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First Black Head Coach in St. Ignatius Basketball History Earns First Win

Written by Ethan KasselPublished Jan. 06, 2023 • 11:58pm
St. Ignatius acting head coach Jamal Baugh talks to center John Squire during a timeout in the second quarter of a West Catholic Athletic League basketball game against Riordan in San Francisco on Jan. 4, 2023. | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

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In his two-game stint as St. Ignatius’ acting boys basketball coach, Jamal Baugh made history.

Baugh became the first Black head coach in St. Ignatius basketball history while Jason Greenfield served a two-game suspension, and on Friday night, he earned his first win as head coach after 11 years on the staff.

The Wildcats beat Valley Christian 62-49 behind freshman Caeden Hutcherson’s 18 points and Pepperdine commit John Squire’s 17-point, nine-rebound performance.

Baugh, a 1994 Riordan graduate, has been a mainstay on the SI bench under three different head coaches.

“I’ve been a part of the WCAL (West Catholic Athletic League) for 20-plus years,” Baugh commented. “It’s great.”

St. Ignatius acting head coach Jamal Baugh coaches his team during the first quarter of a West Catholic Athletic League basketball game against Riordan in San Francisco on Jan. 4, 2023. | Ethan Kassel/The Standard

Greenfield considers Baugh the face of the program, and even sends him to shake hands with the opposing team during pregame introductions.

“Jamal does everything for the school and the program,” Greenfield said. “He is the institution. He’s the face of SI basketball, and I’m really happy for him getting his first head coaching win.”

Baugh’s not the first one in his family to break barriers at St. Ignatius. His half-brother, Steve Bluford, became the first Black head football coach in St. Ignatius history in 2004.

“It feels good to be the first,” Baugh said. “It’s something to take in and be excited about.”

St. Ignatius (7-5, 1-1 WCAL) will face rival Sacred Heart Cathedral (7-4, 1-0) in Tuesday’s Bruce-Mahoney Game. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at USF’s War Memorial Gym. The best-of-five series, contested by the schools across multiple sports to determine who wins the Bruce-Mahoney Trophy, is currently tied 1-1.

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Ethan Kassel can be reached at [email protected]


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