Multi-Sport State Coaching Leaders

California's winningest football and boys basketball coaches are Bob Ladouceur of Concord De La Salle and Gary McKnight of Santa Ana Mater Dei. Ladouceur retired after the 2012 football season. McKnight reached 1,000 wins in 2015.

California’s winningest football and boys basketball coaches are Bob Ladouceur of Concord De La Salle and Gary McKnight of Santa Ana Mater Dei. Ladouceur retired after the 2012 football season. McKnight won his 1,000th game during 2014-15 season.

For the first time, we present an anchor home for instant access to the Cal-Hi Sports state record lists for coaching wins in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball and softball. All records have now been updated through the 2016-17 school year. Go inside for all the details.

Note: All state record lists in various sports will eventually be posted on this site as part of our Gold Club membership. There is no other source for this information other than through Cal-Hi Sports. To sign up for your Gold Club membership so you can see all of our weekly state rankings, player rankings, record updates and more, CLICK HERE.

FOOTBALL COACHING LEADERS

The 300 club continued to grow during the 2016 season with the addition of Tehachapi’s Steve Denman.

It took until the final week of the regular season, but with numerous “300” signs throughout the stands, Denman and the Warriors got it done with a 35-7 triumph over West of Bakersfield.

Denman became just the eighth coach in state history to join those with 300 career wins or more. He also became just the second — all-time leader Bob Ladoucuer of Concord De La Salle is the other — to win all 300 at the same school.

It was widely reported that Lou Farrar of West Covina Charter Oak won his 300th game during the 2016 season, but we already had Big Lou with 300 entering the season. We are going by our totals until they are proven to be incorrect, which has not happened yet.

Congrats also to the three coaches who joined the list by winning their 200th games: Jim Kunau from Rancho Christian of Temecula, Rob Gilster of Valley Center and Chuck Shidan of Sanger.

For the complete list, which is up-to-date heading into the 2016 season, and is for Gold Club members only, CLICK HERE.

To join our Gold Club membership, CLICK HERE.

BOYS BASKETBALL COACHING LEADERS

It was another great season for Santa Ana Mater Dei’s Gary McKnight, whose team went 33-3 during the 2016-17 season and once again was one of the best teams in the nation, losing only to CIF Open Division state champ Bishop Montgomery of Torrance (twice) and Chino Hills (a loss later avenged).

McKnight won his 1,000th game two seasons ago and is on track win his 1,100th next season. No other coach in the state is still above 900.

With McKnight continuing to build his resume, we think he becomes a candidate to get voted into the International Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Yes, that’s the same one with Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Dr. J and all the rest. The only high school coaches who are in it so far are Morgan Wootten from DeMatha of Hyattsville, Md., Bob Hurley from St. Anthony of Jersey City, N.J., and Robert Hughes of Fort Worth, Texas, who was voted in for the 2017 induction class.

Perhaps the most significant mover on the all-time list during the season was Don Lippi from St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda. Lippi moved past three others with 800 wins and is now No. 6 after the Pilots went 30-2 and were among the state’s top-ranked teams all season. Next season, if Lippi can get 13 wins, he would tie former Oakland Bishop O’Dowd coach Mike Phelps for the No. 1 spot in Northern California history.

The only major milestone win recorded was in the final week of the regular season when Mike Murphy from Sonora of La Habra won the 600th game of his career. That’s the win needed to put a boys coach on the all-time list.

Next season, watch out for Harvey Kitani of Rolling Hills Prep (formerly Fairfax of Los Angeles) to become the 10th coach in state history to win 800 games. His team in 2016-17 at Rolling Hills Prep won the CIF Divison V state title.

Head coach John Singer from Helix of La Mesa, whose team in 2016-17 lost in the CIF Division IV state final to St. Patrick/St. Vincent of Vallejo, only needs 10 more wins to reach 700.

For the complete list, which is for Gold Club members only, CLICK HERE.

To join our Gold Club membership, CLICK HERE.

Petaluma's Doug Johnson shows off laminated copy of story about him with coaching record. Photo: Harold Abend.

Petaluma’s Doug Johnson shows off laminated copy of story about him with coaching record. Photo: Harold Abend.

GIRLS BASKETBALL COACHING LEADERS

The state’s 700 club grew from one to three during the 2016-17 season. First, it was Kevin Kiernan from Mater Dei of Santa Ana who got it very early on and then at the end he was joined by Brian Harrigan from St. Francis of Mountain View.

Kiernan probably will go on to pass Joe Vaughan of Ventura Buena as the state’s winningest all-time girls basketball coach sometime during the 2018-19 season. Vaughan retired in 2007 with 761 wins in a career that began in 1976.

