Greatest high school coach from all 50 states

Kevin Askeland | Friday, November 13, 2020 11:00am

Bob Ladouceur, Bob Hurley, John McKissick among the legendary figures.

High school sports history is filled with thousands of great coaches who molded and influenced the lives of young athletes while teaching a sport. Some of them are widely-known like Bob Ladouceur of De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), whose program was so dominant for so long, it ended up on the big screen in the movie "When the Game Stood Tall."

Others are absolute legends within their sports like Bob Hurley of New Jersey – one of three high school coaches in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame –  or football's winningest coach, the late John McKissick of South Carolina.

Many, however, are not household names but perhaps should be as they have imparted lasting lessons and instilled habits in players that are more than impressive than the resumes stretching through years of competition.
Legendary coach John McKissick won 620 games with 10 state championships in his 63 years with Summerville.
File photo by Douglas Rogers
Legendary coach John McKissick won 620 games with 10 state championships in his 63 years with Summerville.
Greatest coach from all 50 states

Jim Tate, St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile), Cross Country/Track and Field
Tate recently retired after 52 years of coaching, 42 years as the track and field and cross country coach at St. Paul's Episcopal. His teams won 102 state championships in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track. His teams also finished as the runner-up 53 times. He is a member of the National Federation of High Schools Hall of Fame, the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame and the Mobile Hall of Fame.

Buck Nystrom, Ben Eielson (Eielson AFB), football
He completed his career as the winningest football coach in Alaska history with 150 wins (150-88) and two state championships. According to his Alaska Hall of Fame bio, he is considered the pioneer of high school football in Alaska, particularly the Fairbanks area.

Sister Lynn Winsor, Xavier College Prep (Phoenix), girls golf
Winsor is the winningest high school girls golf coach in the nation, and it's not even close. She had over 500 career wins and just 25 losses in a 46-year career. Now a co-head coach at Xavier, Winsor helped lead the team to its 37th state championship last month.

Earl Quigley, Central (Little Rock), track, football
Quigley helped establish Central's dominance in football and track during the early part of the 20th century. Coaching from 1914 to 1946, he led the Little Rock team to a 146-56-1 football record and a 98-2 dual meet record in track and field. The track team won 18 straight championships at one point. With all sports combined, Quigley had a record of 760-190-1. The school stadium is named in his honor.

Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle (Concord), football
The architect of one of the nation's greatest win streaks, Ladouceur led the Spartans to 151 straight victories between the early 1990s and the mid-2000s. He won 399 games in his career with 25 losses and three ties. His teams were named national champions 11 times, state champion five times and North Coast Section champions 28 times.

Lloyd Gaskill, Limon, football
Gaskill produced a small-school dynasty at Limon, posting a record of 236-58-8 in 29 seasons. His teams put together a win streak of 42 games and an unbeaten streak of 43 games. He also won six straight state championships in the 1960s (eight in his career) and his Limon program had the most wins of any team in the nation during the 1960s. He is a member of six different Halls of Fame.

Ed Lynch, Simsbury, golf, soccer
No boys golf coach has won more matches than Lynch, who led Simsbury to an 813-69-11 record between 1982 and 2016. His teams won nine state championships and he also won a state title and 307 games as the school's boys soccer coach. He is a member of the National High School Coaches Hall of Fame.

Reverend Joseph Beattie, Salesianum (Wilmington), cross country, track and field
Prior to becoming the Salesianum cross country coach, the Sallies had never won a state championship. During Beattie's 15 years as coach, Salesianum won 13 state titles. He also led the track team to four straight state titles from 1971-74.

Russ Cozart, Brandon, wrestling
Brandon's 459 dual meet win streak, at one time the longest streak for any sport in U.S. history, is only part of the story for Cozart, who began his coaching career at the school in 1976. His record at the school was 732-8 and he was 768-21 overall. His teams won 27 state championships, including 17 in a row.

Wright Bazemore, Valdosta, football
No high school football team has won more games than Valdosta's 935 and Bazemore is the coach who put the Wildcats on the map. He went 268-51 at Valdosta over 30 years with 14 state championships and three national championships.

Cal Lee, St. Louis (Honolulu), football
In 27 seasons at St. Louis, Lee went 296-41-5 with a national record 14 straight state championships. His St. Louis teams won 20 state championships or Prep Bowls in his career.

Emery Roy, Centennial (Boise), girls basketball, golf
No basketball coach, boys or girls, has won more games or state titles in Idaho than Roy, who retired in 2018. He had a record of 817-187 with three different schools along with nine state championships. He also had seven state titles as the golf coach at Centennial.

Joe Newton, York (Elmhurst), cross country, track and field
In 57 years as a cross country coach at York, Newton's teams finished worse than third only 13 times. He led York to 28 state championships and 12 runner-up finishes. He reportedly had over 2,000 dual meet wins while winning 96 percent of his dual meets in cross country and track and field. He also won a combined 255 conference championships and 19 national cross country championships.

