MR. AL GREENLEAF
Al graduated from Inglewood High School. He received his BA from Pepperdine and his MA from USC. When he first came to MHS in ‘51, he taught World History and Typing, and he coached Varsity Baseball and Varsity Basketball. As the teaching staff, grew he was able to concentrate strictly on coaching. MHS was a new campus, with no gym, not even an outdoor basketball court so practice was held at Inglewood High starting at 7:00 p.m., after the Sentinels were done practicing. His career took him from coaching a team that looked “like something out of a Will Ferrell movie” in 1951 (a former player’s words, not Al’s) to winning the CIF championship in 1955. In a game that MHS alumni will never forget, nothing seemed to go right for the Monarchs in the first half. They were out scored by a big margin. Trailing late in the third period by 16 points, MHS trimmed the deficit to eight by the end of the third quarter. But, with just one minute, eight seconds to go in the game, MHS still trailed 62-56. The Monarchs put on a late run, and, at the end of the fourth quarter, the game was tied 62-62. The first overtime period was a scoreless tie. The game then entered a second, “sudden death,” overtime period where the first team to win by two points would take the title. Less than one minute after the period, began John Arrillaga (’55) was fouled. He sank both charity tosses and the game was over. We had beaten previously undefeated Beverly Hills High in one of the most exciting games imaginable. John was named CIF Player of the Year, and Coach Al Greenleaf will forever be remembered for having created the first big MHS athletic program. Many students who knew Al still feel that the MHS gymnasium (although not built prior to his leaving) should have been named after him. Al accepted a position in El Camino’s Physical Education Department, eventually becoming the Director of Athletics and Golf Coach until he retired in 1988. Funny thing is, even though he retired, he continued coaching the golf team for ten more years. In February 2009, Coach Greenleaf and 6 or 7 members of “his” MHS team spent a long weekend in Tucson at the Stanford/Arizona basketball game. We are honored to have Coach Greenleaf join our website.