University of the Pacific men’s basketball has a new head coach, and NBA fans will definitely recognize the name. Damon Stoudamire – the former NBA Rookie of the Year who played for the Toronto Raptors, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs during his NBA career – was named the program’s newest coach today, according to ESPN.
Stoudamire isn’t a stranger to coaching the game. While he has not been a head coach ever since he retired from the NBA in 2008, Stoudamire has worked with Rice University as its director of player development and with the Memphis Grizzlies, the University of Arizona and the University of Memphis (his most recent gig) as an assistant. In recruiting, Stoudamire was the primary recruiter for Arizona in its pursuit of five-star forward Ray Smith, who the team landed in the class of 2015.
Pacific went 8-20 during the 2015-16 season, finishing with the worst record in the West Coast Conference. The team went 6-12 in conference play, which was tied for second-worst with Portland and Loyola Marymount. The good news for Stoudamire is that he won’t have to worry about a huge roster overhaul, as the team only loses two seniors heading into the 2016-17 campaign.
The news of Stoudamire’s hiring comes on the same day that he published a letter to his younger self on The Players’ Tribune.