Gonzaga Assistant Coaches: Where Are They Now? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Gonzaga Assistant Coaches: Where Are They Now?

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During this offseason, Gonzaga has had both a men's and women's assistant coach leave the program to become a head coach at another university.

On Tuesday, Julie Shaw accepted an offer to be the women's head coach at University of La Verne. Three months ago Ray Giacoletti was chosen to be the men's head coach at Drake University.

Several Gonzaga assistants have left over the years to pursue head coaching positions. SWX checks up on them to see how their head coaching endeavors have worked out.

Leon Rice

Before becoming Boise State's head coach, Leon Rice was an assistant coach at Gonzaga for 11 years. In his first season (2010-2011) as the Bronco's coach, he led the team to the College Basketball Invitational semifinals and was the only first-time head coach that year to get 20 wins at a program that had a losing record the previous season. 

This past year the team made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and Rice reached 50 wins faster than any men's basketball coach in Boise State history. The team also only lost one game at home and reached 20 wins for the second time in three years.

Next year looks bright for the Broncos, as they return every single one of their top five scorers. In particular, All-Mountain West Conference Second-Team players Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks will be back in Taco Bell Arena, as well as the league leading three-point shooter Jeff Elorriaga (.447).

Bill Grier

Grier had an unprecedented season in his first year as University of San Diego head coach in 2007. After coaching at Gonzaga for 16 years, Grier guided the Toreros to winning the WCC Tournament and to their first ever NCAA tournament win over No. 4 seed UConn. 

Unfortunately, every season since 2007-2008 USD has had a losing record. However, there is some buzz around the team for next season. This past year the team only lost to Gonzaga by two points and pushed the St. Mary's Gaels to the brink of elimination in the WCC tournament before losing 69-66 in overtime.

Next year the Toreros will return sharp shooter Johnny Dee, who led the team in points per game (15.0), free throw percentage (.888), and three point percentage (.377). All-WCC Freshman Team player Jito Kok will also return to the Jenny Craig Pavilion. 

Jennifer Mountain

Gonzaga Alum and former assistant coach Jennifer Mountain has been the head coach for Santa Clara since 2008. Prior to becoming a Bronco, Mountain was a three-time First-Team All-WCC selection while playing for the Zags and an assistant coach at Gonzaga for seven seasons.

Every season the Bronco's women's program has improved under Mountain, starting with four wins in her first season to 14 wins this past year. However, next year looks to be a down one for the team as they lose both All-WCC forward Lindsey Leo and All-WCC Honorable Mention guard Meagan Fulps.

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