2023 Football Coaching Highlights

Roger Canepa from Central Catholic of Modesto set a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section record with his 283rd win on the same night that Simi Valley’s Jim Benkert became the 14th coach in state history to win a 300th game. Coach Benkert is shown with his aunt, Margie. Photos: Mark Tennis & Joe Curley / Ventura County Star.

Before we begin with the first of our many state season honors, which will be the 2023 state coaches of the year, we like to update the all-time state coaching leaders list. This is the one that has the names of just more than 140 through all the years of state history who have won 200 games or more in a career. We also like to produce an honor roll list of the top coaching milestones in the state for the 2023 season.

To check out our newly updated Gold Club list of California’s all-time winningest football coaches (all with 200 wins or more) plus new added category for best winning percentages, CLICK HERE.

To check out our updated Gold Club list of every California coach with two more CIF state titles, CLICK HERE.

Note: We hope you enjoy this free post on CalHiSports.com. Cal-Hi Sports All-State Football content that will be for Gold Club members include second team, third team overall and All-State Juniors, All-State Sophomores. The free posts will be first team overall and first team small schools and medium schools. If you want to check out all of our rankings content, all of our all-state content and state record updates, you can check it out for just $3.99 to cover a one-month subscription. For info, CLICK HERE.

(All listed in alphabetical order)

Jim Benkert (Simi Valley)
A CIF Southern Section D5 playoff win over Crean Lutheran of Irvine made Benkert getting his 300th win even more of a special night. The Pioneers then went on to win a series of nail-biters all the way to their first-ever CIFSS championship. The run ended in a loss to Central Valley Christian of Visalia in the CIF SoCal D2-A regional final. Benkert, who collected wins at previous stops Westlake (Westlake Village) and Oaks Christian (Westlake Village), became the 14th coach in state history to reach 300 wins. Since then, he’s passed two of them and now sits at No. 12 on the all-time state list.

Jeromy Blackwell (Strathmore)
Last summer, the Spartans’ head coach had to be hospitalized after a fall. It all ended with a second CIF state title for he and his program. We put all two-time CIF state championship coaches on a list of coaches with the most CIF state titles. Strathmore’s first title came in its 16-0 season in 2017.

Former Aptos head coach Randy Blankenship is moving to Arkansas to be near grandchildren. Photo: Jim Siemas / YouTube.com.

Randy Blankenship (Aptos)
Retirement is the accomplishment for Blankenship, who ended a 14-year run at the Santa Cruz County school. Despite a 2-8 final season, Blankenship had some great seasons with the Mariners, including last year when he won his 300th game. He ended with a career record of 313-118-6, which is currently No. 9 on the all-time state list. It’s noteworthy that Randy didn’t get get to 316, which is the totatl that Kevin Rooney from Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks retired with in 2019. Both Blankenship and Rooney are from the same high school, Mira Loma of Sacramento. Mira Loma’s Mike Alberghini (281), Terry Stark (231) and Dave Humphers (204) are all on the all-time state coaching list as well. We first covered Blankenship during his first seasons at Nevada Union in the late 1980s and had some great postgame visits with him as recently as when he was at Madera about 15-16 years ago. We had a great chat with him on the phone during the 300th win weeks. Good luck, Randy, in retirement.

Floyd Burnsed (Acalanes, Lafayette)
He became the oldest known head coach to win a CIF state title when the Dons topped Birmingham of Lake Balboa for the D3-AA championship. Burnsed’s career record also has been updated following the season. Counting his 154-62-2 record for 19 seasons when he was at Miramonte of Orinda from 1982-2000 prior to his shift to JC coaching for 15 years, the 76-year-old improved his overall high school total to 212-98-2. He won his 200th game last season since the Dons won 11 games this season. He was not a head coach in his earlier years of coaching at the high school level in Texas.

