It's a return to college coaching for Reggie Theus, who was introduced on Friday as the new basketball coach at Cal State Northridge.
He once had a high trajectory in the coaching ranks, guiding New Mexico State to the NCAA tournament in 2006-07 in his second season as head coach after serving as an assistant to Rick Pitino at Louisville.
Then he decided to take the NBA coaching plunge, becoming coach of the Sacramento Kings for two seasons. He was an assistant with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2009 to 2011 and then coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA D-League.
New Northridge Athletic Director Brandon Martin identified Theus as someone who has "a motor for excellence."
Theus, 55, said one immediate goal is for his new team to be "the hardest-playing team" in the Big West Conference. He intends to have the Matadors apply "full-court pressure defense" and run.
Of course, a big step will be recruiting and trying to generate community excitement for a program that plays in what could be mistaken for "a giant high school gym," as one fan called it.
Theus could sign as many as three players in the upcoming signing period and is in the process of hiring his assistant coaches, one of which is expected to come from a local program.
Martin made it clear, "We want to compete with some of the high major schools that people talk about."
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