The idea is not to live forever but to create something that will.
  • Born on September 28, 1945 .
  • Passed away on October 2, 2019 .
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Mike Phelps, born on September 28, 1945 and passed away on October 2, 2019, at his home just after his 74th birthday, surrounded by loved ones. We will remember him forever.

The funeral will be held at Assumption Catholic Church, 1851 136th Avenue,  in San Leandro, on Monday, October 14, 2019 at 10:30 AM with a Celebration of Life Reception directly following the mass in the Gymnasium. People are encouraged to bring one of Coach's favorite sweet treats for the dessert table. A light lunch will be provided. There will also be an open microphone during the reception to share your thoughts and great memories and stories. 

Please add pictures to the gallery!  

In lieu of flowers and gifts, please make a donation in Mike's name to the Parkinson's Foundation at
Posted by Denise Noleroth on October 15, 2019
This is on behalf of William McCarthy....a teammate of Coach's at St. Joseph's.

I arrived at St. Joseph's from Hawaii in my junior year. I played baseball with Mike and I have to say as good as he was he was a better person. My mother thought the world of Mike and no matter how good my grades were or how well I played baseball, I was always reminded I should be like Mike. I went off to the Naval Academy and into the Navy, never returning to St. Joe's. If I had it would have been to see Mike.

Mike, May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, and until we meet again may the good Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand.

William McCarthy
Posted by Denise Noleroth on October 15, 2019
This is on behalf for Jim Collins. He was not able to be at the Memorial today as his PGA Junior League team was playing for the SemiFinals for the National Championship in Scottsdale today.

"As you know, I coached with Coach from 1979-1991. I remember Coach asking me to coach the Freshmen team.....I was 19 years old at the time and quite frankly a little "out of control". Coach told me to be responsible, be dedicated to the kids, be organized, and make sure to have fun and run only the plays I tell you to!! So I had to grow up quickly!

So one quick moment to share....My first year as JV Coach, I submitted my roster to Coach that had 12 kids on it. Kid #12 was Brian Shaw. Coach said he's too small and skinny so keep this other kid instead of him. I said, Coach, I think he could be pretty good. But Coach said "No", and then Brian's Dad walked into the gym, he's 6'4", about 220, and I said, Coach, there's his Dad. Coach took one look at him and said, "Keep him!"

I visited with Coach last week with Dale Noleroth. I thanked Coach for teaching me his Principles of Coaching, which I have used my entire life. I also told him that I would not be the man I am today without his tutoring.

In closing, my dad passed away when I was 4 years old, so I never really knew him.....however, I have tried to raise my kids kind of like how Coach Phelps taught me those basic principles of life, and how he coached, and if I could choose a dad, I would want him to be like Coach!

