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CV's Dan Berry dies at 65

Falcons softball's architect and longtime coach passes away early Wednesday morning.

October 26, 2011|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
  • CV's Erin Ashby, left, gives coach Dan Berry a high five after the team makes two home runs during a game against Burroughs at Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff Photographer)
CV's Erin Ashby, left, gives coach Dan Berry a high…

Dan Berry, who formed and coached the Crescenta Valley High softball team to a CIF Southern Section championship and 20 Pacific League titles, died Wednesday morning. He was 65.

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FOR THE RECORD: This corrects an earlier version that stated Berry was 66 when he died.

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Berry was taken to Verdugo Hills Hospital on Oct. 11 after suffering two seizures inside the Crescenta Valley coaches’ office. After paramedics arrived, Berry went into cardiac arrest and was treated at the scene before being taken to the hospital. On Friday, he was taken off a ventilator and moved into the hospice wing of the hospital where he passed away.

Born Nov. 28, 1945, in Greensboro, N.C., Berry coached the Falcons for two tenures totaling 27 seasons. Berry, a La Crescenta resident, guided the Falcons to a CIF Southern Section Division III-A championship in 1986. The Falcons recorded a 5-4 win against Woodbridge, giving Crescenta Valley its first and only section crown and the first for any girls’ team in school chronicle.

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Jenny Berry Shaver, the second-oldest of Berry’s three daughters, said her father wanted to establish a successful program because softball was his passion.

“He loved softball and he was a disciplinarian who had a strict routine,” said Berry Shaver, who pitched four seasons at Crescenta Valley. “If you followed his philosophy, then you’d be a winner no matter what."

“He could look at any player and know what to make them into. He’s the type of dad who always had your back and he was a very loyal person and a great role model.”

Under Berry, who began the program in 1983, the Falcons went 570-117 overall (.829 winning percentage) and 240-25 in the Pacific League. Crescenta Valley shared the league championship last season with Burroughs before falling to Oak Park, 6-5, in a Division III first-round playoff contest. The Falcons went 21-4, 13-1 in league last season.

“I don’t have any words that would be able to serve justice for what he did for the program,” Crescenta Valley girls’ Athletic Director Peter Kim said. “He wore many different hats and he did that so well with everybody he came into contact with.”

Berry first coached at Crescenta Valley from 1983-94, going 250-41 overall and leading the Falcons to eight league championships.

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