TRACK & FIELD, COACH
Lester was born in Chicago in 1943 and attended Dorsey High School – Los Angeles, San Jose State, and Wright Institute at University of California, Berkeley.
Lester was an elite long and triple jump competitor and team captain while a San Jose State undergraduate student (1961- 65). He was recruited as a long jumper and began triple jumping his junior year, during which he finished second in the triple jump at the 1964 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. That finish earned him a spot in the 1964 U.S. Olympic semifinals qualifying meet. An injury prevented him from competing in the Olympics.
In 1965 he broke the San Jose State triple jump record with a jump of 52’3/4”, which would stand for 10 years. His long jump mark of 25’5-1/4” was the longest jump since 1948. These marks are the longest triple/long jump combination marks ever achieved in San Jose State history.
Lester competed at the Masters level until he was 47 years old and won the Pan Ameri- can Long Jump Championship.
Lester began coaching at Silver Creek High School, San Jose. He was also the jump coach at Merritt Community College, Oakland. He coached future Olympians Millar Hampton (1976 4×100 meter relay, also silver medalist in the 200 meters) and Andre Phillips (1998 400-meter hurdles), who is currently principal at Stagg High School in Stockton.
In 1980 Lester was recruited to be the jump coach at San Joaquin Delta Community College by Delta’s head track coach, Merv Smith, who had been a San Jose State colleague and friend. He worked with outstanding local athletes like Curtis Johnson and Cedric Boyd, who went o n to distinguish themselves at the college level.
During the 1980’s and ’90’s, Lester coached at St. Mary’s High School and trained with other high school jumpers. Many of these jumpers placed in the Masters high school meets and multiple athletes qualified for and placed in the California State Track Meet. Andrew Hill, Scott Towne, and Chaz Smith all qualified for the California State Meet, with Scott Towne placing in the state meet.
Lester also began coaching Stockton Unified School District’s John F. Kennedy Games teams, a district-wide event patterned after the Olympics, involving about 30 schools and over 1,400 competitors from area youth track clubs. Currently he is on the JFK Games planning committee.
In 2000, Lester began work with youth track and field clubs such as A.B. Coleman’s Track Club and the Ron Robinson’s Be Fast Track Club.
Lester returned to coaching as SJDCC from 2007 to 2015. In 2007 he coached current SJDCC Co-Head Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Lauren Jordan Seales. He was selected the 2015 California Community College Assistant Coach of the Year, Men’s Track and Field by the California Community College Cross Country and Track Coaches Association. In 2014 and 205, Lester coached California Community College State Championships long jump silver medalist and triple jump gold medalist Eric Sloan.
In 2009, Coach Bond was inducted into the African American Athletes Hall of Fame in Stockton, which also honored him in 2016 as the Coach Charles Washington Coach of the Year.
Lester and his wife of 50 years, June, have two sons, David and Rick, and five grandchildren.