God Bless Coach Phelps. I love you, Coach! ----- From Jim Collins
Posted by Eugene Agnew on October 14, 2019
I met Mike as a young man entering high school.I had lots of unbridled energy and was a handful .As a teacher, a boss, and a coach Mike always tried to steer me in the right direction. The most important of all Mikes rolls was that he became a friend.I do not use that term lightly, we meet many people in our lives but few receive the honor a being ones friend.I am thankful for our many long conversations , victories and memories.My life has become a very happy and positive one. I give many thanks to Mike for helping me get there. Your friend-Gene Agnew..
Posted by MARK DELUCA on October 14, 2019
Coach Phelps thank you for being a mentor of mine. I truly treasured every moment with you. To this day I use the stuff you taught me with my players and coaches. You were a great teacher, and the best HS coach I'd ever seen bar none-no contest. You were also great at teaching coaches. Competing against you, Pete, Lou, Mike, Tony, and Doug was an honor. Your legacy lives on forever in your players, coaches and students. May the blood of Jesus cover and protect all those who mourn you as you have received a grand entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Posted by Eric Holloway on October 13, 2019
I feel so very bad about all those in the Bishop O'Dowd family and beyond who Mourne the death of Michael Edwin Phelps. He was a great mentor to many people, including a lot of players on the O'Dowd basketball team I played with. In the most humble way, I pray for those who are going through pain because of the death of Phelps. Many will miss him. God speed!
Posted by Bob Sickenger on October 12, 2019
As a young man, Mike was an alter server at my wedding. During his long career as an educator, he was an excellent teacher of mathematics and an outstanding coach of both basketball and baseball. He was always a gentleman and a friend.
Posted by Craig Makela on October 12, 2019
Coach you are the reason I came to O’dowd In 1978. Your coaching /teaching skills to this day are things I still reach back on. In Life when I’ve had tough decision would size it up as a basketball game coached by you. Positive attitude , never give up , do it the right way , discipline. You will always be the greatest Coach in History to me and many others. RIP Love You
Posted by Ilan Remler on October 11, 2019
Coach Phelps was a great human being. He was a driven coach who took the game and the people who played the game seriously. I will always remember the night before we were to make cuts. He reviewed, with all the coaches, the person, the player, the statistics, and more and would go on and on. He took the hopes and dreams of countless kids seriously and with amazing care and ability. He loved to teach and loved to coach. I wish he could have died doing those things and thank God that I had the chance to know him. God bless you coach.
Posted by Jan Creighton on October 11, 2019
Wow, Mikey, where to begin...? We met as you and Jimmy became colleagues at St. Joe’s as young teachers in 1970. (I was only seventeen!) Leaving there (after the big rebellion) and moving forward to O’Dowd, we still took our places behind your (stinky) teams and cheered them on until moving to Oregon in 1980. The elation we as a community felt over your little St. Joe’s teams’ successes was unbelievable, and as so many here, we were privy to your magic and relentless hard work, your belief in your kids.
Like a brother for the rest of my life, we traveled through so many chapters, and your comical relationship with Jimmy until his death, fills my heart and makes me smile. As a co-home owner, godfather to our kids, provider of a lifetime of love and friendship, you are a solid gem in my heart, and forever “Mikey.” Thank you for being that sweet and inspirational force in our lives. (Being at Jimmy’s bedside in Oregon near his death meant so much.) You never ever stopped loving all of these people who now write! Infamy is a wonderful thing. Bless you and thank you.
“ Jannie “
Posted by John Dinga on October 10, 2019
Posted by John Phelps Dinga, 10 October 2019. I hope you noticed my middle name, which caused me to have an immediate affinity to Mike when I met him in my sophomore year at St. Joes. He and I played handball almost every morning before classes at St. Joes, and shared classes for three year before we graduated in June 1963. He was a great classmate, and teammate on the baseball team, and he already demonstrated the qualities that so many have praised in their tributes after he worked as a coach and teacher at St. Joes and O'Dowd. I last met Mike over lunch in 2013; unfortunately I could not convince him to join the St. Joes 50th class reunion later that year. I will remember him and miss him.
Posted by Don Lippi on October 9, 2019
I worked with Steve Phelps at Saint Ignatius - Paul Phelps was my friend at St. Joseph Notre Dame - and Mike Phelps and I competed for many years when he coached at O'Dowd. Pound for pound the best basketball coach in the Bay Area. If you played Mike's teams you better be ready to play with intensity. If want to get a good shot you better have a good offense, becasue they defended!! If you want to stop his team you better be able to maintain your defensive intensity for a longer period of time than other teams. Mike's team took only good shots and they defended with excellence. Mike was a friend of mine becasue I know his family so well and becasue our paths crossed with basketball competition. In l978 I was lucky enough to replace Mike at St. Joseph Notre Dame as the basketball coach and Atheltic Director. Mike helped me with both positions when he left. He suggested I take the Athletic Director position and that was a good suggestion. Thanks for all the memories Mike we all looked up to you as the best at what you do. Peace-Don Lipi
Posted by Mike Waldrip on October 9, 2019
The key to success for any coach/teacher/mentor is to maximize potential. All great coaches have this ability. What made Mr. Phelps the greatest coach ever was not only his ability to maximize potential but also to see potential in people that others didn't or couldn't see, usually including the person them self. Mr Phelps ability to see the FULL potential in people was a rare gift. When you combined that gift with the tools for people to see their own potential, teach the lessons required to achieve that potential and provide unwavering and often times relentless support for people, then you are no longer just coaching basketball or baseball or teaching Algebra..... you are changing peoples lives. Forever. That's what made Mr Phelps the greatest coach ever.
Posted by Naomi Bannister on October 8, 2019
Your bark was always bigger than your bite. Your generosity, grace and mercy were boundless. The things you wanted, most often you’d get and what others needed, most often you’d give. 

A quiet, shy man at first glance to those who didn’t know you but a Beast when it came to the intricate details and nuances of the games of baseball and basketball.

