Stoudamire’s hire at Pacific gives Arizona Wildcats 30 known head coaching positions


High school boy’s basketball

Player Years/UA Team Start
Mike Bibby 1996-98 Phoenix Shadow Mountain 2014
Kelvin Eafon 1995-98 Pueblo 2014
Jason Stewart 1997-99 Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito 2014

Men’s college basketball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Jason Gardner 1999-03 IUPUI 2014
Craig McMillan 1984-88 Santa Rosa (CA) JC 2000
Josh Pastner 1996-00 Memphis 2009
Damon Stoudamire 1992-95 Pacific 2016

Men’s professional basketball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Matt Brase 2003-05 Rio Grande 2015
Reggie Geary 1992-96 Mitsubishi (Japan) 2011
Steve Kerr 1983-88 Golden State (NBA) 2014

College baseball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Tod Brown 1990-94 North Dakota State 2007

Professional baseball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Shelley Duncan 1999-01 Class A Hillsboro (OR) 2015
Terry Francona 1977-80 Cleveland (MLB) 2013
Chip Hale 1984-87 Arizona (MLB) 2015
Colt Sedbrook 2006-08 Boulder (CO) 2013

Women’s college basketball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Sue Darling 1978-82 NAU 2012
Brenda Frese 1989-93 Maryland 2002

High school football
Player Years/UA Team Start
Marcus Bell 1996-99 Eager Round Valley 2011
Robert Bonillas 1995-98 Desert View 2012
Mark Keel 1979-82 Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap 2000
Scott McKee 1999-02 Sahuaro 2009
Clarence McRae 2003-04 Mountain View 2012
Antonio Pierce 1999-00 Long Beach Poly 2014
Brandon Sanders 1995-98 Pueblo 2014

College softball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Kristie Fox 2004-07 Texas-Arlington 2013
Leticia Pineda-Boutté 1995-98 Washington-St. Louis 2006

High school softball
Player Years/UA Team Start
Amy Baray-Rocha 1999 Salpointe 2015
Jackie Coburn 2002-05 Scottsdale Horizon 2013
Danielle Rodriguez 2006-08 Tucson 2010
Jody Pruitt 1990-93 Peoria Sunrise Mountain 2011

On the day Damon Stoudamire was hired to his first head coaching job, filling the vacancy at Pacific, he penned a touching article about his life that was published by The Players Tribune.

The article, titled “Letter to My Younger Self”, is written by Stoudamire as a letter to a himself when he was an ambitious basketball player at 12 in the Portland, Ore., area. Stoudamire shed light on his experience with his grandparents, specifically his late grandmother, who he calls his best friend.

He opens up about important moments in his development as a basketball player and person. He devoted a significant part of his letter mentioning how Lute Olson impacted his life:

There’s a guy named Lute Olson who is going to come to your house when you’re in high school. He coaches the University of Arizona. In 2016, we have a term that perfectly describes Lute.

It’s called swag.

In terms you’ll understand, this dude is super bad, O.K.? He’s going to walk into your living room when you’re in high school with that slick white hair and that immaculate suit, and he’s going to tell you the truth.

He’s not going to be a used-car salesman. He’s not going to tell you that you’re a superstar.

He’s going to say, “You know what, Damon? I already got a point guard. And he’s terrific. But I think you can be terrific, too. I’m going to make you into a man.”

Stoudamire becomes Olson’s 10th former player at Arizona to become an active head coach. All but Craig McMillan, the head coach at Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, and Matt Brase, coach of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League, were point guards, an extension of Olson on the court.

They range from the high school level with Mike Bibby at Phoenix Shadow Mountain and former walk-on Jason Stewart at Encinitas (Calif.) San Dieguito to the NBA with Steve Kerr at Golden State. Kelvin Eafon, who was recruited to Arizona by Olson but finished his career playing football for Dick Tomey, is the head basketball coach at Pueblo.

The others in the Olson player coaching tree are Reggie Geary (in his fifth year coaching in a Japanese professional league), Jason Gardner (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) and Josh Pastner (Memphis).

Stoudamire also becomes the 28th known former Arizona athlete who is a head coach.

Some of the more notable former Wildcats coaching their own team include Maryland women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese (whose team is 31-3 and seeded No. 2 in the NCAA tournament), Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona and Arizona Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale.

Eight former Arizona football players, including Eafon, are coaching at the high school level, including former NFL player and current ESPN analyst Antonio Pierce at powerhouse Long Beach Poly.

Mike Candrea’s softball coaching tree includes six former players, including two at the high school level in Tucson with Amy Baray-Rocha at Salpointe Catholic and Danielle Rodriguez at Tucson High. publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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