SoCalHoops High School News
Lou Cvijanovich Gets Victory
No. 803 And A Record--(Dec. 10, 1998)
About 500 people stood and watched as Santa Clara coach Lou Cvijanovich's expression remained stone-faced. Notwithstanding the history of the moment, it was just another basketball win for the all-time winningest coach in California State history. Cvijanovich, who is coaching for the 41st season as Santa Clara boys' basketball coach, became the all time California career wins leader when Santa Clara beat Carpinteria, 79-47, on Tuesday in a nonleague game. His record is now 803-259, one more than the 802 Abe Abrami, who coached at Emeryville's Emery High School compiled from 1955-93 . The coach with the next highest winning record, 735, was Frank LaPorte, who coached at Alameda St. Joe's from 1982-97 and at Oakland Bishop O'Dowd from 1960-70. La Porte died last year just before the start of the season. The next most wins among active coaches is 715 held by Mike Phelps of Oakland Bishop O'Dowd, who has been there from 1992-to date and and who coached at Alameda St. Joe from 1979-90 before he and LaPorte switched schools. Phelps also coahced at Alameda St. Joseph from 1971-78.
But Cvijanovich does not believe the record, in and of itself is all that important. "The attention never should have been on me at all," Cvijanovich told reporters after the game. "In a roundabout way the record is a way of saying thank you to all the ballplayers I've had. The coach just pulls the strings. I'm very happy though. It's our fourth victory of the season." Cvijanovich began his career as the Santa Clara basketball coach in the 1958-59 season. Since then he's been to 38 playoffs, and won 14 Southern Section titles. Santa Clara also won 29 league titles, four California regional titles and two State Championships under Cvijanovich.
Even though Tuesday's game was remarkable for the victory record it set for Coach Cvijanovich (pronounced "See-yan-o-vich"), the game itself was anything but remarkable and in fact was a real mismatch. Santa Clara, now 4-1 on the season, jumped out to a 15-0 lead late in the first quarter against a Carpinteria team with only eight players. The Warriors, 1-4 on the year, are missing six players who are all still playing football. Santa Clara's only loss so far this year was in the Simi Valley Tournament to the eventual champions Simi Valley.
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