Combined State Coaching Records

Retired Don Norford (left) of Long Beach Poly has won the most combined CIF state titles of any coach in state history. At right is former Archbishop Mitty girls volleyball coach Bret Almazan-Cezar (who has won 11 CIF state titles). Photos: the562.org & @AMHSAthletics / Twitter.com.


Here’s a salute to the greatest high school coaches in California history. We’re doing it by compiling updated state records in numerous combined coaching categories, such as most CIF state team titles, most CIF section team titles, most all-time varsity coaching wins and most varsity head coaching seasons. All-time leaders in those categories are Don Norford of Long Beach Poly, Larry Rogers from Bellarmine of San Jose, Brent Bohlender from Johansen of Modesto and the late Frank Thiessen of Wasco/Bakersfield Christian.

FOR LINKS TO ALL OF OUR GOLD CLUB STATE COACHING LEADER LISTS FOR FOOTBALL, BOYS HOOPS, GIRLS HOOPS, BASEBALL & SOFTBALL, CLICK HERE.

We hope you enjoy this free post on CalHiSports.com. All of our annual preseason all-section, all-county and all-region football teams are being delayed in getting done until late November/mid-December at the earliest. Once done, all of those posts will be for Gold Club members only as well, but we’ll still have plenty of free content to check out. Not to mention, we’ve just put all of our football, boys hoops, girls hoops and baseball state records onto the site for Gold Club members. You can now join for one-month rate of just $3.99. For subscription info, CLICK HERE.

Note: These are combined sports state coaching records, which means they are counting varsity seasons and years only for coaches who’ve worked in more than one sport or for those who have had the most success and longevity in one sport. We’re certain all of them in these record lists can be called legendary.

MOST CIF STATE TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Given what his cross country and track teams have done in a relatively short time at Great Oak of Temecula, head coach Doug Soles may eventually put a lot of distance between himself and other coaches in several all-time state record categories. Photo: PrepCalTrack.com.


18 – Don Norford, Long Beach Poly, 1992-2014, boys track (5) and girls track (13)
15 – Ken Reeves, Ojai Nordhoff, 1990-1998, & Ventura Foothill Tech, 2016-2019, boys cross country (8) and girls cross country (7)
14 – Doug Soles, Temecula Great Oak, 2010-2019, boys cross country (6) and girls cross country (8)
11 – Gary McKnight, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1987-2014, boys basketball (11)
11 – Bret Almazan-Cezar, San Jose Archbishop Mitty, 2001-2017, girls volleyball (11)
9 – Jim White, McFarland, 1987-2001, boys cross country (9)
9 – Walt Lange, Carmichael Jesuit, 1989-2006, boys cross country (9)
8 – Willie West, Los Angeles Crenshaw, 1983-1987, boys basketball (8)
7 – Willie White, Berkeley, 1974-1983, boys track (2) and girls track (5)
7 – Kye Courtney, Hawthorne, 1983-1989, boys track (6) and girls track (1)
7 – John Azevedo, Santa Ana Calvary Chapel, 1993-2001, boys wrestling (7)
7 – Steve Tirapelle, Clovis, 2003-2015, boys wrestling (7)
7 – Tom Gonsalves, Stockton St. Mary’s, 2002-2015, girls basketball (7)
6 – Dwight “Goldie” Griffith, Bakersfield, 1920-1927, football (6)
6 – Pete Lenz, Stockton, 1921-1928, boys basketball (4) and boys swimming (2)
6 – Joe Kelly, Palos Verdes Estates Palos Verdes, 1987-1989, girls cross country (3) & Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula, 1994-2001, girls cross country (3)
6 – Dave Gambelin, Mountain View St. Francis, 1993-2001, girls volleyball (6)
6 – Jim Tracy, San Francisco University, 1996-2003, girls cross country (6)
6 – DaeLea Aldrich, Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, 1982-2007, girls volleyball (6)
6 – Michael Lynch, Los Angeles Price, 2000-2010, boys basketball (6)
6 – Ed Azzam, Los Angeles Westchester, 1998-2010, boys basketball (6)
6 – Kevin Kiernan, Fullerton Troy & Santa Ana Mater Dei, 2003-2012, girls basketball (6)
6 – Doc Scheppler, Los Altos Hills Pinewood, 1999-2014, girls basketball (6)
6 – Carl Buggs, Long Beach Poly, 2006-2014, girls basketball (6)
6 – Sue Phillips, San Jose Archbishop Mitty, 1995-2015, girls basketball (6)

Former McFarland boys cross country head coach Jim White has been portrayed on the big screen by Villa Park High alum Kevin Costner. Photo: historyvshollywood.com.