For those who believe, we will see you again someday. Until then I will remember the limitless love you had for your family, friends, students, teams, teaching, coaching and COOKIES! “I probably shouldn’t eat this stuff but. . .”
Posted by Garry Hill-Thomas on October 8, 2019
This is tough to write...Coach, you will be greatly missed. Thank you for everything you did for my family and I. You were a great coach and teacher but a better person. You helped me mold the foundation to be a man. You influenced so many lives in your lifetime. We can all hope to have that said about us. I will miss you! Love always. 
Posted by Luke Jubb on October 8, 2019
Your leadership, commitment, and passion for the game taught us so much more than what we developed on the court. The influence you had on your players transcended the game of basketball, allowing us to thrive in so many other aspects of our lives. Thank you for the guidance, wisdom, and patience you showed to me when I needed it most. You will be missed, Coach.
Posted by Dale Noleroth on October 8, 2019
Coach Phelps was such an influence on me as a person, my understanding of teamwork, hard work, discipline, attention to detail, being able to accomplish more than I thought possible, and being a part of something bigger than myself. I was blessed to share alot of time with Mr Phelps during my time at O'Dowd that I wouldn't trade for anything. Those times formed the person I am today, and I am a better person because of Coach. He will be missed, but his spirit and influence live on through all of us that were so fortunate to have known him. Love you Coach!
Posted by William Lyons on October 8, 2019
Michael Phelps was an inspiration to athletes and teachers. He brought the best out of his basketball team developing "player-playoff talent" every year. Mike interjected a friendly positive attitude with teachers and staff. He offered support and plenty of laughter with his colleagues and students. I really missed Mike when he left O'Dowd. I shared my feelings with his brother Steve that became President of the school. Michael was truly a remarkable teacher and coach. 
Posted by Fran Warmerdam on October 7, 2019
Mike Phelps was a legend to many - and that title is well-deserved, to be sure. However, more important to me was his kindness, his gentleness, his passion for teaching, both off and on the court, and how honorable he was. As a young teacher and counselor, he both mentored me and helped me feel competent. He was a humble man, asking a young counselor for advice, when he knew full well that he didn't need any advice. He was a huge promoter of "the team," and not just a basketball team, but the team that surrounds us in work and in life. I feel your loss deeply, as do so many others whom you mentored and supported. Thank you, Mike.
Posted by Marguerite Green on October 7, 2019
Dear Mike,

I'm a witness to the difference you made in so many. You shared your love of math with your students, we still laugh at your banapple analogy and your love for the sport of basketball. You were tough and loving at the same time. You will be missed and I treasure the memories.
Posted by Paul Phelps on October 6, 2019
You were an awesome brother and role model.It was so great having you as a big brother but it was not always easy.People expected me to be able to coach like you,but you were always on a level that was well beyond my reach.I learned almost everything I know about basketball and baseball from you.I remember when you were my 4th grade basketball coach and my Babe Ruth League baseball coach from age 13 to 15.Thank you for believing in me so much because you never knew how much I needed that belief.Any success I had as a player or coach was because of you.I remember many years ago when I asked if I could crash on your living room floor for 2 weeks and I stayed for 2 years.I remember when you loaned me the money I needed to start my business.I mostly remember how much you genuinely cared about and loved your players,coaches and friends.You will be missed and you always be loved.Thank you for your love and helping so much to make my life more than I ever imagined it could be.
Posted by J K Scott on October 4, 2019
My deepest gratitude for your enduring friendship, laughter, and decades of heartfelt memories that would fill libraries full of good times, challenging times and always the best of times with your abundant spirit. Mike you soar in the highest realms of being. I'm forever thankful for your presence in life. Love always J K
Posted by Kathleen Ciuk on October 4, 2019
I did not know Mike Phelps well only through my daughter and son in law. We would get together with mike over a few holidays in the past and always enjoyed our visits we had with this kind man. I will never forget how he told me over a thanksgiving holiday that my stuffing was the best stuffing he had ever had. I said thank you mike it’s only stove top. He said it was better than his mother’s. We had a good laugh about that. You will be missed mike and we are still eating stove top.
Posted by Tony Ronzone on October 4, 2019
I write this with great sadness over the loss of my friend, father figure, and mentor. Coach Phelps helped shaped me to be the person I am today. His care and love for everyone he touched will always be remembered. Coach will be missed as his beautiful spirit will live in though everyone he touched. Coach I Love you !!! Rest in peace as you will always be coaching from above.
Posted by Denise Noleroth on October 3, 2019
So thankful for the influence you were in my life. You brought so much to me and you didn't even realize it. I miss our Wednesday's already. The last 10 months gave me such precious time with you. I will never forget it. I will always celebrate you for the man you were.

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