Thanks to contributor Bob Atwell and Mater Dei statistician Steve Colton, who helps with record-keeping for the Mater Dei of Santa Ana boys basketball program, the Monarchs’ all-time varsity record since their first season in 1953 has been confirmed at 1,529 wins and 375 losses. Here’s some perspective on where that total ranks in the state record book.
For updated boys bb team state records on this site through 2017 season (Gold Club post), CLICK HERE.
We had a hunch since current head coach Gary McKnight has won more than 1,000 games since his first season in 1982 that Mater Dei’s all-time win total had gone past 1,500 with this year’s team finishing No. 2 overall in the state at 33-3.
Once the year-by-year breakdowns arrived from Atwood, that hunch was more than correct. It turns out Mater Dei not only lands in the state record category of schools with the most wins, but is actually ahead of both Bakersfield and Huntington Beach. Keep in mind that Bakersfield has been playing boys hoops since 1908 while Huntington Beach has been playing since 1906. Those are head starts of more than 40 years compared to Mater Dei’s first season.
In that first season of Monarch basketball, the team is shown with a 10-9 record. The most interesting aspect of that season is that the first head coach was Dick Coury, who also coached Mater Dei football teams to an 85-9-5 record from 1957 to 1965 and later became a longtime NFL assistant coach with several teams.
Ironically, the next school Mater Dei may pass on the all-time wins list is Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland, which is the same school that edged the Monarchs in overtime to win the 2015 CIF Open Division state title. The Dragons will start next season with a record of 1,547-424 since 1954 (that total may be incomplete).
The Monarchs or any other school will have a hard time ever catching all-time leader Long Beach Poly. The Jackrabbits, who also are either No. 1 or No. 2 for all-time state football wins depending on how one counts rugby scores when it was considered a replacement for American football primarily in the 1910s, went 22-9 this last season and are now showing at 2,030 wins and 672 losses since 1907. No other school has more than 1,800.
For the complete Gold Club list, CLICK HERE.