Salesian coach Bill Mellis records 400th career win

Salesian coach Bill Mellis records 400th career win
Salesian head coach Bill Mellis (photo courtesy of Salesian College Preparatory)

Bill Mellis, head coach of the Salesian boys basketball team, recorded his 400th career win following the team’s 88-37 result over Skyline High at the Albany Tip Off Classic on Saturday.

Salesian has been “extremely fortunate” to have Mellis coaching its students for the last 22 years, Principal Timothy Chambers said in a statement.

“In addition to what he teaches the boys on the court, he is a positive role model in all other aspects of life,” Chambers said.

Mellis has been the Richmond school’s head coach for 16 years, posting an overall 400-128 record along with eight league championships, five North Coast Section titles, three Northern California Regional titles and two state championships. His team has had 20 wins in each of the last 15 seasons.

Two years ago, ESPN named Mellis as State Coach of the Year.

Thirty-five of his former players went onto play in college.

Mellis cited three mentors for his coaching style — his high school coach Pete Newell, Jr., former Cal coach Lou Campanelli, who he worked for as a student assistant, and former Salesian coach Bill Treseler, who gave Mellis his first coaching gig.

“Coach Newell taught me a lot about the Xs and Os,” Mellis said in the statement. “Coach Campanelli taught me how to interact with players and gain their respect, and Coach Treseler showed me how to run a successful high school program.”

Mellis also credited assistant coaches and, of course, his players.

“The Salesian basketball program is unique because of the stability of the coaching staff and our high expectation level of success, regardless of how many senior players graduate year to year,” Mellis said. “Just as our school is a college preparatory school, our basketball program is a college preparatory program; we model it as closely as possible to how a college program is run, from study halls to practices to team meals and film sessions.