MOST CIF SECTION TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

55 – Larry Rogers, Cupertino Monta Vista & San Jose Bellarmine, 1975-2017, boys water polo (23) and boys swimming (32)
45 – Bud Kling, Pacific Palisades Palisades, 1979-2019, boys tennis (26) and girls tennis (19) (current)
37 – Wayne Branstetter, Oxnard Channel Islands (1974-1978) & Poway, 1979-2018, boys wrestling (37)
35 – Steve Baxter, Fresno Clovis West, 1997-2011, girls swimming (15), boys swimming (13), girls water polo (7)
35 – Frank Thiessen, Fowler & Wasco & Bakersfield Christian, 1961-2018, boys tennis (21), girls tennis (13) and girls basketball (1)
32 – Dwight “Goldie” Griffith, 1915-1945, football (20), boys basketball (3), baseball (4) and boys track (5)
26 – Walt Lange, Carmichael Jesuit, 1974-2006, boys cross country (22) and boys track (4)
24 – Don Norford, Long Beach Poly, 1976-2014, boys track and girls track
23 – Mike Pelton, Mission Viejo, 1976-2005, boys swimming (23)
23 – Gary McKnight, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1987-2014, boys basketball (23)
22 – Pete Lenz, Stockton, 1918-1932, boys swimming (15) and boys basketball (7)
22 – Sue Phillips, San Jose Archbishop Mitty, 1993-2020, girls basketball (22)
21 – Bob Ladouceur, Concord De La Salle, 1982-2012, football (21)
20 – Doug Soles, Temecula Great Oak, 2010-2019, girls cross country (10), girls track (2), boys cross country (5) and boys track (3)
19 – George White, San Francisco Balboa & San Francisco Galileo, 1974-1990, boys track (5), football (8) and boys track (6)

All of Kern County was saddened in 2019 by the passing of coaching legend Frank Thiessen. He was 81 years old and was still coaching at age 80. Photo: kcsportshalloffame.org.


MOST ALL-TIME VARSITY DUAL MATCH,
DUAL MEET OR GAME WINS

1,666 – Brent Bohlender, Modesto Davis & Modesto Beyer & Modesto Johansen, boys water polo, girls water polo, boys swimming, girls swimming, 1981-2010 (1,666-618-3)
1,500+ – Larry Rogers, Pacifica Terra Nova (boys swimming) 1971, Cupertino Monta Vista (boys swimming and boys water polo), 1972-1981 & San Jose Bellarmine (boys swimming & boys water polo), 1981-2006, 2008-2017 (took one year off for sabbatical) (estimated total of career wins)
1,388 – Frank Thiessen, Fowler (1961-1964) & Wasco (1965-2003) & Bakersfield Christian, 2004-2018, boys tennis, girls tennis & girls basketball
1,245 – Robbin Adair, Coronado (boys & girls tennis), 1967-2006 (693 boys wins, 439 girls wins with one season not reported)
1,240 – Bud Kling, Pacific Palisades Palisades, 1979-2019, boys tennis and girls tennis (current)
1,161 – Gary McKnight, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 1987-2020, boys basketball (1,161-118) (current)
1,101 – Eleanor Dykstra, Cerritos Valley Christian (basketball, softball, volleyball) 1971-2005, 2007 (1,101-259-2)
1,100+ – Scott King, Van Nuys Birmingham (girls cross country, boys cross country, girls track, boys track) thru 2012 (estimated total)
1,059 – John Stevenson, El Segundo (football & baseball), 1960-2009 (football wins not reported but estimated to be at least 30)

MOST VARSITY COACHING YEARS

58 – Frank Thiessen, Fowler & Wasco & Bakersfield Christian, boys tennis, girls tennis & girls basketball, 1961-2018
50 – John Stevenson, El Segundo, baseball, 1960-2009
50 – Guy Anderson, Rancho Cordova Cordova, baseball, 1965-2015
48 – Larry Rogers, Pacifica Terra Nova (boys swimming) 1971, Cupertino Monta Vista (boys swimming and boys water polo), 1972-1981 & San Jose Bellarmine (boys swimming & boys water polo), 1981-2006, 2008-2017
47 – Bob Brian, Gustine (1950-1954) & South San Francisco, football and baseball, 1959-2001
47 – Marijon Ancich, Santa Fe Springs St. Paul, football, 1961-1981, 1993-2005, 2009-2012 & Tustin, 1984-1992 (coached at Cerritos College as defensive coordinator 2005-06)
47 – Sam Blalock, baseball, San Diego Mt. Carmel (1976-1990) & San Diego Rancho Bernardo, 1991-2017
46 – Pete Michelatos, Fremont Kennedy, football, 1964-2010
45 – Don Nottoli, Galt, 1953-1997, boys basketball (1953-1991) and golf (1960s-1997)
45 – Herb Meyer, Oceanside, football, 1959-1975 & Oceanside El Camino, 1976-2003

Best All-Time Varsity Dual, Dual Meet or Games Coaching Record
471-6-2 – Wayne Branstetter, Oxnard Channel Islands (1974-1978) & Poway, 1979-2018
Note: Three of the five losses for Branstetter in his career were to out-of-state teams.

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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4 Comments

  1. Adam Reid
    Posted November 26, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

    Missing Steve Baxter for section titles.
    Clovis West, Buena Ventura
    Girls Water Polo, Boys & Girls swimming.

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 27, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      We’ll check it out. Thanks.

  2. Derry Eads
    Posted November 30, 2020 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Ken Reeves total is now 15. He won four state Division 4 cross country titles at Foothill Technology: 2 boys (2016 and 2019) and 2 girls (2016 and 2017).

    • Mark Tennis
      Posted November 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      You would certainly know if anything is ever amiss from a Ventura County school/player/coach.

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