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Garson named men's basketball coach

College of Idaho athletic director Marty Holly has announced the hiring of UCLA assistant Scott Garson as the 15th men’s basketball head coach in program history.

“I am honored that President Henberg and Marty Holly have given me the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program at The College of Idaho,” Garson said.  “I feel very fortunate to be at an institution with such an outstanding academic reputation combined with a tremendous passion for its athletics programs across the board.”

Garson, a native of Calabasas, Calif., was an assistant for Ben Howland at UCLA from 2006-13, serving two prior seasons as the Bruins video coordinator.  Garson was responsible for the development of perimeter players – including current NBA All-Stars Jrue Holiday of the Philadelphia 76ers and Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the caliber of the candidates who applied for our men’s basketball position,” Holly said. “After narrowing down the candidates, Coach Garson was the unanimous selection of the committee.  Scott brings a wealth of college basketball recruiting experience, having worked for two outstanding coaches in Ben Howland and the late Rick Majerus, and we are looking forward to him bringing Coyote basketball back to national prominence.”

During Garson’s tenure at UCLA, the Bruins amassed a record of 222-90, including Pac-10 titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, a Pac-12 title in 2013, as well as Pac-10 Tournament titles in 2006 and 2008.  The Bruins qualified for six NCAA National Tournaments and made trips to the Final Four in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – reaching the national championship game in 2006.  Garson has been instrumental in the recent recruiting efforts for the Bruins, who claimed ESPN’s No. 1 recruiting class in both 2008 and 2012.  A total of 12 players recruited or coached by Garson have been selected in the NBA Draft.

“Scott is an amazing coach with a great blend of work ethic and talent,” Howland said.  “On the floor, his preparation and knowledge of the game is outstanding, and most of all, he is a really good person.  The College of Idaho campus, the faculty, and the community of Caldwell will love Scott Garson.”

The 37-year-old Garson served as the video coordinator at Pepperdine University for one year before spending five seasons at the University of Utah under Majerus.  Garson was a graduate assistant for three seasons, video coordinator for one and assistant coach for another as the Utes won three Mountain West Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA National Tournament four times.  He joined Howland’s staff at UCLA in 2004, serving as video coordinator before becoming an assistant.

Garson played one season of college basketball and baseball at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., before transferring to UC-Santa Barbara, where he earned a bachelor of arts in law and society.  While at Utah, he received a master of science in exercise and sports science, with an emphasis in sport psychology.

“We will play a very exciting brand of basketball that Yote fans will enjoy coming to the Activities Center to watch,” Garson said.  “There is a great tradition of winning basketball at C of I, including a National Championship in 1996.  I believe the character of our current student-athletes, along with the support and resources that exist here, will allow us to build the foundation for a successful program that will invoke great pride in the alumni, student body, faculty and staff for many years to come.”

Garson replaces Rod Jensen, who did not have his contract renewed after three seasons as head coach.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit