Mike LeDuc from Damien of La Verne becomes only the second boys basketball coach in state history to achieve 1,000 career wins and he did it on a night when his current team played at the school he had coached previously for 21 seasons.
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One of the best ways to judge the coaching accomplishments of someone like Mike LeDuc from Damien of La Verne is to look at how many others are in the same “clubs” that he is in.
On Wednesday night in a game played at Glendora High, LeDuc earned the 1,000th win of his boys basketball career when the Spartans topped the Tartans, 82-47. That put him in a very exclusive group of just two who have gotten to the total. He joins all-time state leader Gary McKnight from Mater Dei of Santa Ana, who is actually now only three wins shy of winning his 1,200th game. McKnight also is near the top of the all-time national list.
LeDuc also is one of just four in the state to have won 900 games. He’s been No. 2 on the all-time Cal-Hi Sports state list behind McKnight for several years. The next two are retired Ed Azzam of Los Angeles Westchester (932) and still active Don Lippi from St. Joseph Notre Dame of Alameda (907 not including a game on Wednesday night). There may be a fifth at 900 as early as next week as head coach Harvey Kitani’s team at Rolling Hills Prep (San Pedro) has started out 10-0 this season to give him 896 career wins. The Huskies are in a 16-team tournament so if they win it that would do the job.
LeDuc began his coaching career at Damien in 1980 and was at Glendora from 1987 to 1992 and then after one year off he was at Glendora from 1994 to 2015. He’s been back at Damien since 2016. During his own playing days, LeDuc went to Ramona of Riverside.
Senior guard Spivey Word, who has taken over as the top shooting guard for Damien this season after three-time all-state selection Malik Thomas graduated, led the way against Glendora with 32 points.