The Irv Oliner Award
is given to individuals for their outstanding contributions and promotion of
wrestling in the state of California. Retired Educator Bob Bronzan from
Livermore has been named the winner of the 2019 Irv Oliner Award. A fixture on
the wrestling scene for over five decades, Bob Bronzan has been an integral
part of the sport of wrestling since the mid-1960s. Hired in 1964 at Livermore
High School as a social science teacher, football coach, baseball coach and
wrestling coach. Bronzan took the helm
as the head wrestling coach in 1966 (inaugural season was in 1963). In short
order, Bronzan elevated the Livermore wrestling program to new heights in the
East Bay Athletic League (EBAL) and the North Coast section, winning titles in
1967, 1969, and 1970, respectively. When Bronzan was promoted to an administrative
position at the school, he chose to remain on the coaching staff as an
assistant coach since administrators were not allowed to maintain head coaching
status. As the assistant coach to new Head Coach Jack Lopez, the Livermore
program added additional EBAL team titles in 1971, 1972, and a tournament title
in 1974. A master at the art of motivating his athletes, as well as promoting
his program, Bronzan on average had up to 80 kids on the roster and was also
very instrumental in organizing rooter buses for students and fans to attend
away dual meets.
After a long break from coaching, Bronzan took over in 1983 for a one-year stint when the program was in need of a coach. Without hesitation, Bronzan took on a struggling program and within only a few months brought the Livermore Cowboys back to EBAL dual meet contender status, placing runner-up in the league and sending several wrestlers to the North Coast Section Championships. During his entire coaching tenure, Bronzan produced 33 individual EBAL Champions, 8 North Coast Section medalist, 4 North Coast Regional medalists, a North Coast Section Champion and medalist at the Northern California Invitational.
Always known to be very organized and detail oriented, Bronzan took his skills back to the wrestling mat and was the tournament Director for the Livermore Invitational and Jim Miltner Frosh/Soph tournaments for many years. The Livermore Invitational was renamed in the early 1990s to the Bob Bronzan Invitational in his honor. He also helped run the CIF North Coast Section Championships and directed several EBAL and novice/JV level tournaments. Bronzan was one of the first individuals to use a computer to run a wrestling tournament in the 1980s.
Photography has long been a passion of Bob Bronzan. Since his first coaching position, Bronzan has actively taken thousands of photos of wrestlers in the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District and has expanded to the CIF North Coast Section. Bronzan spent 42 years as an educator. He retired in 2007 as Deputy Superintendent of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District. After retirement, Bronzan has continued to actively take photos of wrestling, as well as other extracurricular activities in the school district. As a member of the Livermore-Granada Boosters, he uses these photographs to help promote high school athletics. These photos are available to students, parents, and schools free of charge.
Congratulations to Bob Bronzan for being chosen this years Irv Oliner Award recipient!