Dan Monson Named Long Beach Head Coach

Dan Monson has been named as the new head men's basketball coach at Long Beach State. Monson has been a Division I head coach for 10 years, most recently at Minnesota. In ten years as a collegiate head coach, Monson has a career record of 170-123 (.580), with seven trips to post-season play. Monson is the 16th head coach in Long Beach State men's basketball history, dating back to 1950-51.

"I'm extremely excited and honored to be in a program with such great tradition," said Monson. "I'm looking forward to try and continue the tradition of great coaches and teams that have been here in past years."

Monson was the head coach at the University of Minnesota for seven-plus years, compiling a 118-105 mark and reaching post-season play in five of his seven seasons. In 2004-05 he led the Gophers to a memorable season. He engineered the second-best Big Ten turnaround in the pervious 20 years, finishing the season with a 10-6 conference mark after posting just three league wins the pervious season. Minnesota reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1992-93 and led Minnesota to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999.

In 2005-06 the Gophers advanced to its fifth post-season in six years as they advanced to the second round of the NIT. Minnesota concluded the year at 16-15, its sixth winning season under Monson, and senior guard Vincent Grier was named All-Big Ten and All-District for the second straight season.

Monson reached two personal coaching milestones in 04-05. With a victory over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, he earned his 100th victory at Minnesota. When he defeated Purdue on Feb. 26, 2005 he picked up his 150th career head coaching victory. With 100 victories in his first six years at Minnesota, Monson ranks second all-time at the "U" behind Jim Dutcher (1975-85) in wins during his first six years a head coach.

During the 2002-03 season the Golden Gophers went 19-14, qualified for its third straight NIT appearance and earned the program's first trip to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden since 1993.

In Monson's first three seasons at Minnesota the Gophers increased their number of conference wins in each season under his leadership (4 in 1999-00; 5 in 2000-01 and 9 in 2001-02).

Monson stepped into the Minnesota job on the heels of NCAA sanctions against the school. Those NCAA violations during the mid-1990's severely limited scholarships and put strict recruiting sanctions on the program since the summer of 1999, coinciding with Monson's arrival at Minnesota. The summer of 2005 was the first Monson and his staff could recruit on par with every other college basketball program.

Prior to accepting the Minnesota job on July 24, 1999, Monson was the head coach at Gonzaga for two years. Inn 1998-99 he led the Bulldogs to within a breath of the Final Four. Gonzaga, which went 28-7 on the year, defeated such notable NCAA powers as Minnesota (75-63), Stanford (82-74) and Florida (73-72) before bowing out to eventual national champion Connecticut (67-62) in the Elite Eight.

His first year as head coach at Gonzaga resulted in a 24-10 mark, as the Bulldogs advanced to the second round of the NIT. Monson had a sparkling 52-17 (.754) record in his two seasons at the head coach of the Bulldogs.

All-told, Monson spent 11 years helping build the Gonzaga program. He began as an assistant coach in 1988 and spent six years laying the groundwork. In 1994-95 he was elevated to associate head coach under head coach Dan Fitzgerald. Three years later he took over full control of the Gonzaga program. He led Gonzaga to a West Coast Conference title in 1998 and was named the WCC Coach of the Year. The squad set a school-record with its 24 wins and Monson was also named the National Rookie Coach of the Year by Basketball Times.

Monson was a key figure in the Bulldogs turnaround in the 1990's. Gonzaga had a record of 223-89 over 10 seasons and he was responsible for recruiting many of the key players in Gonzaga's NCAA Sweet 16 appearances from 1998-2001. From the time Monson was named Associate Head Coach in 1995, Gonzaga averaged 22 wins per season and reached post-season play every year but one.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs' staff, Monson spent two season as a graduate assistant coach under Gene Bartow at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

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