Palisades of Pacific Palisades wins CIF L.A. City Section boys tennis title and puts head coach Bud Kling closer to becoming the state’s all-time leader for all sports combined in terms of winning section titles.
Editor’s Note: We’re now getting conflicting info about the coaching career of Bellarmine’s Larry Rogers. We had a report of him retiring earlier, but now it appears that is happening after the current school year. Google his name yourself and you can see why it’s confusing. His coaching records, therefore, actually would currently be classified as undetermined.
Despite the last name of the founder and current editor of Cal-Hi Sports, tennis isn’t a sport that we cover very much.
But there are categories in the Cal-Hi Sports state records in which the sport doesn’t matter. One of those is Most CIF Section Team Championships won by a coach for all sports combined.
The state record holder since he retired in 2008 is Larry Rogers of San Jose Bellarmine, who was the Bells’ head coach in water polo and swimming for more than 30 years. In a career that began at Monta Vista of Cupertino, Rogers ended with 46 CIF Central Coast Section titles. He had 21 in water polo and 25 in swimming. Rogers eclipsed the previous record of 32 set in 1945 by the legendary Dwight “Goldie” Griffith at Bakersfield, who between 1915 and 1945 amassed 20 section titles in football, three in boys basketball, four in baseball and five in boys track.
In recent years, one coach who’s emerged with similar numbers is Bud Kling from Palisades of Pacific Palisades. Earlier this week, Kling’s team won the CIF L.A. City Section Division I title with a 21.5 to 8.0 victory against Granada Hills. For the 70-year-old it was his 42nd section title, counting 25 for boys tennis (the school’s total is 35) and 17 for girls tennis.
We spoke to Kling recently at his home prior to the start of the section playoffs and he said he has plans of continuing to coach the Dolphins’ boys as long as his health allows it. He’s been coaching at the school since 1977 and has been coaching boys tennis since 1979. He gave up coaching the girls for good after the 2015 fall season with the first of two separate stints beginning in 1984.
Kling, who on April 22 was inducted into the L.A. City Section Hall of Fame (the only other still active coach who went in was Westchester basketball coach Ed Azzam), also now has 1,111 combined all-time wins in boys and girls tennis. He isn’t going to break the state record in that category of 1,609 held by Modesto Grace Davis, Modesto Beyer & Modesto Johansen boys & girls water polo & swimming head coach Brent Bohlender, but he may break the record for boys & girls tennis combo wins of 1,245 set by the late Robin Adair of Coronado in 2006. Robin Adair’s total also is believed to be the national combo record for coaching wins in tennis.
And if you think Kling’s totals are that high simply because it’s Palisades with the country club kids playing a bunch of poor inner-city schools, think again. It’s more than that. This year’s team went to the National High School Tennis All-American Team Championship (which included the best from the CIF Southern Section) and Palisades won that, too. The Dolphins beat Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood 6-3 in the final. After beating Granada Hills, the Dolphins improved to 32-0.