Long Beach City College will soon have alum and former champion coach Randy Totorp back running things as the Vikings’ athletic director–again.
“You can regurgitate the quotes from the last time,” joked Totorp when interviewed for this story.
Totorp will be entering his third tenure as the LBCC athletic director, having served as interim AD from 2011-2013 and as the AD from 2015 until 2019. Now, after two years as the AD at Saddleback College, Totorp is coming home again and will start at the end of next week, on April 9. LBCC will be bringing athletes back on campus for conditioning on April 12.
“The timeline is going to work out, I’ll have Saddleback going with their athletes back and then transition to Long Beach as we’re getting ready to get athletes back on campus,” said Totorp.
Totorp is a Lakewood High alum who lives in Rossmoor with his wife and children. After Lakewood, he played two seasons of men’s volleyball at LBCC and then at San Diego State. After graduating he coached the LBCC men’s volleyball team for eight seasons, winning seven conference titles and three state championships (2004, 2006, and 2009).
He acknowledged the odd nature of being hired back to his dream job for the third time.
He takes over from the retiring Bill Husak, a legendary administrator at Long Beach State and a nationally-recognized AD at LMU for 25 years. Husak has been serving as the interim athletic director as the college searched for Totorp’s replacement, eventually settling on Totorp himself.
“I don’t disagree that it’s ironic, one bit,” said Totorp. “I feel very lucky. I’ve learned a lot.”
Totorp is well-liked on the LBCC campus and coaches there mourned his departure when he left for Saddleback in 2019. Totorp said that while his path of leaving and coming back has been unique, he’s learned and grown a lot from stints as AD at El Camino College (2013-15) and Saddleback (2019-21).
“My goal from the age of 20 has been to work in Long Beach, to be really clear I never wanted to leave,” he said. “The interim AD position opened up in my ninth year of coaching and I stepped up. Two years later they finished their search and they hired someone else, so I took the job at El Camino. Then two years later they cleaned house and asked me to come back and I said yes. The Saddleback career opportunity was incredible and it was really hard to not look at it seriously. My goal was to stay at Long Beach but to advance my career–and we just unfortunately couldn’t get it worked out, at the same time I was offered the Saddleback position. I felt like I needed to go do it.”
After two years of commuting to Saddleback in Mission Viejo from Rossmoor, and two years of being away from LBCC, Totorp knew that the Vikings were still looking for an AD to replace him and he felt the pull of home.
“I was missing my community, and I’m thinking okay, am I really going to move to be closer to Saddleback which is what would have been necessary?” he said. “At the end of the day I didn’t feel like the answer was moving out of the area I like being in with my friends and family, and where we want to raise our kids.”
So, seeing the LBCC position open, Totorp said he did a lot of “soul searching” and decided to throw his name back in it, this time with the intention of staying at LBCC for the rest of his career.
“People have been texting me and telling me they’re excited, it feels really good,” he said. “Bill was fantastic and he and I have gotten together. He was the perfect person in these last two years. And look, I know the path looks a little weird. The reality is I’ve always wanted to work in Long Beach and spend my career here. I’m just happy to have the chance to come back, and I’m really excited about the leadership at LBCC, that’s a big factor too. I’m excited to work with them, to get our student-athletes back on campus and to try and help lead us to a better place post-COVID.”