Veteran coach Dan Monson taking over at Eastern Washington

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 13 Apr, 2024 at 05:00 PM

Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Monson, who led Long Beach State to the NCAA Tournament as a lame-duck coach, is the new men's basketball coach at Eastern Washington, returning to his roots.

Monson and officials in Long Beach agreed to a "mutual separation" in early March amid a five-game losing streak to end the regular season. But when the team won the Big West tournament, Monson and his squad landed the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

No. 2 seed Arizona defeated No. 15 Long Beach State in the opening round of West Region play, 85-65.

Monson, 62, has a 445-396 record over 27 seasons as a head coach in Division I.

A Washington native, he lived in Cheney -- the location of Eastern Washington -- when his father coached high school basketball there.

The younger Monson began his coaching career in 1986 as an assistant at UAB for two seasons, then filled the same role at Gonzaga from 1988-97. He spent two seasons as the head coach of the Bulldogs (1997-99) before jumping to Minnesota (1999-2006) and then to Long Beach State (2007-24).

His teams have made 13 postseason appearances -- including four in the NCAA Tournament. Under Monson, Gonzaga made its first Elite Eight appearance in 1999.

When he departed for Minnesota, Gonzaga named current coach Mark Few to replace him.

Athletic director Tim Collins said Monson was an ideal fit for the Eagles.

"Eastern Washington University is a huge part of Spokane County and our region. Throughout the search for our next men's basketball coach, it was important, for us, to identify a head coach who represented this area," Collins said. "While talking to Dan, it became clear that this region matters as much to him as Eastern does to it."

Monson replaces David Riley, who left to become the head coach at Washington State following a 21-11 season with the Eagles.

--Field Level Media