Feb. 28, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Mike Marienthal, a decorated Marine who played football for UCLA and served as the men's basketball official scorer for 50 years, passed away on Wednesday due to heart issues. He was 89 years old (born: June 19, 1923 in Chicago, IL).
Marienthal served the UCLA and Los Angeles communities throughout his life. As a Bruin football player, he was a member of the 1942 Bruin team that advanced to the Rose Bowl for the first time in school history.
After graduating from UCLA Naval ROTC, he joined the Marines and in May 1945 in the battle for Okinawa, Marienthal lost his left leg above the knee and severely injured his right leg in a mortar attack. He was awarded the U.S. Navy Letter of Commendation and the Purple Heart.
He returned to UCLA in 1946 to complete his undergraduate degree. He also earned a Master's in 1951 and served on coach Bert LaBrucherie's football staff from 1946-48. On Dec. 6, 1946, at the age of 23, Mike served as the official scorer at his first UCLA men's basketball game. He held the position with distinction for 50 years, retiring at the end of the 1995-96 season. He traveled to countless arenas around the country, served under eight head coaches and witnessed all 11 of UCLA's NCAA basketball championships.
Marienthal was a teacher, coach and secondary school administrator in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 35 years. He began his career at Jefferson High School in 1948, where he served as a teacher and head football coach until 1953. At Jefferson, he led his team to City Championships and lost only two games as head coach. For his final 18 years in LA Unified, he was a principal at Nimitz, Webster and Audubon junior high schools, retiring in 1983.
As a Bruin, in addition to his duties as men's basketball official scorer, he served as a spotter on UCLA football radio broadcasts from 1971-92 and volunteered in the Sports Information Office from 1984-92. He was a 1957 charter member of Bruin Hoopsters, the basketball support group, and served as vice-president and president. He also belonged to Bruin Bench, Bruin Athletic Club, Sportsmen of the South and the Freshman Athletic Scholarship Committee.
Marienthal was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990 and in 1988, he was honored with a University Service Award by the UCLA Alumni Association. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Karleen, four daughters, one son and 12 grandchildren and three great-grand children.
A public service memorial for Mike Marienthal will be held Saturday, March 9 (10 a.m.) at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 200 Avenida San Pablo, San Clemente, CA, 92672 (949-492-6164).