Jeff Tully Jim Sartoris has heard countless stories...

May 08, 2004

Jeff Tully

Jim Sartoris has heard countless stories and tall tales about his

father Henry over the years.

While most of the stories involving the all-around athlete are

true, some of the recollections might have been stretched a bit with

the passage of time.

"I think one of my favorite stories about my dad has to do with


running," Jim Sartoris said.

"Legend has it that he once ran 10.1 [seconds] in the 100, in

tennis shoes, on a dirt track.

"I don't know how true that is, but there are some great stories

about my dad."

The stories about Henry Sartoris help paint a picture of a man who

was more than just a great athlete. They also serve to keep alive the

memory of an individual who touched many lives and influenced those

in, and out, of the sports realm.

Henry, a longtime resident and 30-year veteran of the Burbank

Police Department, died April 24. He was 89.

Active in the local community, Henry served on the Board of

Directors of the Burbank City Employees Federal Credit Union for 28

years and was also a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge.

After working at Paramount Studios during World War II, Henry

joined the Burbank Police Department in 1945, serving as a patrolman

and detective until he retired in 1975.

Although he found success in many aspects of his life -- including

a 64-year marriage to wife Margaret -- Henry has left a lasting

legacy with his accomplishments as an athlete and coach.

"I think legacy is the perfect word to describe what my dad has

left," said Jim, Glendale Community College athletic director and

former Vaquero football player and coach.

"In our family, our interest in sports is because of my father,

and he is the one who got me interested in sports and coaching."

"I think more of my style and personality as a coach comes from my

father. He cared about helping athletes get the most out of sports,

and was more interested in helping players get better."

Henry's interest and success in sports began when he was a child

growing up in Colorado. He developed into fine basketball player and

was an all-state football player.

In 1935, Henry made his way to Southern California to accept a

scholarship offer to play football for USC and popular Coach Howard


However, his athletic career took a strange twist when he came to


"When he arrived at USC, it just happened that Howard Jones wasn't

there at the time," Jim said.

"So he had some friends who were going to Loyola University (now

Loyola Marymount University), and they invited him to come and spend

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