The La Jolla YMCA’s Sam Wurtzbacher steadfastly supports families, fun, fitness

Sam Wurtzbacher was born in Wheeling, West Virginia and has lived in San Diego since 1982. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical education from University of California at Long Beach and has been the executive director of the La Jolla YMCA since 1990.
Wurtzbacher said he is passionate about the mission of the YMCA, and has spent a total of 36 years with the organization. He believes in giving back to the community and is an active member of La Jolla Rotary Club. He lives in Talmadge with his wife and has two adult daughters. He enjoys camping, hiking, remodeling homes, landscape design and social activities with family and friends.

Sam Wurtzbacher

What brought you to La Jolla?
It was the opportunity to serve as our community YMCA’s executive director. I’ve been fortunate to be involved in the development of a great YMCA for nearly 22 years.

What makes this area special to you?
It’s definitely the people. I partner with a passionate, volunteer-led Board of Management whose members really make a significant commitment to help improve our community in order to make a positive impact on the lives of children and their families. Our dedicated members and donors stay involved and committed to their community YMCA, creating an environment of caring and building a brighter future for all.

What might you add, subtract or improve in this area?
I think about the possibility of working closer with city schools in bringing physical education, fitness and nutrition back into all of our elementary schools. Our YMCA is woven into strong partnerships with neighborhood schools with a goal of mobilizing resources to reestablish these needed activities to all children.

What inspires you?
I’m inspired by working alongside my current and past board chairs, who are committed to our Y and creating a healthy and caring environment, while working together as a team to achieve our common goals.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, who (living or deceased) would you invite?
I would invite John Lennon because I love the Beatles, Michelangelo because he is truly God’s own artist, Beethoven for the love of classical music, Pope John Paul II to bless our meal, Anne Frank because of her optimistic spirit, Jane Goodall to study our behavior, Rosa Parks to show us the great power of ordinary people, and Mother Teresa to show us the power of devotion and compassion.

What are your five favorite movies of all time?
“The Champ,” which gets me crying every time; “Sergeant York,” which portrays a hero against fighting; “The Ten Commandments,” which is just a great story; “The Green Mile,” which speaks of a compassionate heart; and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” for its fun action.

What is your most marked characteristic?
I am very persistent and patient, which go hand-in-hand with the overall development of our La Jolla YMCA. Our strong core of committed volunteers and staff has been steady in how we managed and progressed our Y over the years. We have been very persistent in providing sound programs and activities for people to have fun, learn, and play in a safe and enjoyable environment.

What do you do for fun?
I enjoy spending weekends with my wife and family. I love taking hikes on San Diego trails, seeing concerts in the park, and relaxing on hot, summer days at the beach. I also get satisfaction from remodeling my home.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.
I’m proud that, year in and year out, I’ve been able to be a part of the YMCA and its positive effects on thousands of La Jolla families, including my own.

What’s your philosophy on life?
I believe that a spirit of cooperation accomplishes more than a spirit of competition.

Related posts:

  1. Sherry Nooravi knows that great leadership requires foresight, service
  2. Alexander Salazar brings finer artistic deals to San Diego County
  3. Mixing art and politics Debbie Dorsee uniquely serves her La Jolla community
  4. UCSD music man Scott Paulson plays it ‘off’ beat
  5. Virginia Foster says use problems to grow and skip the blaming

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Mar 8, 2012. Filed under 10 Questions, Life. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “The La Jolla YMCA’s Sam Wurtzbacher steadfastly supports families, fun, fitness”

  1. Sam, thanks for dedicating so much of your life and passion to our Y. We are lucky to have you. Here's to a future for the Y even greater and with more impact than our amazing past!

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar


Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • Del Mar couple to present program about Bhutan at Solana Beach Library September 1, 2014
    Join cultural anthropologist and photographer Roger Harmon and his wife, Nancy, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in the Solana Beach Library for a free presentation of their travels to Bhutan through slides and artifacts. […]
  • Carmel Valley Boy Scouts climb Mount Whitney September 1, 2014
    Several boys from Boy Scout Troop 765 (Carmel Valley) made the climb to the tallest peak in the contiguous 48 states this summer. They spent the summer hiking the tallest peaks of Southern California, preparing for their hike of Mount Whitney. These peaks included Mount Baldy, Mount San Jacinto, and Mount San Gorgonio. The boys made the 22-mile round-trip tr […]
  • Multimillion-dollar renovation complete at Hilton San Diego Del Mar September 1, 2014
    Hilton San Diego Del Mar announces the completion of its multimillion-dollar renovation. Funded by Wheelock Street Capital and Sage Hospitality, the hotel’s completed renovation includes the lobby, business center, fitness center, restaurant, meeting spaces and all 257 guest rooms. “This renovation has truly transformed the Hilton San Diego Del Mar property, […]