Clovis News: Sports

Boys hoops coaches recognized for achievements

Jim McCall of Firebaugh and Tom Orlich of Clovis West are being recognized by their schools after each boys basketball coach reached a career milestone.

McCall coached his 900th game Friday night as Firebaugh remained unbeaten in the West Sierra League by winning 55-40 at home against Dos Palos. Former and present players, school officials, family and friends honored McCall for the milestone before the game.

The only coach the Eagles boys program has had, according to school officials, McCall is 432-468 in 40 years.

"Coach McCall is a very unique person," Firebaugh senior forward Saul Lopez said. "Mr. McCall is a teacher, my coach, and, most important, my friend. He has impacted the way I look at the game of basketball by sharing with me that I have to let the game come to me and not force things. I will never forget the time we hugged at Fresno Christian before a game. It felt like hugging a father I never had."

Orlich was recognized for winning 700 games before the No. 3 Golden Eagles' Tri-River Athletic Conference home loss Tuesday against No. 4 Buchanan.

Orlich is a 33-year coach whose 707 wins rank seventh in state history. He coached for 25 years at South Lake Tahoe before coming to Clovis West in August 2002.

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