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There’s something special about going back to coach at the high school one graduated from.
For our newly-named Cal-Hi Sports State Coach of the Year, Serra High of San Mateo’s Chuck Rapp, he definitely loves being a Padre and coaching current Padres.
“I’ve been very blessed to have been able to coach at Serra High School,” said the 1986 Serra graduate in an email sent to Cal-Hi Sports on Wednesday. “It’s a tremendous school, surrounded by a supportive community that represents the very best in prep sports. The school is an amazing place where everyday moments turn into extraordinary events in young people’s lives. I’m so thankful for the many life-long relationships that I have formed through my years at Serra. The young student/athletes there are some of the finest people that I have ever known.”
At Serra, Rapp has helped create those everyday moments and extraordinary events. His squad captured its fourth CIF Central Coast Section title last March with a thrilling 40-38 victory against St. Francis of Mountain View in the Open Division championship. Jake Killingsworth (who scored 18 points in the game) put the Padres over the top by making 3-of-3 on free throws with less than one second left that overcame a 38-37 deficit.
Serra next went into the CIF NorCal Open Division and faced favored Moreau Catholic of Hayward, which was No. 12 in the State Top 20 at the time. The Padres, who unlike Moreau don’t have players committed to major Division I colleges, ran a clinic on defensive intensity and offensive execution in that game, posting a 79-51 triumph over the Mariners.
Although the season then ended at 23-6 in a 53-48 loss to Modesto Christian, Rapp’s career coaching resume combined with what his team accomplished was more than enough for him to join the State Coach of the Year all-time list, which extends back to 1920.
“I appreciate the honor very much,” Rapp said. “This team was truly a case where the sum was greater than the parts. The kids really cared for each other and put the team before their own personal goals. The team competed defensively with reckless abandon and all-out intensity, and offensively played unselfishly…these things are the essence of Serra Basketball, and this team epitomized that. They did the Padre Nation proud. This was one of my all-time favorite teams, and I’d coach them any day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
After graduating from Serra, Rapp became an English teacher and coach not long after he graduated with an English degree from Cal. In one of his first coaching jobs with the Serra freshman B basketball teams, he got to coach NFL all-time great QB Tom Brady, who still played baseball along with football throughout his prep career but dropped basketball.
Rapp just completed his 15th season as Serra’s head coach and in January he won his 300th game. His record heading into next season stands at 309-137, including 138-68 in the ultra-competitive West Catholic Athletic League.
Before this year’s CCS Open Division title, previous CCS titles for Serra under Rapp came in 2004, 2005 and 2006. The 2005 edition of the Padres also made it to the CIF Division I state final where they lost to Westchester of Los Angeles.
BOYS STATE COACHES OF THE YEAR ALL-TIME LIST
(Selected by Cal-Hi Sports)
2015 – Chuck Rapp, San Mateo Serra (23-6)
2014 – Doug Mitchell, Torrance Bishop Montgomery (28-6)
2013 – Mike Haupt, SD St. Augustine (29-4)
2012 – Bill Mellis, Richmond Salesian (33-2)
2011 – Eric Cooper, La Verne Lutheran (27-5)
2010 – Dwan Hurt, Gardena Serra (34-2)
2009 – Steve Johnson, Rialto Eisenhower (31-4)
2008 – Dwight Nathaniel, Oakland McClymonds (32-0)
2007 – Harvey Kitani, Los Angeles Fairfax (28-5)
2006 – Peter Diepenbrock, Palo Alto (32-1)
2005 – Pete Newell, Santa Cruz (36-1)
2004 – Don Lippi, Alameda St. Joseph (28-6)
2003 – Zack Jones, San Diego Horizon (32-1)
2002 – Ed Azzam, Los Angeles Westchester (32-2)
2001 – Vance Walberg, Fresno Clovis West (31-3)
2000 – Frank Allocco, Concord De La Salle (31-1)
1999 – Clinton Williams, Oakland Fremont (28-4)
1998 – Jerry DeBusk, Rancho S.M. Santa Margarita (32-2)
1997 – Frank LaPorte, Alameda St. Joseph (31-4)
1996 – Russell Otis, Compton Dominguez (34-2)
1995 – Steve Filios, Mountain View St. Francis (27-8)
1994 – Hank Meyer, Carmichael Jesuit (31-7)
1993 – John Barrette, Palo Alto (31-0)
1992 – Tom Orlich, South Tahoe (30-1)
1991 – Tom McCluskey, Tustin (30-4)
1990 – Lou Cvijanovich, Oxnard Santa Clara (28-0)
1989 – Willie West, L.A. Crenshaw (25-2)
1988 – Reggie Morris, L.A. Manual Arts (27-3)
1987 – Gary McKnight, Santa Ana Mater Dei (31-1)
1986 – Mike Phelps, Oakland Bishop O’Dowd (31-5)
1985 – Stephen Keith, Glendale (28-0)
1984 – Ron Palmer, Long Beach Poly (31-2)
1983 – Jorge Calienes, Rosemead Bosco Tech (25-5)
1982 – Dick Acres, Carson (26-2)
1981 – Maury Halleck, Santa Barbara San Marcos (25-1)
1980 – Leo Allamanno, Oakland Fremont (24-2)
1979 – Dave Shigematsu, Oakland Castlemont (23-3)
1978 – Ben Tapscott, Oakland McClymonds (22-3)
1977 – George Terzian, Pasadena (29-3)
1976 – Bill Armstrong, Palm Springs (22-4)
1975 – John Mihaljevich, Palos Verdes (24-6)
1974 – Dan Risley, Elk Grove (30-0)
1973 – Tom Conway, Stockton Stagg (28-0)
1972 – Tom Cleary, Fresno San Joaquin Memorial (27-2)
1971 – George McQuarn, L.A. Verbum Dei (29-2)
1970 – Spike Hensley, Berkeley (32-0)
1969 – Gordon Nash, La Mesa Helix (29-2)
1968 – Ralph Krafve, East Bakersfield (29-0)
1967 – Frank LaPorte, Oakland Bishop O’Dowd (37-2)
1966 – Len Craven, Whittier Sierra (28-1)
1965 – Leo Allamanno, Oakland Fremont (21-2)
1964 – Bill Mulligan, Long Beach Poly (32-1)
1963 – Bill Armstrong, Compton (27-4)
1962 – Dick Edwards, Sacramento El Camino (23-1)
1961 – Paul Harless, Oakland McClymonds (19-1)
1960 – Bill Thayer, L.A. Fremont (17-1)
List continues back to 1920 in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac.