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Legendary Carlmont softball coach dies at 76

Carlmont’s Jim Liggett, who played in the Baltimore Orioles organization from 1960-1966, has spent the past four decades coaching the school s softball team to 999 victories. (Kirstina Sangsahachart/Bay Area News Group archives)

Jim Liggett, the all-time winningest high school softball coach in state history, has died after a battle with ALS, his daughter, Susan, announced on Facebook.

The former Carlmont coach retired after the 2016 season, finishing his legendary 41-year career at the school with 1,009 wins and eight Central Coast Section championships.

“I’m very sad to say that my Dad passed away yesterday from ALS,” Susan wrote Wednesday night. “I will post information on a service as soon as we have it. Thank you to all of you that kept him in your thoughts and prayers. I know he appreciated that.”

Liggett, who turned 76 in April, took over the Carlmont program in 1976, at a time when the softball team shared uniforms with the school’s basketball and volleyball programs.

He led his players to unprecedented heights, winning his 1,000 game in April 2016.

“The girls were feeling a lot of pressure,” Liggett told the Bay Area News Group that day. “They knew it was coming. They probably cared about it more than I did.”

He said he’d celebrate the milestone in the comfort of his house.

“Go home, sit in my La-Z-Boy chair and watch some TV,” he said.

Condolences are pouring in on social media for the man who also won 117 games as Carlmont’s football coach.

“My condolences to the friends and family (of) Carlmont High School coaching and high school softball legend Jim Liggett,”
Belmont Mayor Charles Stone wrote on Facebook. “I had the honor of presenting Coach Liggett with a Proclamation honoring his career at an event celebrating his retirement last year. It was amazing to see how many lives he touched. May he rest in peace.”

Current Carlmont football coach Jake Messina, in a Facebook post, wrote, “Rest In Peace Coach Jim Liggett. We are going to work even harder to return your program to greatness. God bless your family.”

Ed Evans, on the Carlmont High Nostalgic Society group on Facebook, wrote, “Sad to report that Coach Jim Liggett has passed away. During his long tenure at Carlmont he coached Football, Baseball, girls Basketball, and girls Softball. He is the most winningest coach in high school level Softball of all time. He also taught Math and Business. Rest In Peace Coach Liggett.”

Check back later for updates.