Head Basketball Coach Named

New USD head men's basketball coach Steve Lavin standing at a podium when being named to the position.


Steve Lavin — a proven winner who guided UCLA and St. John’s to eight NCAA Tournament appearances in 11 years — has been hired as USD’s head men’s basketball coach, Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Athletics Bill McGillis announced in April 2022. 

A staple in college basketball for more than three decades, Lavin becomes the Toreros’ 14th head coach and the seventh since USD moved to the NCAA Division I ranks in 1979-80.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Coach Lavin and can’t wait for this exciting new era of Torero basketball to begin,” McGillis said. “His demonstrated record of success, positive inspirational leadership and deep West Coast roots provide a foundation to catapult our program to new heights.”

In 11 full seasons as a head coach, Lavin accumulated a record of 226-133 with 10 post-season appearances. He led his programs to eight NCAA Tournaments, including five Sweet 16 appearances and an Elite Eight. 

“I’m honored to have this opportunity of leading USD’s men’s basketball program,” Lavin said. “Throughout my discussions with President Harris and Bill McGillis, I gained a greater respect for their vision of USD Athletics. My background living on the West Coast, the rich history of WCC basketball, and the strong academic reputation of USD has made this an ideal fit from the beginning. I look forward to building relationships with the entire Toreros family as our program aspires towards excellence on and off the court.”

While at UCLA, Lavin compiled a 10-1 record in the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament. He holds the all-time record for most wins in the NCAA second round without a loss (5-0). Lavin was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year following the 2000-01 season after leading the Bruins to a 23-9 record and a Sweet 16. The following season, UCLA achieved its highest national ranking of Lavin’s tenure at No. 3. During Lavin’s time as head coach, he was one of only two coaches in the country to go to five Sweet 16s in six seasons.

During his time at St. John’s, Lavin registered a record of 81-53, making two NCAA appearances and two NIT appearances. In his first season with the Red Storm, he led the program to 21 wins and its first NCAA Tournament bid in eight years.

The San Francisco native has mentored 17 NBA players during his career, including Baron Davis, Jerome Moiso, Earl Watson, Matt Barnes, Jason Kopono, Jelani McCoy, Dan Gadzuric, Maurice Harkless and JaKarr Sampson.

Lavin’s coaching career began in 1988 when he was hired as an assistant by Purdue. After three years, he joined the UCLA staff where he served as an assistant coach for five seasons, including the 1995 national championship team that finished with a 32-1 record. In 1996, he was promoted to head coach.

Most recently, Lavin served as a national college basketball broadcaster for Fox Sports and CBS Sports. He previously worked with ESPN, ABC, and the Pac-12 Network. USD Athletics

One Response
  1. It’s great to see Steve Lavin back in the coaching game. He has a proven track record of success, having guided both UCLA and St. John’s to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances. His experience and leadership will be a great asset to the USD Toreros program

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