2023 Boys/Girls BB Coach Milestones

Retiring boys basketball head coach Mike Bartee from J.W. North of Riverside (left) won the 800th game of his career during 2022-23 season. At right is girls coach Doc Scheppler from Pinewood of Los Altos Hills, who won 700th game. Photos: riversideunified.org & pinewood.ed.com.

Both of the boys and girls all-time coaching records lists have now been updated for everyone through the 2022-23 season. The biggest milestone wins for the boys were from Mike Bartee of Riverside J.W. North and Tom Hofman of La Canada (800th). For the girls, Doc Scheppler of Los Altos Pinewood and Craig Campbell of Fresno Clovis West won their 700th games. With Campbell being counted for wins from another state, however, it’s only fair to add out-of-state wins for another coach so that means every girls coach except one has dropped a spot. Finally, happy retirement to both Bartee and Don Lippi (St. Joseph Notre Dame).

To read about this year’s State Coach of the Year (Boys), CLICK HERE.

To read about this year’s State Coach of the Year (Girls), CLICK HERE.

To check out our updated Gold Club list of California’s all-time winningest boys hoops coaches (all with 600 wins or more), CLICK HERE.

To check out our updated Gold Club list of California’s all-time winningest girls hoops coaches (all with 600 wins or more), CLICK HERE.

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(All listed in alphabetical order)

Mike Bartee (J.W. North, Riverside)
A 49-39 victory by the Huskies over Orange Vista of Perris gave Bartee the 800th win of his career. It’s a career that spanned 38 seasons, first for one year at Perris in 1982 and then beginning in 1984 at J.W. North. In 2012, after a three-year span in which he was wrapping up his administrative career, Bartee came back to coach the Huskies and kept coming back. This year’s team will be his last as he is retiring from coaching. “I’m not a guy that ever looks back but to me the most satisfying thing is the relationships,” Bartee told Cal-Hi Sports back in December. “Not just the kids,” Bartee continued. “It’s the officials, the scorekeeper, and the clock guy that comes all the way from the high desert and rarely missed a game. Yes it’s the kids, but those other relationships are important too.”

St. Joseph Notre Dame head coach Don Lippi gets a hug moments after his team won CIF Division V state crown in 2016. Photo: Mark Tennis.

Tom Hofman (La Canada)
In the final regular season contest of the season for the Spartans, Hofman notched the 800th win of his career with a lopsided triumph over Temple City. It also wrapped up the program’s 10th straight league title. Hofman became the 13th coach on the all-time list with 800 wins or more. His team unfortunately didn’t win a CIF Southern Section playoff game so his total is stuck squarely on 800 entering next season. That would be his 38th season at La Canada.

Don Lippi (St. Joseph Notre Dame, Alameda)
There were no milestone wins during the season, but plenty throughout a milestone-laden career for Lippi, who announced his retirement in late March two weeks after the CIF state finals. Lippi, 75, coached more than four decades, beginning and ending at St. Joe. The Alameda school also known for all-time great point guard Jason Kidd (who was coached by Frank La Porte there) won four CIF state titles with Lippi coaching later on after Kidd (three in Division V and one in D4). Lippi also had coaching years at St. Ignatius of San Francisco, Skyline of Oakland and St. Patrick-St. Vincent of Vallejo. He finishes with 914 career wins, one of just five above 900 in state history. Lippi was passed on the all-time list this season by Harvey Kitani of San Pedro Rolling Hills Prep. “I try to live every day to make every day great for some student, player, coach, parent or stranger,” Lippi said in a press release by the school. “God gave me a big heart and I want to share that with others.” He certainly did and he was always great to deal with.

Dave Kleckner (Etiwanda)
It wasn’t easy but Kleckner reached 700 wins for his career on MLK Day. The Eagles had a tough battle with Rancho Verde of Moreno Valley and won, 58-56. Kleck began his coaching career in the 1993-94 season at Montclair. He’s been at Etiwanda since the 1988-99 season.

Bill Mellis (Salesian, Richmond)
Our 2012 State Coach of the Year celebrated his 600th victory when the Pride dominated Berkeley, 82-37, in a late January contest. Mellis has been coaching at Salesian for 25 years and has had the same AD for all of those years as well — 200-win football coach Chad Nightingale. Mellis also once played for a former State Coach of the Year — Pete Newell Jr. of Santa Cruz.

