The Mercury News

Bellarmine's Beauchman steps down; legendary hoops coach Lippi retires

- By Darren Sabedra dsabedra@ bayareanew­ Staff writer Joseph Dycus contribute­d to this report

In a surprise move, Jalal Beauchman has stepped down as Bellarmine's football coach after three seasons, the school announced Friday.

Beauchman, in a phone call to the Bay Area News Group after the announceme­nt, said in a statement that he wanted to focus on his family “and my future for the time being. I will miss coaching at Bellarmine very much. But I will always be a Bell. Go Bells.”

Before becoming a coach, Beauchman played at Bellarmine and San Jose State. He was the West Catholic Athletic League's receiver of the year in 2005.

Bellarmine athletic director Kevin Saldivar said in a statement that Beauchman, as a alumnus of the school, “worked each day to infuse the Bellarmine and Jesuit moto of being individual­s who are `for and with others' into everything he did.”

The release added that Bellarmine will begin the search for a new coach in the coming weeks. Inquiries should be directed to Saldivar.

Beauchman added that he hopes the new coach considers keeping some of the assistants on the current staff.

LIPPI RETIRES >> Longtime high school boys basketball coach Don Lippi announced his retirement Thursday, ending a career that will be remembered for 914 wins and so much more.

Lippi's career began in 1980 at St. Joseph Notre Dame in Alameda, and he spent the past two decades at the school, leading the Pilots to four state championsh­ips, three in Division V and one in Division IV.

Lippi, 75, also coached at St. Ignatius, Skyline and St. Patrick-St. Vincent.

“I try to live every day to make every day great for some student, player, coach, parent or stranger,” Lippi said in a school news release. “God gave me a big heart and I want to share that with others.”

According to Cal-Hi Sports, Lippi's record of 914-319 ranks fourth among California boys basketball coaches in wins. Only Mater Dei-Santa Ana's Gary McKnight (1,243), Damien-La Verne's Mike LeDuc (1,044) and Westcheste­r-Los Angeles'

Ed Azzam (932) have won more games than Lippi.

“I have nothing but praise and admiration for coach Lippi, and the years and years and years he's spent helping our community,” Bishop O'Dowd boys basketball coach Lou Richie said. “That's what coaching is all about.”

“Lippi is a legend,” Moreau Catholic coach Frank Knight said. “I'm 46, so for me, Lippi is kind of like the last of the old great coaches. Like Frank LaPorte and Mike Phelps and my coach up at Fremont (Oakland), Clint Williams. A bunch of those guys who were coaching when I was in high school. Lippi, for me, represente­d the last of that group.”

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