State Boys BB Coaching Records

With the updated totals for Ed Azzam of L.A. Westchester getting re-set on Saturday and with Tom Hofman of La Canada winning his 600th game on Friday night, here is a special updated version of the Cal-Hi Sports’ exclusive list of the state’s all-time best boys coaches in California.

For more on career of Westchester’s Ed Azzam and comparisons to L.A. City legend Willie West, CLICK HERE.

One night before Ed Azzam from Westchester of Los Angeles had his career coaching record updated with 46 less victories, thus delaying an anticipated celebration of him passing Crenshaw’s Willie West for the L.A. City record, the all-time state list of boys basketball coaches with 600 or more career wins gained a new member when La Canada defeated La Salle of Pasadena 73-62 on Friday night.

La Canada’s Tom Hofman earned his 600th win in a career that began at the school during the 1986-87 season. Hofman was presented with plaques by both the La Canada City Council and school officials after the game.
Record Book
“It shows I’m getting a little bit old,” Hofman told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “To be here this long you have to have great kids. That’s the situation. I do not want to be anywhere else. I’ve had great community support all these years. But it’s just great kids. That’s what this is all about. It’s not the coach.”

All great coaches like Hofman believe that, but celebrating their accomplishments is important to their school communities and their families. The coaches themselves often are responsible for reporting their records – to a point – because we ask them for them on coaching questionnaires. Once they reach close to 500 reported wins, only then do we start tracking them year-by-year.

In some cases, we do go back and look up information from other sources and in the case of Azzam it was double-checked earlier on Saturday by Ronnie Flores with historian Bruce McIntosh, who is more known for having every football score in California history but who also is an L.A. City guy and has all-time L.A. City scores in many other sports, including boys basketball.

What many in the media continue to fail to realize and hardly ever acknowledge is that there would be no state records in California without the research of people like Bruce and the late Nelson Tennis, who founded Cal-Hi Sports in the 1970s partly as a vehicle to provide state records for California high school sports. Nelson worked for 30 years of his life on California state records and we will continue to remind media members to credit CalHiSports.com for this state record information. Thank you.

Most Boys Basketball Career Coaching Wins
(Varsity wins only; California wins only; Credit: Cal-Hi Sports or CalHiSports.com)

976 – Gary McKnight, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1983-2014 (976-85) (current)
843 – Mike Phelps, Alameda St. Joseph, 1971-78 & Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, 1979-1990, 1992-2003 (843-196)
829 – Lou Cvijanovich, Oxnard Santa Clara, 1959-1999 (829-261)
803 – Willie West, Los Angeles Crenshaw, 1971-2007 (803-140)
802 – Abe Abrami, Emeryville Emery, 1955-1993
796 – Mike LeDuc, La Verne Damien, 1980-86 & Glendora, 1987-1992, 1994-2014 (796-208) (current)
785 – Tom Orlich, South Lake Tahoe, 1976-2000 & Fresno Clovis West, 2002-2014 (current)
758 – Ed Azzam, Los Angeles Westchester, 1980-2014 (758-232) (current)
747 – Ray Johnson, Oceanside El Camino, 1981-2009, 2011-14 (747-224) (current)
742 – Don Lippi, Alameda St. Joseph, 1980, Vallejo St. Patrick-St. Vincent, 1982-86, Oakland Skyline, 1987-1990, San Francisco St. Ignatius, 1991-2003 & Alameda St. Joseph, 2004-2014 (742-245) (current)
735 – Frank LaPorte, Oakland Bishop O’Dowd, 1960-1970 & Alameda St. Joseph, 1982-1997 (735-172)
717 – Joe Chappell, San Leandro (two seasons) & Salinas, 1971-2012 (41-year record at Salinas 687-420)
686 – Harvey Kitani, San Fernando, 1980, & Los Angeles Fairfax, 1982-2014 (686-245)(current)
684 – Steve Cain, Milpitas, 1970-2007 & Pleasanton Amador Valley, 2015 (684-302)
675 – Sam Sullivan, Los Angeles Fremont, 1978-2014 (675-279) (Current)
665 – Jim Harris Sr., Huntington Beach Ocean View, 1979-2011 (665-265)
663 – Tom Bonfigli, Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman, 1981-1994, Napa Justin-Siena, 1995-2006 & Santa Rosa Cardinal Newman, 2007-2014 (current)
659 – Rick Francis, Sonora, 1977-2013 (659-396)
650 – Bill Armstrong, Barstow, 1944-46, Lone Pine, 1949-1950, Compton, 1958-1971, Palm Springs, 1972-1986
636 – Jerry DeBusk, Newport Beach Newport Harbor (12 seasons) & Rancho Santa Margarita Santa Margarita, 1993-2012 (636-251)
636 – Tom Blackwood, Orinda Miramonte, 1966-2003 (636-337)
628 – Jonas Honick, Ross Branson, 1983-2008
627 – John Dahl, Moreno Valley, 1970-2006
622 – Mike Bartee, Perris (one season) & Riverside J.W. North, 1982-2008, 2012-14 (current)
618 – Tom Danley, Anaheim Katella, 1966-1999 (618-142)
618 – John Singer, La Mesa Helix, 1982-2014 (current)
614 – Jim Boyd, Travis AFB Vanden, 1965-1997
614 – Frank Allocco, Walnut Creek Northgate, 1992-1997 & Concord De La Salle, 1998-2014 (614-88) (current)
608 – Tom Gregory, Anaheim Savanna, 1980-1990, Chino Hills Ayala, 1991-2009 & Riverside Patriot, 2010-2014 (current)
606 – Ron Palmer, Long Beach Poly, 1974-1984, 1989-2003
600 – Tom Hofman, La Canada, 1986-2014 (600-186) (current)

Notes:

*Greg Hilliard’s current record at North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake is 598-221. Overall, Hilliard is 732-294, which includes 10 seasons at a school in Oregon.

