Al Kyte '53

As an undergraduate, in addition to his involvement in Cal Beta,  Al lettered in baseball (he was an All-Conference first baseman) and JV basketball and was a member of Golden Bear. 

After graduating from Cal in January of 1957, Al went to the Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and when commissioned, received further training as a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer at Little Creek, Virginia. He served in that capacity for three years with the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton in southern California. 

Upon completing his service, Al returned to Cal for a graduate year where he received his secondary teaching credential and started on a master’s degree.  The following year Al was hired to teach physical education on the initial faculty of Oakland’s Skyline High School.  In that capacity Al became that school’s first baseball and basketball coach.

Two years later, Brother Kyte was recruited back to Berkeley as an assistant baseball coach and physical education faculty member. There he taught physical activity classes in tennis and basketball as well as several theory classes, supervised student teachers, did some biomechanical research on various throwing skills, completed his masters degree and a doctorate in Higher Education, and eventually served as an administrator over the physical activity program. 

On the side, Al has pursued his passion of fly fishing and has taught programs on fly fishing and fly casting and has guided and led trips to Alaska and to the Caribbean. Al was selected to serve on a governing board to set up and administer a national teaching-certification program for fly casting instructors, which has since become the international program. Al was awarded for his teaching excellence offered annually by The International Federation of Fly Fishers.

Almost 50 years ago Al desired to surround himself with similar plants that he enjoyed being around while hiking and fly fishing. Al converted his typical suburban lot into a lovely, low-maintenance, park-like landscape gardening exclusively with California native plants. Currently, Al’s garden consists of over 150 native California plant species. For the last fourteen years his garden has been featured on the bay area’s, Bringing Back the Natives tour. 

Al is most proud of his work with the homeless. For over 20 years, Al and his wife, Barbara, led volunteers in a monthly outreach to bring food, water, socks, hygiene kits and clothing to homeless people on the streets of west Oakland.  Each week for most of those years Al also mentored men in their recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.  Both of these activities were done through the CityTeam organization of Oakland.