Steve Schondell, Muncie Burris, girls volleyball
Schondell has a record of 1,183 wins and 98 losses in 34 years as the Owls' volleyball coach. He won 21 state championships and four national championships.

Larry Niemeyer, Jefferson (Cedar Rapids), softball, girls basketball
Niemeyer won 871 games coaching girls basketball, making him one of the winningest coaches in Iowa state history, but that's not the whole story. His 2,089 career softball wins are easily a national record and give him 2,960 career wins in all sports — the second-highest total in U.S. history.

Gwen Pike, Bishop Miege (Shawnee Mission), girls volleyball
Pike won more matches than any volleyball coach in Kansas, finishing her career with a 1,224-239 record. She also led Bishop Miege to 21 state championships. She is a member of the National High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Ron Kordes, Assumption (Louisville), volleyball
In 32 seasons as the volleyball coach at Assumption, Kordes has a record of 1,139-114. He has won 22 state championships and has been named national champions six times. Three times his team has gone undefeated, including 43-0 in 2018.

JT Curtis, John Curtis Christian (River Ridge), football
One of only three coaches in the history of the school, Curtis is the second all-time winningest football coach in high school history with 595 wins and 68 losses since 1969. He's also won 26 state championships.

Norm Gagne, Scarborough, boys ice hockey
The second-winningest ice hockey coach in the country, Gagne is still coaching in his mid-70s after 45 seasons. He has a record of 757-333-36 at six different schools.

Morgan Wootten, DeMatha (Hyattsville), boys basketball
The second all-time winningest basketball coach with 1,274 wins and just 192 losses. He had 42 straight 20-win seasons and four national championships. He sent over 150 players on to play at the college level, including a dozen in the NBA.

Emile Johnson Jr., Leominster, baseball, soccer
The all-time winningest baseball coach in the state, Johnson won 725 games and three state championships. He never had a losing season in 43 years and he reached the state tournament 42 times. He also coached varsity soccer with 429 wins and led the girls basketball team to three state tournament entries.

Jodi Manore, Bedford (Temperance), girls volleyball
No coach in the nation has won more Manore's 2,069 matches in girls volleyball. She's the all-time leader by almost 300 wins. She's coached three state championship teams and had one team win 89 matches in a season.

Steve Paulson, Edina, girls tennis
The Edina girls tennis team is, perhaps, the greatest dynasty in Minnesota sports. Paulson has coached Edina to 22 state championships, including 19 in a row. He retired with a career record of 601-17.

Jerry Boatner, West Lauderdale (Collinsville), baseball
Boatner coached baseball for 50 years and is the winningest coach in Mississippi history with 1,202 wins and 14 state championships. He also won eight state championships as the girls softball coach. He is a member of seven Halls of Fame.

Pete Adkins, Jefferson City, football
Jefferson City had one of the top football programs in the country during Adkins' tenure. In his 79 games at Jefferson City, Adkins was 76-1-2. He finished his career as the state's all-time leader with a record of 405-60-4. He had 14 unbeaten seasons and eight state championships.

Harry "Swede" Dahlberg, Butte, football, basketball, track and field
In 44 seasons as a football, basketball and track and field coach at Butte, Dahlberg won 29 state championships, including nine in football, six in basketball, one in cross country and 13 in track and field.

Tom Jaworski, Creighton Prep (Omaha), football
Jaworski coached football for 39 years at Creighton Prep, finishing with the most wins in state history with a record of 343-91 with nine state championships.

Joe "Mac" Sellers, Wooster (Reno), football
While teams from Southern Nevada have won most of the state championships in football over the past two decades, that wasn't the case when Sellers coached at Wooster (Reno). He went 250-45 during his 27 seasons and won a state record nine state championships.

New Hampshire
Chuck Lenahan, Plymouth, football
Lenahan won 20 state championships in football, including one in his 43rd and final season at the age of 71. He won 356 games, most in state history.

New Jersey
Bob Hurley, St. Anthony (Jersey City), boys basketball
The nation's third winningest coach with 1,185 wins, Hurley had a 90.7 winning percentage in 44 seasons at St. Anthony. He also won 26 state championships and was named the No. 1 team in the nation four times.
Bob Hurley one the sideline during a game in 2015 at the famed Spalding Hoophall Classic.
File photo by Mike Braca
Bob Hurley one the sideline during a game in 2015 at the famed Spalding Hoophall Classic.
New Mexico
Ralph Tasker, Hobbs, boys basketball
Tasker was ahead of his time at Hobbs, coaching a fast-break offense long before it became a common strategy. His 1969-70 team went over 100 points 14 times and he had three teams average over 108 points per game. He finished his career as the nation's all-time wins leader with 1,122 (currently No. 5 on the national list).

