Longtime San Clemente High coach joins the ranks of legends
By Steve Breazeale
In a halftime ceremony at the CIF-SS Girls Basketball Championships on March 1, longtime San Clemente girls basketball coach Mary Mulligan-Crapo was inducted into the South California Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Her name now stands alongside famous southland coaches such as John Wooden and Bill Mulligan.
Mulligan-Crapo’s list of accomplishments is a long one.
In her 25 years coaching at San Clemente Mulligan won 500 games, captured 13 South Coast League titles, including 12 in a row, won five CIF Championships and sent 28 girls to play at the collegiate level. She was the CIF Division 1 Coach of the Year three times and the South Coast League Coach of the Year 13 times.
As a player, Mulligan-Crapo won the Orange County Female Athlete of the Year in 1981. She went on to play collegiate basketball at UCI.
“I was really honored (to be inducted), because I know that the coaches who are in the Hall of Fame are all coaches that I have a lot of respect for,” Mulligan-Crapo said. “It’s kind of one of those things where you look back on your career and the goals you’ve achieved and things I’ve accomplished and done at San Clemente High School.”
Mulligan-Crapo is no longer the varsity girls head coach but is still very much involved in teaching youth basketball. Alongside her husband, Steve Crapo, Mary coaches an eighth grade youth team that acts as a feeder to the San Clemente program. She also dons a whistle every now and then to officiate in frosh/soph and junior varsity games.
“It satisfies the itch…I just love basketball and love being in the gym and going to the games and (coaching the youth team and officiating) was a way to stay involved,” Mulligan-Crapo said.
Of the many successful teams that Mulligan-Crapo has helped mold, the 2007 San Clemente CIF-SS Championship team stands out to her as she reflects on her past. She dubbed that year, “One of the most fun years I’ve had coaching.”
Mulligan-Crapo remains a fixture on campus at San Clemente High, where she continues to teach math.