Coach Jim Colberts career at City College spanned 23 years. Courtesy photo.
Coach Jim Colbert’s career at City College spanned 23 years. Courtesy photo.

Cancer diagnosis shakes athletics department

*Sept. 19 – Update: We’ve received word from Athletics Director Kathy McGinnis, that Coach Colbert passed away Wednesday night. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family.

A longtime and highly respected City College coach, Jim Colbert, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Colbert worked at the college for 23 years and was instrumental in bringing the martial arts and self-defense classes to City College.

He was involved in many activities outside the athletics department. His martial arts demonstrations in front of Gorton’s Quad brought attention to the school and the self-defense program. His advocating for women’s self-defense also brought about these classes for women.

City College’s Athletic Director Kathy McGinnis said he will always be remembered for his compassion for others and their cultures.

Some students may remember the “Food Around the World” portion of the heath classes he taught for many years. He encouraged his students through sharing of their native food, she said, being particularly mindful of the challenges Muslim women may be faced with during their time at school.

His career at City College began in 1990 as the football team’s offensive coordinator and running backs coach and he leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered.

Well wishes to Coach Colbert and his family are encouraged and welcome. There is a drop box available in the Harry West Gym Reception Area for those who would like to leave a message.

A Facebook tribute page and scholarship have also been established to honor his name. Visit them at:

McGinnis suggests that those who may need support at this time, should contact City College’s Mental Health Services Grief Counseling at 619-388-3539.

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Cancer diagnosis shakes athletics department