Pacific hires Damon Stoudamire as men's basketball coach
University of the Pacific Director of Athletics Ted Leland today announced the hiring of Damon Stoudamire as the new men's basketball head coach. Stoudamire becomes the 22nd head coach in Pacific's history.
"Damon is a teacher, a coach, a role model," Leland told the near-capacity crowd in the Regents Board Room of the Alex and Jeri Vereschagin Alumni House. "I think he's a real advocate for student athletes."
Leland and Stoudamire each thanked interim head coach Mike Burns, assistant coach Calvin Byrd, and this year's players for working so hard during the past several difficult months. Both men also thanked Dell Demps ('92, '98), senior vice president of basketball operations and general manager for the New Orleans Pelicans NBA team and a member of the Eberhardt School of Business Advisory Board, for recommending Stoudamire for the position.
"I'm going to bring great energy," Stoudamire told the crowd. "I'm going to do the right thing. I want my guys to play the right way. I want them to be outstanding citizens in the community. ... As I come here to Stockton, to the University of the Pacific, I am so excited about this opportunity."
Stoudamire praised the coaches and players of this year's team.
"They did everything the right way and they did everything they could to win as many games and as they could under those circumstances," he said. "It was tough. As I come here, I'm trying to give everyone a fresh start. I'm going to give each player a clean slate. ... What I do have control over is getting each individual to be better as a basketball player on the floor, getting each individual to be better as a human being off the floor."
Stoudamire honed his skills under legendary coach Lute Olson at University of Arizona where he played four seasons before beginning a 13-year NBA career. He has spent the last seven years coaching basketball as an assistant with the Memphis Grizzlies, Arizona Wildcats, and most recently the Memphis Tigers.
Most recently, Stoudamire spent the 2015-16 season as an assistant with the University of Memphis where he was considered one of the top collegiate recruiters in the country. Prior to his last stint at Memphis, Stoudamire spent two seasons on the University of Arizona basketball staff from 2013-15. In his two seasons in Tucson, Stoudamire helped lead the Wildcats to consecutive 30-win seasons (33-5 in 2013-14; 34-4 in 2014-15), two Pac-12 Conference regular-season titles, one Pac-12 Conference Tournament crown and back-to-back NCAA Elite Eight appearances.
Before his time at Arizona, Stoudamire spent two seasons at Memphis from 2011-13 where he helped the Tigers compile a 57-14 record and make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the third round in 2013. In addition to the NCAA Tournament berths, the Tigers posted consecutive sweeps of the Conference USA (regular season and tournament) crowns, including a perfect 16-0 regular-season league record in 2012-13.
Before joining the Memphis Tigers staff, Stoudamire served as an assistant coach for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies from 2009-11. In the 2010-11 campaign, he helped direct the Grizzlies to a 46-36 record and an NBA Playoffs first-round upset of the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs. His first season in 2009-10 on the Grizzlies bench saw the team post a 16-game turnaround from the previous campaign. Prior to his NBA stint, Stoudamire was the director of player development at Rice University for the 2008-09 season.
A 2008 Arizona graduate, Stoudamire starred on the court for Olson at Arizona from 1991-95. During his collegiate playing days, Stoudamire led the Wildcats to a 101-24 record, the 1994 and 1995 Pac-10 Conference championships and a 1994 NCAA Final Four appearance. He was a consensus All-America first-team pick in 1993-94. As a senior, Stoudamire was a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Stoudamire finished his collegiate career ranked fifth on the UA career scoring list with 1,849 points and his 663 career assists were the second-most in the Lute Olson era. He is the only player in Arizona history to score 40 points in a single game twice and one of only three Wildcats to score more than 600 points in a season twice, finishing his career as the program record holder with 272 three-point field goals. Nearly two decades after the completion of his UA career, Stoudamire still ranks in the top 10 on eight different program career charts.
Nicknamed "Mighty Mouse," Stoudamire was the seventh overall selection in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors. He played 13 seasons in the league (1995-2008) for Toronto, Portland, Memphis and San Antonio, averaging 13.4 points, 6.1 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 878 career appearances.
In his initial NBA season in 1995-96, Stoudamire averaged 19.0 points, a career-best 9.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He also claimed the NBA Rookie All-Star Game MVP trophy that season. During his second NBA season, he averaged a career-high 20.2 points and also posted averages of 8.8 assists and 4.1 boards in 81 games.
A native of Portland, Ore., Stoudamire has two sons, Damon Jr. and Brandon.
Ben Laskey | 209-946-2730 | firstname.lastname@example.org