Former Fresno City College football coach Vance Stanley, who led Fresno High to two Valley football championships, died Tuesday. He was 81.

Mr. Stanley died from complications of a stroke suffered two years ago.

Mr. Stanley was a four-sport standout at Chowchilla High in the 1950s, then beginning in 1954 played football at Fresno State.

As a Bulldogs standout, Mr. Stanley helped Fresno State to a 27-14 victory over Brigham Young when he had a 22-yard touchdown reception from Mike Pratt.

In 11 seasons as a high school coach in the 1960s and ’70s (10 at Fresno High and one at Tulare Western), Mr. Stanley compiled a 74-22-9 record with two section championships (1968 and 1971)and four league titles at Fresno.

In 1972, Mr. Stanley coached in the North-South Shrine All-Star game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. He later became an assistant at then-Kings River Community College in Reedley. He joined the Fresno City staff and became head coach in 1996. He retired at the end of the ’98 season.

“We lost a great one this week,” said Fresno City coach Tony Caviglia, who replaced Stanley in 1999. “A great dad, coach and mentor of many. He had a positive impact on all the players and coaches here and he will be missed by our Ram football family.”

At Fresno City, Mr. Stanley coached future NFL running back Maurice Morris and also hired Rams defensive coordinator Rick Scheidt as running backs coach in 1997.

Scheidt had to coach the team in ’98 after Mr. Stanley suffered a heart attack following the team’s first conference game against Modesto.

“He’s a wonderful man – big heart,” Scheidt said. All the kids that played for him loved him. ... Winning was important, but the big picture was he cared for young men and made sure they were successful in life. The kids that played for him realized that. He put a smile on everyone’s face. He was well-respected and I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s a treasured guy throughout the community and he will be greatly missed.”

Mr. Stanley is on Fresno High’s Wall of Champions and was inducted into Fresno City’s Wall of Fame in 2005.

Mr. Stanley is survived by son, Jeffrey Stanley; daughters Jennifer Johnson and Jill Laird; brother Darrell Stanley and wife Erla; sister Janice Deniz and 12 grandchildren.

Memorial services will take place at San Joaquin Country Club on July 8 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Read more at the Fresno Bee