In The Wake Of His 900th Career Win In 2021, Our SportStories’ Podcast Honored St. Joseph Notre Dame Boys Basketball Coach Don Lippi •
EDITOR’S NOTE: This Article And Podcast First Debuted In May 2021. We’re Republishing It Following Coach Don Lippi’s Announced Retirement On March 23.
If there was a Mt. Rushmore of Bay Area high school basketball coaches, there would be little debate over Don Lippi being front and center.
Lippi is Northern California’s winningest basketball coach of all time, according to the Cal-Hi Sports state record book. And on Saturday, May 15, the St. Joseph Notre Dame boys coach earned his 900th career victory when his small Alameda school — the same one where Basketball Hall of Famer Jason Kidd’s career began — defeated crosstown foe Encinal.
The 73-year-old Lippi became only the state’s fourth member of the 900-win club. His 42-year career has featured multiple stops at St. Joseph as well as St. Patrick-St. Vincent of Vallejo, Skyline of Oakland and St. Ignatius in San Francisco. He’s won four state titles, all with St. Joseph, with the most recent coming in 2017. That win was No. 800.
For this episode, we gathered a handful of coaches and former players of Lippi (one guest filled both roles!) to share stories of a legendary coach with a one-of-a-kind personality.
Those guests include Valley Christian-San Jose boys basketball coach Mark DeLuca (who also played for Lippi in the early 80s), Salesian-Richmond boys basketball coach Bill Mellis, and 2014 St. Joseph Notre Dame graduate Temidayo Yussuf (who now plays professionally overseas).
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