Garson named new Yotes basketball coach
Photo: Video by IdahoOnYourSide.com
Former UCLA assistant Scott Garson has been named the 15th head coach of the College of Idaho men's basketball team.
Athletic Director Marty Holly introduced Garson Monday afternoon at the university's Caldwell campus in front of a group of professors, alumni, and fellow members of the athletic department. The new coach promised an exciting brand of basketball and emphasized the importance of developing student athletes.
Scott has never been a head coach at the collegiate level, but he's got plenty of experience. Garson began his career behind the bench at Pepperdine, where he worked as a video coordinator. He then took a job at Utah, serving under legendary coach Rick Majerus for five seasons, before taking his most recent gig at UCLA. Garson was an assistant for Ben Howland from the 2006 season onward, posting a 222-90 record and winning four conference titles.
With a resume like that, the lingering question is... Why come to Caldwell?
"I'll be honest, I didn't know of the College of Idaho much at all," laughed Garson. "I'd heard of it, and that's about it. I knew nothing until I got here."
Garson didn't waste much time soaking in his new surroundings, however.
"It's such a great school academically, and the community has such great pride in the college," explained Garson. "They've had (basketball) success here in the past. That tells me they're going to be successful in the future."
A huge portion of Garson's success will depend upon recruiting. He helped amass ESPN's top recruiting class in the nation at UCLA in 2008 and 2012, which was a selling point for Holly.
"Having UCLA in front of your name gets your attention, but that didn't get him the job," said Holly. "Honestly, his recruiting connections are knocking me out. We've got a guard coming in on Friday that wouldn't even return our phone calls prior to him."
"It's those connections at this level... He has them better than anybody I know," Holly added.
Connections are great, but winning cures all ails. Garson already knows he needs to beat rival Northwest Nazarene to bring the College of Idaho's basketball program back to prominence.
"I've already thrown away all my 'Hatred for USC' tee shirts. I understand that NNU is the new USC for me," laughed Garson.