*Two coaches reaching 500 career wins last year were Craig Ashmore from Newark Memorial of Newark and Doug Mitchell from Bishop Montgomery of Torrance. One coach reaching 500 career wins earlier this season was Dwan Hurt from Serra of Gardena.

*Total for Jonas Honick does not include 29 wins at prep school Choate of Connecticut.

*Total for Tom Orlich includes more than 500 wins at South Lake Tahoe, which is not a member of the CIF but is a school geographically located within the state.

*The late Dave Morgan (San Jose Del Mar, Denair & Delhi) won more than 800 games including years in Ohio through 2003.

*Ollie Butler (Victorville Victor Valley) won 605 games including 44 in two Idaho seasons and 20 in one Oklahoma season through 1993.

*It is an estimated total for Bill Armstrong; his previously listed total of 847 in some record books included JV wins from Barstow, Lone Pine, Delano and Newhall Hart.


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15 Comments

  1. l klein
    Posted January 15, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    You are off w Greg Hilliard’s win total as you are only including wins since the school was re-christened Harvard-Westlake in 1991 (or so) but not his wins the preceding eight or so seasons at Harvard School. So, at the institution (Harvard/Harvard-Westlake) he has been coaching at for the past 29 years he is probably closer to 750 wins…

    • l klein
      Posted January 15, 2014 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Correction: further information from the H-W coaching staff reveals that the CalHi info is most likely correct.

  2. Rebecca Lynch
    Posted September 14, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Coach Mike Lymch at Price High is 12 wins away from his 500th at 488!!

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted September 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Keep us posted. We don’t want to miss No. 500.

  3. Tom bonfigli
    Posted September 28, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Coach Bonfigli has a current win total of 673 not 663 wins. He is currently 27 wins away from 700. Questions== give me a call at 707-490-4430 or email me at my listed email–I know Ronnie can count more accurately than that.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted September 29, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Ronnie didn’t count. I did and coaching totals seem to change all the time. Not a problem, though, it will be fixed.

  4. ed tavis
    Posted April 29, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    we are in the process of getting fremont high school(Oakland) named after long time coach Leo Allamanno in we are trying to find his won lost record while coaching there from 1956 thru 1983. would you be able to help?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted April 30, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      He was awesome. Wish we had it, but don’t. Only way for sure is to go year-by-year for 56 and 83 and look up Fremont’s final record for each season at library on microfilm reader of Oakland Tribune. Then it’s just a matter of adding them up.

  5. Roman Singh Nahal
    Posted November 27, 2017 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Dennis Fernandez hit 500 wins today currently at Evergreen valley High School in San Jose today.

    Here is clip from cal-hi in 2004 Sports Focus at 1:00 minute Cal-Hi at 4:46. 🙂

    https://youtu.be/wT4FuPPQp3Y

  6. Steve cain
    Posted January 6, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    I looked this up for my grandson. By my records, I retired from Milpitas 2007 with 668 wins . Didn’t coach for one year &”then was an assistant for 6 years at Amador Valley in Pleasanton & took the varsity for one year & won 16 games. Officially done so total 684.

  7. mike murphy
    Posted April 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Coach Murphy has 579 wins in 29 seasons at Sonora High school in La Habra and 56 wins at SCC High School. 635 total varsity wins. How come he is not on the list?

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted May 2, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Know we reported it when 500th win happened. Thought it was added. Updating both boys and girls basketball coaching records over the upcoming weekend after girls all-state teams are done.

  8. Stuart W Farber
    Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Harvey Kitani record at Rolling Hills Prep is not included. He has won a state championship and several CIF championships. He is still active

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      You are looking at an old list. We have been updating Harvey’s record after every season along with all of the others. Will have it done and completed after 2019-20 season very soon.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] a crucial game for its mythical national title hopes. Veteran coach Gary McKnight is approaching 1,000 career victories, but his storied program has never finished ranked No. 1 in the nation — and no California […]

  2. By New FAB 50 National Rankings | HighSchoolHardwood.com on September 19, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    […] a crucial game for its mythical national title hopes. Veteran coach Gary McKnight is approaching 1,000 career victories, but his storied program has never finished ranked No. 1 in the nation — and no California […]

  3. By New FAB 50 National Rankings on October 30, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    […] a crucial game for its mythical national title hopes. Veteran coach Gary McKnight is approaching 1,000 career victories, but his storied program has never finished ranked No. 1 in the nation — and no California […]

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