East County Sports

Leaf, Record-setting coach, returns to Foothills Christian

2023 LOCAL COVERAGE / EAST COUNTY PREP BOYS BASKETBALL

 

ECS staff report

EL CAJON – East County’s most successful boys basketball coach covering both private and public schools is returning.

Brad Leaf, who led first Steele Casnhon and then Foothills Christian high schools to CIF San Diego Section basketball championships announced he is returning to Foothills Christian following a three-year absense.

Leaf owns seven CIF San Diego Section championships, but his most impreesive victory is recognizedas the 2015-16 crown.

The Knights, which were one of the rare small-enrollment schools to reach the new Open Division playoffs, shocked many by not only sweeping all three opponents, but how they did it.

In the sectional final, Foothills Christian rn over Cathedral Catholc by nearly 20 points, taking a rather easy 8-63 decision over Cathedral Catholic.

The Dons– then and now — are coached by former San Diego Christian College standout Will Cunningham, the only player from the Hawks tohave his number (24) retired.

Leaf’s first trip to the limelight came in his first season with the Cougars. Depite finishing in a three-way tiefor fourth place in GSL play, the school competed against D-1 and D-2 schools, while they were placed in D-3.

The Cougars then reached the title game, but fell to La Jolla.

Then the championship banners started to accumulate

Steele Canyon took the Division III crown the following season, defeating USDHS (the old name for Cathedral Catholic before it relocated to Carmel Highlands), coach by former Monte Vista standout Demetrius Laffitte.

A year later, then elevated to D-2, the Cougars took the crown over Scripps Ranch. Both title teams were led by All-CIFSDS performer Richie Williams, who went on to play in almost every single game in a 4-year career for San Diego State.

Leaf then to Foothills Christian, developing a small-school power. In fact, many argue thqat the reason CIFSDS officials changed the playoff format to team strength and not enroll numbers was because of the Knights.

Leaf’s troops took foot consecutive D-5 crowns in 2007-10, then another in 2012 (they dropped the ’11 & ’13 finals to Horizon Christian).

Foothills Christian returned to the podium in 2015 as the D-2 titlists over Mira Mesa, then the success in Open Division play, with two appearanceand one crown.

Leaf started coaching long brfpre his twop sons — Troy and T.J.– were in elementary school. Troy went on to play for UC Santa Barbara andAzuasa Pacific; T.J. was a center for one season at UCLA before joining the NBA, playing for Indiana and Oklahoma City.

Career Ledger

Brad Leaf
East County coaching record

*The records listed on MaxPreps are incorrect.

Season  School     League     Overall Postseason
02-03 Steele Cyn  3-7 t-4th/GSL 16-15 D3 RunnerUp
03-04 Steele Cyn  9-1 FIRST/GSL 26- 5 D3 CHAMPS
04-05 Steele Cyn  9-1 FIRST/GSL 30- 2 D3 CHAMPS
05-06 Venutre Chr 4-6 4th/CSo    5-19*
06-07 Foothills  10-0 FIRST/Cit 24- 6 D4 CHAMPS
07-08 Foothills Cr.   Inde.     23-10 D4 CHAMPS
08-09 Foothills   9-0 FIRST/CSo 27- 9 D4 CHAMPS
09-10 Foothills  10-0 FIRST/CSo 32- 5 D4 CHAMPS
10-11 Foothills  10-0 FIRST/Cso 19-12 D4 Runnerup
11-12 Foothills 10-0 FIRST/CSo  29-12 D4 CHAMPS
12-13 Foothills 6-0 FIST/Sunset 20-15 D4 Runnerup
13-14 Foothills 6-0 FRST/Sunset 20- 9 D3 L. Semis
14-15 Foothills 6-0 FRST/Sunset 20- 9 D1 CHAMPS
15-16 Foothills 12-0 FIRST/Cstl 24- 5 Open CHAMPS
16-17 Foothills  9-1 FIRST/Cstl 24- 7 Open L Semis
17-18 Foothills 12-0 FIRST/Cstl 26- 7 Open Runnerup
18-19 Foothills  8-2 FIRST/Cstl 24- 7 Open Runnerup
19-20 Foothills 11-1 FIRST/Cstl 20-10 Open Third Pl
18 SEASONS                    385-157 Nine CIFSDS

*forfeit 5 leagues games, 10 overall gaes. (NOT REPORTED TO mAXpREPS)

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