State Softball Coaching Leaders

Teri Johnson from James Logan of Union City (left) has guided her teams to the last two CIF North Coast Section Division I titles and has more than 500 wins. Mary Jo Truesdale (right) poses with two of the best players she's ever had at Sheldon of Sacramento -- catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt and pitcher Jolene Henderson. Photos: Mark Tennis.

Teri Johnson from James Logan of Union City (left) has guided her teams to the last two CIF North Coast Section Division I titles and has more than 500 wins. Mary Jo Truesdale (right) poses with two of the best players she’s ever had at Sheldon of Sacramento — catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt and pitcher Jolene Henderson. Photos: Mark Tennis.

Carlmont’s Jim Liggett ready to start his 37th season as the only coach in the state above 800 and 900 career wins. Coaches moving up include San Pedro’s Tony Dobra, Paraclete’s Margaret Neill and James Logan’s Teri Johnson.

Note: Within the next week, we’re going to create an anchor on this web site for the coaching leader lists in football, boys basketball, girls basketball, baseball and softball. We’ll generally post a new list in a sport for the first time on this site as a free post so that as many corrected totals or unreported totals will get turned in. After that, though, the plan is to make all state coaching records part of our premium subscription. To get your Gold Club membership that will get you access to many future state coaching record updates, CLICK HERE.

It’s been almost five years since the Cal-Hi Sports state record list for career coaching wins in softball has been updated.

The leader then is still the leader now and there’s an even bigger gap between the No. 1 and No. 2 totals. That would be coach Jim Liggett from Carlmont of Belmont. He’s continuing to guide the Scots’ program with a 25-4 record from last year and an experienced group returning in 2014, led by pitcher Rebecca Faulkner.

Two coaches that may have joined the 500 club already this season are Mary Jo Truesdale from Sheldon of Sacramento and Mike Noel of Clovis. They only needed two and three wins, respectively, to go onto the all-time state list. Truesdale actually has more than 600 wins as a high school coach, but 102 of those are from when she was in Michigan and those don’t count on our official state list.

If you’re wondering why out-of-state totals don’t count, it’s simply because the coaching category was set up that way initially many years ago by Cal-Hi Sports founder Nelson Tennis. Uncle Nelson, you see, could only confirm California totals at the California state library since out-of-state newspapers couldn’t be researched there. Eventually, that policy may change but for now we’re sticking to it to be consistent.

Here is the list of those with more than 500 reported career wins heading into the 2014 spring season:

(Note: California wins only; junior varsity and forfeits not included; thanks to Bob Barnett and Eric-Paul Johnson for contributions; to report corrections or omissions, send info to markjtennis@gmail.com)

California's winningest softball coach, Jim Liggett from Carlmont of Belmont, will probably stay in that position for many, many years. Photo: Harold Abend.

California’s winningest softball coach, Jim Liggett from Carlmont of Belmont, will probably stay in that position for many, many years. Photo: Harold Abend.


936 – Jim Liggett, Belmont Carlmont, 1976-2013 (936-202-4) (current)

732 – Ron Clarke, Fairfield, 1978-2010 (732-256-5)

726 – Joe Given, Salinas Notre Dame, 1981-2010 (726-151-1)

706 – Tony Dobra, San Pedro Mary Star, 1981-1985 & San Pedro, 1986-2013 (706-177-2) (current)

700+ – Richard Cornejo, Santa Maria Righetti, 1980-2009*

638 – Margaret Neill, Lancaster Paraclete, 1981-2013 (638-208-3) (current)

625 – Margaret Mauro, San Diego University, 1985-2005 & San Diego Cathedral Catholic, 2006-2013 (losses not reported) (current)

613 – Art Banks, Roseville, 1987-1993 & Roseville Woodcreek, 1995-2012 (613-307-3)

611 – Gary Battles, Dinuba, 1980-1982, Tollhouse Sierra, 1983-1990 & Fresno Clovis West, 1991-2014 (611-355-6)

603 – JoAnn Byrd, Corona, 1986-2013 (losses not reported)

570 – Dan Berry, La Crescenta Crescenta Valley, 1983-1994 & 1998-2010 (570-117)

569 – Mike D’Amato, Bakersfield Highland, 1988-2001 & Bakersfield Garces, 2002-2013 (569-220-11) (current)

560 – Del January, Fresno Clovis West, 1978-79 & Clovis, 1980-88 & Easton Washington, 1991 & Clovis Buchanan, 1992-2005 (180 losses, 5 ties)

556 – Teri Johnson, Union City James Logan, 1986-2013 (556-136) (current)

535 – Nancy Acerrio, Chula Vista Hilltop, 1988-2013 (losses not reported) (current)

526 – Judy Shaubach, Madera, 1989-2013 (526-279-6)

*Richard Cornejo’s actual total is not reported but it was widely reported that he had “more than 700 wins” after his final game in 2009.

Note: Mary Jo Truesdale from Sheldon of Sacramento began the 2014 season at 498-173-5 since she started coaching at Elk Grove in 1992. Including her seasons in Michigan, she started this spring at 611-235-5. She has been at Sheldon since 1995 and was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2012.

Note: Alan Dugard from Woodbridge of Irvine has been determined to be at 450-239-1 in 24 seasons at that school. He was listed in the last printed record book with more wins than that in 2008 but no other totals were found this time.

Note: Mike Noel of Clovis began the 2014 season at 497-164-5 since starting with the Cougars in 1995. He already may have gained his 500th win by the time this list is published.

Note: Shelly Luth from Marina of Huntington Beach began the 2014 season with a reported 458 wins. She won her 400th game in May of 2011 against Newport Harbor. She has been the head coach at Marina for 23 seasons so far.

Note: Jerry Tivey from Cajon of San Bernardino, who is listed as currently retired from coaching, won 447 games at that school from 1991 through 2013.

Please check out and bookmark our Cal-Hi Sports Insider Blog: CalHiSports.com/blog For simple updates and insights, check out our twitter page @CalHiSports and for other updates please visit our Facebook page.

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


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One Comment

  1. Clutch22
    Posted March 4, 2014 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Not to offend anyone, but I think you should “honor” Uncle Nelson & keep all these “all-time wins” lists to those victories that have been amassed by coaches while they have coached @ California high schools ONLY! Let a “national-type” publication create the “all-time” lists for “National” victories for coaches who’ve coached in multiple states.

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