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Don Hazzard

Donald and Alma Hazzard and family

4723 Spencer Street

Torrance, California, 90503


Don:  Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1931; lived in Butler, Pennsylvania; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Los Angeles, California.


Alma:  Born in New York and moved to Los Angeles at age 4.


After marriage in 1953 Don and Alma lived in Los Angeles, Gardena, California, and, since 1970, in Torrance, California.




Both Don and Alma attended Los Angeles High School, graduating in 1949.  They went on to UCLA: Don - BS in mechanical engineering, 1953; Alma - BS in business education, 1953.




Don went through the ROTC program at UCLA (Battalion Commander in senior year) and was commissioned 2nd Lt. in the Army Corps of Engineers (June 1953). After additional training at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, he served in Korea (May 1954 through September 1955) as a platoon leader and then equipment officer in an engineer battalion responsible for road repair and maintenance.


Career and Activities


Don worked for 34 years in engineering for the AiResearch Los Angeles Division of the Garrett Corporation (ultimately AiResearch Division of Allied Signal Companies).  While working for AiResearch, he became acquainted with Joe Bonchonsky who introduced him to youth soccer.  “Thank you, Joe.”  At retirement in 1991 he received the Engineering Merit Award from AiResearch/Allied Signal.


After retirement Don attended California State University, Dominguez Hills, obtained an adult education teaching credential, and worked part-time for eight years in an adult learning center of the Long Beach School District.


In addition to his AYSO work described below, Don’s volunteering has included tutoring math at El Camino College and tutoring literacy for adults.  A challenge!  Also, he has been active on his church governing board and served as church finance chairperson.


Alma was Director of the Career Center at Redondo Union High School for 19 years and continued to support the Center as a volunteer after retirement.  She has volunteered in a variety of functions at church including the governing and deacon boards.


Alma trained for and became an ombudsman, a volunteer advocate for the rights of patients in long-term care facilities.  Since 1997 she has served the needs of patients in many facilities around the South Bay.


Don and Alma have been fortunate in enjoying travels to many foreign and US destinations.




Don and Alma were married in 1953 and have one daughter, Kathleen, and one son, Steven.  Don and Alma have five grandchildren and one great grandchild (Kathy’s two daughters and one-grandchild and Steve’s two sons and one daughter).


Soccer history 


With support from Region 14 Commissioner, Dick Smisek, Don and Alma organized in 1971 the first girl’s soccer program in the Los Angeles South Bay.  Officially, Don was the Girl’s Commissioner, but the organizing was a dual effort. In that first year there were 16 teams with players from all over the South Bay.   


Kathy and Steve played in AYSO for a number of years, and both also played for West Torrance High School.  Steve was a member of the West soccer team that won the CIF SS championship in 1978.  He continued to play occasionally into his 50s in an adult league.  Don coached both Kathy’s and Steve’s AYSO teams, but not at the same time.  Don and Alma trained and became AYSO referees, and Alma was one of the first women referees.


After graduation from high school, Kathy and Steve continued their soccer careers.  Both earned coaching licenses and refereeing certificates.


Kathy was an assistant soccer coach for girls at West High and a co-coach for several seasons for a division 3, AYSO, girl’s team.  She refereed frosh-soph high school boy’s and girl’s games.  Her daughter, Patti, played two years of high school soccer.


Steve was an assistant coach at Mira Costa High School and refereed boy’s and girl’s high school games, also in an adult league.  Later Steve coached all three of his children’s teams in AYSO and refereed AYSO games.  His coaching also included his son’s and daughter’s club teams.  Matthew, Steve’s oldest son, was an assistant coach for Steve in AYSO, refereed AYSO games, played varsity for West High (MVP as a senior), and in 2009 and 2010 played (on a soccer scholarship) for Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona.  Erica, Steve’s daughter, also played soccer for West High.  She helped coach her younger brother’s (Andrew’s) AYSO team and refereed in AYSO.  Andrew continued to play in AYSO.