Harrigan was unfortunately involved in controversial removal from his position at St. Francis at the end of the season even though the team advanced to the CIF NorCal Division II semifinals. Most of his career win total is based on his years at Sacred Heart Cathedral of San Francisco.

Winning his 500th game during the season was Rick Thompson at Carnegie Schools of Riverside. Thompson coached from 1995 to 2016 at Norco where he won 498 games. He returned to start the new program at Carnegie, which is a private school that has been hiring several notable head coaches to run its programs.

Both Tom Gonsalves of Stockton St. Mary’s and Carl Buggs of Long Beach Poly should win their 500th games during the upcoming 2017-18 season.

For the complete list, which is for Gold Club members only, CLICK HERE.

To join our Gold Club membership, CLICK HERE.

BASEBALL COACHING LEADERS

Two of the state’s top five all-time leaders for career wins announced their retirements following of the 2017 season.

At Rancho Bernardo of San Diego, Sam Blalock stepped down after his team went 29-5 and was nationally ranked for much of the season. He surpassed former Cordova of Rancho Cordova head coach Guy Anderson for the No. 2 spot on the all-time state list during the season and ends at 946, which is 103 behind the all-time leader, the late John Stevenson of El Segundo.

At Yucaipa, Jeff Stout became just the fifth coach in state history to reach 800 wins during the season and retired with a final total of 809. The Thunderbirds finished 18-11.

Chatsworth’s Tom Muesborn also retired after the season. Muesborn was in his second stint as the Chancellors coach since 1991 and finishes with 677 wins. His 2004 team at Chatsworth that went 35-0 is regarded as one of the two greatest in state history along with Fresno of 1958.

Joining the list with 700 wins during the season was James Patrick of Clovis. His squad went on to win the CIF Central Section Division I championship.

For the complete list, which is for Gold Club members only and has now been updated through the 2017 season, CLICK HERE.

To join our Gold Club membership, CLICK HERE.

SOFTBALL COACHING LEADERS

Jim Liggett, No. 1 on the all-time state list, ended his long run at Carlmont of Belmont at the end of the 2016 and passed away at the age of 76 on June 3, 2017. He was suffering from ALS and the outpouring of love and support in the Bay Area was tremendous. It’s hard to see if any other coaches on the all-time state list will ever challenge his win total of 1,009, but obviously a win total was just a tiny footnote to all of the players he mentored in four decades of coaching in San Mateo County.

Two who joined our 600 club during the 2017 season were Mike Noel of Clovis and Mary Jo Truesdale of Sacramento Sheldon. Both later went on to guide their teams to CIF section titles — Noel for Central Section Division I and Truesdale for Sac-Joaquin Division. It also was the third straight section title for Truesdale, who already celebrated her 600th win based on the additional wins she had as a coach early in her career in Michigan.

Two longtime rival coaches at Norco and Corona Santiago, Rick Robinson and John Perez, both won their 500th games. Perez is now at Carnegie Schools of Riverside, but for many years the two led programs that collided twice per year in the Big VIII League of the CIF Southern Section.

For the complete list, which is for Gold Club members only, CLICK HERE.

To join our Gold Club membership, CLICK HERE.

Note: All coaching records have been updated through the 2016-17 school year.

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle: @CalHiSports


If you enjoyed this article, find out how you can get exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content from the Cal-Hi Sports Gold Club.

8 Comments

  1. admin
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Looks good, guys!

  2. Vicente
    Posted June 20, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    You’re so awesome! I don’t suppose I’ve truly read through a single thing like this before. So good to discover somebody with a few original thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  3. Parle
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    If all-time coaches are judged soley on number of wins accumulated, there is an absolute unfair advantage going to the coaches who practice their craft in sections who allow more games to be played than others. The playing field will not truly be level until the state (or federal) organizations agree on standardized rules. Not taking away from the accomplishments of these great men…they deserve all accolades. The system, however, is broken and unfair (speaking primarily about the kids).

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted June 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      This is a record list. There’s no judgement given or meant to be given in any way. Other coaching categories include most CIF state titles, most CIF section titles and more.

  4. Guy Anderson
    Posted June 24, 2015 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    My 45 years of coaching baseball at Cordova High School have been a sure joy. Your continued sports information on high school baseball continues to be out standing and to be in your record book is in deed an honor. Coach Guy Anderson

  5. edert ramirez
    Posted February 28, 2016 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    is there records for cal. junior college ?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted March 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      If there are, sorry don’t know about them.

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One Trackback

  1. By Oh What A Night – Sportscenetv's Blog on March 2, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    […] Gary McKnight. It is my understanding that McKnight is the winningest coach of all time in CIF.( http://www.calhisports.com/2014/07/12/multi-sport-state-coaching-leaders/). He has coached at Mater Dei High School for better part of 30 years. He is known, honored and […]

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