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College basketball: School will hire Reynolds, who built power at Cal State San Bernardino.

April 01, 2002|ERIC STEPHENS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Larry Reynolds, who in five years turned Cal State San Bernardino into a Division II power, will be named coach at Long Beach State today.

Steve Janisch, Long Beach media relations director, said a news conference is scheduled for today at the Pyramid. Janisch did not disclose the details of the news conference but it is expected that Reynolds, 48, will be introduced as the 15th coach in 49er history.

Reynolds was unavailable for comment Sunday night. A source said he was returning from Atlanta, where he was attending the Final Four. Metro State (Colo.) Coach Mike Dunlap, who was the other leading candidate, said on Sunday that he removed his name from consideration.

It will be Reynolds' first job in Division I. In recent years, he has been a candidate for openings at Cal State Fullerton, Loyola Marymount and St. Mary's. He succeeds Wayne Morgan, who resigned after compiling a 91-84 record in six seasons. Reynolds fits the mold of what Long Beach Athletic Director Bill Shumard said he was looking for: a candidate who had at least four years of head-coaching experience with the ability to recruit Southern California. Reynolds has extensive ties to the Southland, playing at UC Riverside when it was a Division II program and later spending 16 years as an assistant to Coach John Masi. He also was an assistant at San Francisco in 1995-96.

In five seasons at San Bernardino, Reynolds was 110-35 with three California Collegiate Athletic Assn. championships. In his last four seasons, the Coyotes averaged nearly 25 victories. This season, San Bernardino was a program-best 28-2 and reached the Elite Eight, losing to eventual champion Metro State.

Reynolds follows a recent pattern of highly successful Division II coaches who have joined the Big West Conference. UC Irvine Coach Pat Douglass came from Cal State Bakersfield and UC Santa Barbara Coach Bob Williams came from UC Davis. Both won national championships at that level.

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