South Kitsap's John Callaghan led the Wolves boys basketball team to four Narrows League titles, eight state appearances and a runner up finish

NOTE: This is part of a series of biographies about inductees to the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s 2019 Kitsap County Sports Hall of Fame. The HOF Banquet is Saturday, Jan. 25 at Kiana Lodge. A social hour begins at noon with lunch at 1 p.m. and induction at 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at kitsapathleticroundtable.org.

John Callaghan coached basketball in the South Kitsap School District for 37 years, including 21 years (1998 to 2019) at the high school varsity level where he compiled 304 wins, four Narrows League titles, one WCD-3 title, and eight state tournament appearances (including a run of six years in a row).  South Kitsap made the Class 4A state title game in 2004, losing to Kentwood.

John Callaghan

Callaghan can count himself among the West Sound coaching legends, sitting fifth in wins behind Bremerton’s Les Eathorne (502), Bremerton’s Ken Wills (472), North Mason’s Larry Skogstad (451), and North Kitsap’s Jim Harney (362).  His teams placed in the top eight in state five times, including second in 2004 and third in 2006.

Callaghan coached 10 years at Marcus Whitman Junior High before moving to South Kitsap High, where he spent six years as an assistant. He also participated in the state tournament with South Kitsap in 1976 as a player during his senior year. 

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