Mike Murphy (Sonora, La Habra)
A fifth-place game at the North Orange County tourney ended up being very historical. Murphy’s team at Sonora won the contest, 53-52, against Colony of Ontario. He became just the 21st head coach in state history and just the second for Orange County to win his 700th game. The other twist is that Murphy did it with a win over Colony head coach Jerry De Fabiis, who last year won his 500th game.

John Olive (Torrey Pines, San Diego)
Just one night after Bill Mellis of Richmond Salesian won his 600th game, Olive earned his 600th for Torrey Pines. Olive’s team needed overtime to get past San Marcos, 67-64, in a Avocado League game. He’s the fourth from the San Diego Section to reach 600 wins and did it in his 26th season. Olive played for Rollie Massimino at Villanova and was a head coach at Loyola Marymount (college) before taking the Torrey Pines job. He’s also well known across the state for running the Torrey Pines Holiday Classic tournament in December.

Dave Rebibo (Harvard-Westlake, Studio City)
The head coach of the CIF Open Division state champions did a masterful job crafting a cohesive unit that played its best in the CIF regional playoffs with a win over season-long state No. 1 Corona Centennial. The Wolverines won their state title with a 76-65 victory over St. Joseph of Santa Maria. For Rebibo, it also was his second CIF state title. The first one came in 2016 in D4.

Kevin Reynolds (Villa Park)
On the same night that John Olive won his 600th game in San Diego, Reynolds won his 600th in Orange County. Reynolds also needed overtime to get his milestone win as the Spartans edged Yorba Linda, 57-52. Kevin began his head coaching career with an interim season (1994-95) at Servite of Anaheim. He’s been at Villa Park for every season after that one.

(All listed in alphabetical order)

Craig Campbell of Clovis West captured 700th win during season. Photo: Twitter.com.

Craig Campbell (Clovis West, Fresno)
The official 700th win in our state records for Campbell came from when the Golden Eagles defeated Central of Fresno, 49-33, which also was their 24th win of the season. The school and team mentioned it earlier, but that counts forfeit wins and we don’t. Regardless of when, Campbell became the ninth coach in state history to reach the 700-mark. When the all-time list was updated last year, Campbell’s wins for a 10-year stint at Reno High in Nevada had been confirmed and added on. This year, it is only fair that since we also can confirm the wins that out-of-state wins have now been added on for former Brea Olinda head coach Jeff Sink. He had 10 years of wins from Lathrop of Alaska and now that they are added he is being listed in second-place all-time and with more than 800.

Allison Johnson (Vanden, Fairfield)
The Vikings had a strong season in which they went 25-8, won another CIF Sac-Joaquin Section title (this one in D3) and notched wins over teams like Pleasant Valley of Chico and Bonita Vista of Chula Vista. She was therefore able to move up the most spots among any coach on the all-time list. She moved past seven other coaches with more than 400 wins (most of them retired). She will start next season with 467 wins in 21 seasons. While she gets the wins, Allison is a co-head coach at Vanden with her husband, Jake.

Ann Larson (Ventura)
With her team’s second win of the season, a 57-27 triumph over Newbury Park, Larson reached 500 wins for her career as the Cougars’ head coach in girls basketball. She is the 38th reported girls basketball coach in state history to win 500 games. Larson was joined on the bench by her husband, Dan, who is now retired but was head coach of the boys team at Ventura High for 32 years.

John Paye (Menlo School, Atherton)
Another girls coach that had a milestone on his team’s second win of the season was Menlo’s Paye. For him, it was No. 400 as the Knights defeated Mills of Millbrae, 54-46. Paye, who is the 1982 Mr. Football State Player of the Year (also at Menlo), has had two different coaching stints at Menlo. The first was from 1988 to 1994 with the second (still continuing) that began in 2009. Paye also is believed to be the only person who has led a team to a boys basketball CIF state title and then later coached a girls team to a CIF state title.

Doc Scheppler (Pinewood, Los Altos Hills)
Perhaps because the playoffs were starting, the fanfare surrounding Scheppler winning his 700th game was somewhat muted locally. We also have forfeits that are involved so our win total may be different than the school’s. Regardless, Doc would have gotten No. 700 with a 61-31 win in the regular season finale ironically over John Paye’s team at Menlo School. His team later posted a CIF D1 NorCal regional win over Margaret Gartner’s team at Acalanes of Lafayette before a season-ending loss to eventual state champion Oakland Tech.

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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