Arroyo High School (AHS) alumnus and head girls basketball coach Mike Gorball is celebrating multiple achievements in his 34th season at AHS, after earning his 500th coaching victory and being the first girls basketball coach in San Gabriel Valley history to accomplish this feat at the same school.

Gorball was recognized for securing his 500th victory when AHS defeated Schurr High School by a score of 40-22 in December 2023. According to the CIF Southern Section (CIF-SS) record book, Gorball became the 12th girls basketball coach in section history to achieve 500 career wins at the same school. He also received praise and a certificate of recognition from the El Monte Union Board of Trustees during the February 21 meeting.

“It felt surreal to have this moment happen on our home court and at the only high school I have ever coached,” Gorball said. “I did not realize it was going to gain attention and mean just as much to everyone as it does to me.”

As a former Knight, Gorball competed in football, basketball and track and field and graduated from AHS in 1981. At the age of 18, he started coaching at Arroyo High School in El Monte and became the school’s head girls basketball coach in 1990.

“I am grateful to be able to coach in the community I am from,” Gorball said. “I like to think back to when I was playing here and the amount of care the coaches had for us, the opportunities they gave us and I try doing the same for my student-athletes.”

Gorball is known as a staple on the Knights’ campus, serving as a campus supervisor as well as a coach for football and track and field. He has also coached the school’s softball team.

During Gorball’s coaching tenure, the AHS girls basketball program has won nine Mission Valley League titles and reached the CIF-SS Division 4-AA quarterfinals in 2018 – the furthest playoff run for the Knights.

“The impact and presence that Mike Gorball has at Arroyo High School extends to his students and colleagues, and his leadership is part of what makes this school feel like a second home,” Principal Gabriel Flores said. “We are so proud of him for all that he has accomplished and we are thankful for all that he continues to give.”

Gorball highlights the close-knit community at AHS, attributing its strength to returning alumni, both former students and athletes.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Arroyo High School community, I want to extend my congratulations to Coach Gorball for exemplifying the dedication, passion and hard work that is required to achieve greatness.” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “We are extremely fortunate to have a role model like Mike Gorball at El Monte Union High School District.”

Photo and story courtesy VMA Communications