State record coaching lists for baseball and softball have now all been updated through the 2022 season and here’s a look at the most significant milestone wins that were celebrated. For baseball, John Diatte of San Jose Valley Christian won his 700th game and Darol Salazar of Palm Desert headed to retirement by moving up three spots on the all-time wins list. For softball, Margaret Neill of Lancaster Paraclete won her 800th game and Art Banks of Roseville retired after moving up to fourth on the all-time wins list.
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SOFTBALL MILESTONES 2022
Art Banks (Roseville)
The final team that Banks has coached in his career finished 21-8 and got to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D3 semifinals. Banks, who also coached for many years at Woodcreek of Roseville, also moved from No. 6 to No. 4 on the all-time state list and would be No. 1 in the Sac-Joaquin Section for wins in the state. Mary Jo Truesdale of Sacramento Sheldon would be higher counting her wins from Michigan.
Mike D’Amato (Independence, Bakersfield) &
Mike Noel (Clovis) & Judy Shaubach (Madera)
All three of these coaches from the CIF Central Section won their 700th games this season. They also became the first three in section history to win 700 games and were the ninth, 10th and 11th coaches in state history to get there. D’Amato’s team this season finished 22-8 and lost to Shaubach’s team at Madera in the first round of the D2 section playoffs. Shaubach’s squad later lost in the semifinals to Hanford and ended 20-11. Noel’s Cougars at Clovis played until the final day of the season as they lost to St. Francis of Mountain View in the CIF NorCal D1 championship. Clovis won the D1 section title this year and then defeated Heritage of Brentwood and Del Oro of Loomis in the NorCal playoffs.
Steve Miklos (Lutheran, Orange)
In the Lancers’ first game of the season, Miklos gained his 500th win to join the all-time state wins list. He’s been at the school since 1998 and his team would add 20 more wins to his total before the end of the season. Miklos’ daughters Jenny and Laura were players on his first team and since 2003 Jenny has been an assistant coach. “It’s been a blessing to be coached by him and then, in turn, coach with him,” she said in a story on the school’s web site. “He is passionate about the game of softball and the mission of Orange Lutheran High School. He wants the girls to perform and learn on the field and cares deeply about the life lessons they are learning through being part of the softball program.”
Margaret Neill (Paraclete, Lancaster)
She’s been No. 2 on the all-time state list behind the late Jim Liggett of Belmont Carlmont for many years and joined him as the only two above 800 career wins (counting in-state wins only) when she won No. 800 and No. 801 on the same day. The historic wins came at the Glenn Steinkamp tournament, 1-0 over Village Christian of Sun Valley for No. 800 and then 5-2 against Golden Valley of Santa Clarita. “What I keep saying is, it just proves I’ve been around for a long time, and I’ve had great kids to coach, that’s the bottom line,” Neill said in a Twitter post. “It’s been fun. I’ve gotten to coach a lot of good kids that went on to play in college and been very successful. I’m really proud of all of them.” Neill is retiring from her athletic director job after this school year, but was steadfast in a media interview with the Antelope Valley Press about her desire to continue coaching softball.
BASEBALL MILESTONES 2022
John Diatte (Valley Christian, San Jose)
He became the 14th head coach in state history to hit the 700-win milestone when the Warriors defeated Serra of San Mateo in the first round of the West Catholic Athletic League playoffs. The team went to the CIF NorCal D1 semifinals but only won three more times the rest of the season. Diatte also moved past former South San Francisco coaching legend Bob Brian to No. 2 among coaches in the CIF Central Coast Section. Monterey’s Michael Groves, whose team won the CCS D3 title, is first in that sub-category and is No. 6 all-time in the state.
Tom Dill (Notre Dame, Sherman Oaks)
A 6-1 win over St. Francis of La Canada gave Dill his 500th win this season, but it was more meaningful for him when he grabbed No. 503 on April 8 with a win over Loyola of Los Angeles. That pushed him past the late Scott Muckey of Encino Crespi for the top spot in Mission League history and for the top spot among CIFSS coaches in the San Fernando Valley. “I’d stop at 502 if I could,” Dill told the L.A. Daily News when his won his 500th game. “I have that much respect for Muckey.” Coach Muckey retired after the 2014 season. He died in March of 2016.
Jeff Ingles (Winters)
All of the attention in the CIF Northern Section was on Colusa and rightfully so as the RedHawks were looking to go 34-0 and win a CIF NorCal regional title. That didn’t happen and one of the teams the RedHawks beat in the playoffs was Winters. Still, Ingles was able to move up the most on the all-time list this season with 16 wins. he passed eight others and should move up into the top 25 next season.
Spud O’Neil (Lakewood)
One year after O’Neil won his 900th game, the Lancers had another solid season at 19-12. That pushed Spud’s career record to 930 wins and moved him up to No. 3 on the all-time state list. O’Neil went in front of previous No. 3 Guy Anderson of Rancho Cordova, who retired in 2015 with 927 wins. Spud has been the head coach at Lakewood since 1984 and coached before that for several seasons at Colton.
Darol Salazar (Palm Desert)
The longtime head coach and athletic director of the Aztecs is retiring after the 2021-22 school year. His final game was a loss to eventual champion Oaks Christian in the CIF Southern Section D3 quarterfinals, but it was a solid, strong last season with a 20-10 record. Salazar moved past three others on the all-time state list this season and has finished with 689 career wins. He also has enjoyed seeing one of his former players, catcher Brian Serven, make his MLB debut this season with the Colorado Rockies.
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