010, Shamburger — a star guard for that Cavaliers team — told Hurt one day that he was simply too tired to participate in a weight room session before the team’s practice.

Hurt said missing the weight room session wasn’t an option, but allowed for a meeting in his office so Shamburger could state his case.

“I remember sitting down and I must have fallen asleep right away because, next thing I know, my mom was waking me up like an hour later,” Shamburger said. “I ran into practice and Coach Hurt kicked me out immediately. I deserved that.”

Hurt, a Carson resident, died in his sleep Friday at 53, leaving behind a legacy of not just winning basketball at the Gardena school known for its prowess in athletics, but also helping mold the teenagers who came through his program into young men.

“He was the only father figure I had in my life, but he was more than a father figure to me, he was my role model” Shamburger said. “He taught all of us about hard work, about doing things the right way, treating people the right way.”

Hurt coached Serra for 28 seasons and led the Cavaliers to eight CIF Southern Section titles, including a Division 4AA championship last year, and two CIF State titles. Hurt won his 500th game in late 2013 and was among the winningest active coaches in the state.

Hurt wore many hats at the school. In addition to coaching, he was the dean of discipline and a constant fixture on the sidelines at sporting events and other school functions.

“He had a heart as big as the Pacific Ocean,” said Hurt’s longtime assistant coach, Bernard McCrumby. “He was very private, but there were two things he loved more than anything — his family and Serra High School.”

Hurt graduated from Serra in 1981, and played college basketball at Gonzaga, where he backed up Hall of Fame guard John Stockton.

“He would always tell us this story about how he picked Stockton’s pockets one day, got the steal, went down and dunked the basketball on the other end,” McCrumby said.

PHOTOS: Serra basketball coach Dwan Hurt molded athletes into men

Reactions flooded in on Twitter from friends and Serra alums after the news of Hurt’s death broke.

“Lost for words … thanks for your time, teachings, love and support,” former NBA player and Serra star Pooh Jeter wrote. USC football standout Adoree Jackson tweeted: “The Man, The Myth, The Legend Coach Hurt. Rest In Paradise Coach and thank you for everything.”

“Coach Hurt will never be replaced,” former Redondo High coach and current Loyola Marymount assistant coach Reggie Morris tweeted. Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver and former Serra three-sport star Marqise Lee tweeted, “I owe (you) everything, always been there for me.”

Thomas Stafford, Serra’s director of marketing and admissions, said Monday that McCrumby will take over as interim head coach. Shamburger, who went on to play college ball at Missouri after graduating from Serra, said he will join the program as an assistant coach. Shamburger said he spent the past several months working with Hurt since returning from playing overseas in China.

“Right before he left us, I remember him telling me that God had me around him for a reason,” Shamburger said. “I’m going to make sure that everything he taught me doesn’t go to waste.”

Funeral services for Hurt are expected to be finalized Tuesday. Anyone who wants to contact Hurt’s family or make a donation is asked to e-mail Joe Cormier, Serra’s director of development and alumni, at

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