Palisades High tennis coach Bud Kling and Marymount High volleyball coach were equally deserving of coach of the year honors in 2003 after leading their teams to the finals in their sports. When the Dolphins’ girls squad defeated Crossroads 15-3 in September, Kling joined an elite group by notching his 700th career victory. Kling has coached the Pali boys program since 1980 and the girls every year but one since 1984, posting a 712-69 record-a winning percentage of 91 percent. “I’m not the first tennis coach to reach this milestone,” Kling said. “But I might be the first from the City Section. We generally don’t play as many matches as Southern Section schools, so I guess this is a big accomplishment from that standpoint.” Kling led both the Pali boys and girls teams to the City finals in 2003, though neither won the championship. In all, he has coached the Dolphins to 24 titles and his teams have averaged almost 17 wins a season. Kling was voted state coach of the year in 1998 by the National Federation of Interscholastic Coach’s Association. In just six seasons, fellow Palisadian Cari Klein has built the Marymount High volleyball program into a national power. And the 2003 team may just be her best yet, winning 35 out of 36 matches on its way to a fourth straight CIF Division IV state championship-the most consecutive state titles in one division by any school. Sure, Klein’s teams are loaded with talent, but she deserves credit for scheduling the Sailors against the toughest competition year in and year out. That a private all-girls campus like Marymount (with an enrollment of 400 students) can compete-and routinely beat-schools five times its size is as telling as Klein’s remarkable 174-18 record. The key to her success is not getting complacent, even after winning 91 percent of the matches she has coached at Marymount. “Every year is unique and every team you play wants to knock you off,” Klein says. “This particular team responded to every challenge and it was a really easy team to coach. These players were self-motivated. They wanted to win as much as I wanted them to win.” Marymount became the first Southern California school to win the Durango, Torrey Pines and Archbishop Mitty tournaments-three of the toughest on the West Coast-in the same season.
This page is available to subscribers. Click here to sign in or get access.