Emeritus, In Memoriam
George Ziegenfuss was born in 1917, in Centerville, Wisconsin. He was the son of Bertha and Christopher Ziegenfuss. George had three older sisters, Helen, Ruth, & Marion. The family lived in Winona, Minnesota.
The family dealt with a loss when mother Bertha died in 1922, leaving father Christopher with four young children to raise, including George who had not reached his 5th birthday. At that time, the family lived in Minnesota.
Christopher re-located his young family to Renton, King County, Washington where he worked as a merchant and butcher. George attended Renton High School and after went on to the University of Washington. He played college basketball and was a three-year letterman and captain of the 1938-39 team. He graduated with a B.A degree in 1940.
George married Jean Bennett on August 10, 1941 in Renton, Washington. They had four children, two sons (Fritz and Kenneth) and two daughters (Valerie and Lynette).
George taught at a high school in Washington, at Whitman College, and was an assistant coach at Columbia University. During WW II, George served in the U.S. Navy.
George received his M.A. degree at the Teachers College of Columbia University in 1947 and later received his Ed.D. Degree from Columbia, after he began working at San Diego State in 1948.
George was appointed Assistant Professor of Physical Education in 1948 and was long-term Head Basketball Coach, compiling an impressive record (316 wins, 229 loses) between 1948 to 1969. George also served as Acting Chair of the Division of Health Education, Physical Education, & Recreation from 1954-1955.
George continued to teach in the Department of Physical Education until his retirement in 1980. Prior to his retirement he was promoted to the rank of Professor and entered retirement as Emeritus Professor of Physical Education. George was elected to the San Diego State Aztec Hall of Fame in 1994.
George and wife Jean lived in El Cajon, a suburb of San Diego. George died in 2007 at the age of 90. Jean passed away in 2012 at age 93.