Roger Canepa (Central Catholic, Modesto)
We were there in part to see Canepa become the winningest head coach in CIF Sac-Joaquin Section history. His team did it with a D1 playoff victory vs Edison of Stockton. That was his 283rd win and pushed him one spot higher on the all-time state list ahead of former Escalon head coach Mark Loureiro, who is one of Roger’s best friends and helps coach the Central Catholic squad. The Raiders were eliminated in the semifinals in their next game so Canepa will start the 2024 season still at 283.

Paul Cronin (Ukiah)
The former head coach at Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa for many years and Windsor for one year returned to the Redwood Empire after one season in Ohio and got his California win total going again at a new school. Cronin’s team at Ukiah finished 7-4 and pushed its way into the NCS playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Bill Foltmer (Middletown)
The Lake County coaching legend moved into the top 10 on the all-time state list due to the Mustangs having another solid season. They finished 8-3 and were tied for first in the North Central 1 League standings.

Tony Franks (St. Mary’s, Stockton)
The Rams didn’t quite get to the Sac-Joaquin Section D1 or D2 championship level, but they were top 25 in the state almost all season and ended 11-2. Franks zipped past 22 others on the all-time state wins list, which was the most among all coaches this season. He sits at 225, just one in front of San Joaquin County local legend Wayne Schneider of Tracy and now tied with Oakdale’s Trent Merzon.

Robert Garrett (Crenshaw, Los Angeles)
Our totals for Coach Garrett and the school’s do not match so work will need to be done in the off-season, but the Cougars going 11-3 and reaching the CIF L.A. City D1 championship still moved up Garrett on the all-time list. The head coach at Crenshaw since 1988, Robert has now moved up among the top 20 and there’s no indication he is retiring.

Mark Krail (Los Gatos)
He had two milestone wins for the Wildcats in the CCS D1 championship and CIF D2-A state runner up season. First came the one that moved him to second on the school’s all-time list in front of the late Charlie Wedemeyer. Then later on Krail won No. 200 with a playoff triumph over Archbishop Riordan. He has had earlier stints at Pioneer of San Jose and Santa Clara.

Matt Logan (Centennial, Corona)
When the Huskies won their third game of the season against Liberty of Peoria, Ariz., Logan became the winningest head coach in Riverside County history. He put his total at 280 and moved past Norco’s Gary Campbell, which was important for Logan since that was his own high school coach at Norco. He will likely get to 300 wins in two seasons.

Mazi Moayed (Marin Catholic, Kentfield)
He has joined two all-time lists with the Wildcats winning the CIF D3-A state championship. First, it was his second state title. Second, the 14-1 record puts Mazi’s own record at 164-24 since 2010. That’s an 87.2 winning percentage so he’s now No. 2 on that list of coaches with the best records with 150 wins or more. The only one higher is De La Salle’s Bob Ladouceur (93.8).

Liberty head coach Bryan Nixon and program had a memorable two-year run atop the Central Section. Photo: Nick Ellis / Kern High Network.

Jason Negro (St. John Bosco, Bellflower)
The leader of the national powerhouse Braves since 2010 joined the all-time state list after a win in October vs JSerra. That was No. 200 for him and he decided to do it with no fanfare. His winning percentage among coaches in state history with 150 wins or more also remained in the top five.

Bryan Nixon (Liberty, Bakersfield)
Our State Coach of the Year for 2022 didn’t need many wins to reach 200 and he got it with a victory by the Patriots over Ridgeview of Bakersfield. Nixon’s team didn’t three-peat in the Central Section D1 playoffs, but did end 9-3. He announced recently that he would be stepping down to become an administrator.

Kevin Pearson (Warren, Downey)
Despite the team getting edged in the CIFSS D3 final by St. Bonaventure, it still was one of the most successful seasons in Warren history. Pearson added an 11-3 record to his slate and is now tied with San Diego legend Bennie Edens of Point Loma on the all-time state list.

Casey Taylor (Oak Ridge, El Dorado Hills)
A victory against the Del Oro of Loomis school he coached at for 15 seasons from 2001 to 2016 gave Taylor his 200th win. The Trojans went on to finish runner-up in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs for the second straight season.

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

Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


    Latest News

    Insider Blog