New York
Jack Curran, Archbishop Molloy (Queens), basketball, baseball
Curran was a titan in two sports in New York City, winning 1,708 games as a baseball coach and 972 games as a basketball coach. His 2,680 career wins is the third highest combined win total in high school history.

North Carolina
Thell Overman, Wallace-Rose Hill (Teachey), football, basketball, baseball
During a 42-year career, spent mostly at Wallace-Rose Hill, Overman excelled in three sports. His football teams went 278-73-6 while his basketball teams had a 259-42 record and his baseball teams went 541-118.

North Dakota
Sid Cichy, Shanley (Fargo), football
Cichy developed a dynasty at Shanley, starting with his first state championship team in 1953 (starring future Yankee great Roger Maris) and finishing with 32 consecutive wins and six straight state championships in 1977. He had a 231-38-3 record with 16 state championships.

Paul Brown, Washington (Massillon), football
Brown coached less than a decade at the high school ranks before moving on to lead Ohio State and eventually the Cleveland Browns. His Washington teams went 80-8-2 in nine seasons, winning five state championships and four mythical national championships.

Murl Bowen, Asher, baseball
Coaching fall and spring baseball, Bowen won 43 state championships during a 40-year coaching career. He won a combined 2,115 games between the two seasons, including 1,063 in the spring and 1,052 in the fall.

Brad Smith, Oregon City, girls basketball
No Oregon coach was recognized on the national level more than Smith, who was the national Coach of the Year three times while leading Oregon City to 10 state championships during his 27-year career. He posted a record of 629-92 and his teams were named national champions three straight years from 1997 to 1997.

George Curry, Berwick, football
Hard to overlook Curry's ability to turn small-town Berwick into a national powerhouse. Although the town never had more than about 12,000 people, Curry led the football team to three national championships by USA Today. He was also the national Coach of the Year twice and he won 455 career games — the most in Pennsylvania history.

Rhode Island
Bill Belisle, Mount St. Charles Academy (Woonsocket), ice hockey
The king of prep ice hockey, Belisle won exactly 1,000 games in 42 seasons at Mount St. Charles Academy, setting a national record. His teams won 26 straight state championships, 32 overall. Two of his players were the first overall player chosen in the NHL draft.

South Carolina
John McKissick, Summerville, football
The nation's all-time wins leader in football, McKissick coached for 63 years and won 620 games with 10 state championships.

South Dakota
Howard Wood, Washington (Sioux Falls), football, track
Wood helped develop the Washington dynasties in football and track and field starting in 1908. He won 17 state championships in football with a 286-74-16 record in 36 seasons. He also won 16 state championships in track and field and he had a 435-143 record in basketball with six state titles.

Jim Smiddy, Bradley Central (Cleveland), girls basketball
Smiddy finished his 45-year coaching career with a national record in girls basketball with 1,217 wins and 206 losses. He won five state titles at Bradley Central and his 1975 and 76 teams were named national champions.

Leta Andrews, Granbury, girls basketball
Andrews has the most wins for a male or female coach in national high school basketball history with 1,416 wins and just 355 losses. She won a state championship in 1990 and has been to the Final Four 16 times. She is a member of four Halls of Fame.

Dave Houle, Mountain View (Orem), cross country
Few coaches have won as many state and national championships as Houle. The cross country, track and field and girls basketball coach at Mountain View won 68 state titles and seven national championships during his 41-year tenure as coach.

Scott Legacy, Mount Anthony (Bennington), wrestling
Now coaching at the college level, Legacy won 28 straight state championships at Mount Anthony. He produced 168 individual champions, and 84 All-American wrestlers.

Steve Smith, Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson), basketball
Smith is four-time National Coach of the Year and his teams have earned nine national No. 1 rankings during his 37 years at the school. A total of 17 former players have played in the NBA.

Dick Hannula, Wilson (Tacoma), swimming
No coach in Washington has had a longer run of success than Hannula, who won 24 straight state championships and collected 323 straight dual meet wins. He has been inducted into multiple Halls of Fame and coached the national swim team five times.

Win Brockmeyer, Wausau, football
Brockmeyer's Wausau teams dominated in the 1940s, winning 46 straight games. He had an overall record of 265-43-14 and he coached a pair of NFL Hall of Fame players in Elroy Hirsch and Jim Otto.

West Virginia
John Lowery, Jefferson (Shenandoah Junction), baseball
Lowery has won nearly 80 percent of his games during a 49-year career (1,332-352-2) that has included a state best 12 state championships. His teams have won at least 20 games for 43 straight seasons.

Todd Dayton, Cokeville, football
Dayton has won 20 state championships at the 1A level in Wyoming and is the state's winningest coach with 369 wins and just 68 losses in 41 years on the sidelines. He's coached 10 undefeated teams.