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SoCalHoops College News

UCSB Hires Big Man Coach (& Big Man Dad)
From Nevada--(Sept. 9, 2000)

Big West Conference contender, UC Santa Barbara which had a home visit last night with Dustin Villepigue (6'-9" Sr. PF) from Simi Valley, but there was much bigger news than that yesterday coming out of Santa Barbara, which announced something we had heard about earlier in the week, but which were fairly pleased to read about:   Head Coach Bob Williams announced that the Gauchos have hired Pete Padgett as an assistant men's coach, replacing  Jon Wheeler who has returned to coach at his alma mater, Cal Berkeley. 

This is indeed excellent news for the Gauchos, who have a lot of big-man talent to work with, including last year's redshirt JJ Todd (6'-11" So. C/F) who will be one of the prime beneficiaries of Pete Padgett's tutalage.  Pete, a big man himself and an excellent player and athlete, and coach to some excellent players in the Reno area over the past decade, (and we should also note, the father of one of the best young big men in the sophomore class, perhaps the best young big man on the West Coast, David Padgett who tore up the Best of Summer and the Big Time), will take the job immediately and hit the road for Santa Barbara.  We heard that David Padgett will continue to live with his mom in Reno, Nevada through this season and then the family will follow dad in the spring.  Congratulations to Coach Williams and the rest of the Gauchos on what is truly an excellent hire which should help Santa Barbara immensely in the coming years. Here's the official press release from the University's Athletic Office SID:

Men's Basketball Selects Pete Padgett As New Assistant Coach
Padgett will replace Jon Wheeler on Bob Williams' coaching staff. 

Sept. 8, 2000

Santa Barbara, Calif. - Pete Padgett, one of the most successful high school coaches in Nevada and one of the greatest players in the history of the University of Nevada, has been named an assistant coach in the UC Santa Barbara men's basketball program, head coach Bob Williams announced today.

Padgett has spent the last five seasons as the head coach at Reno High School. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Carson High School in Carson City for 15 years. Padgett got his start as an assistant coach at Carson High School, spending three years in that role before becoming the head coach. He has been a head coach for the last 20 years, compiling a record of 341-198 and taking 14 teams to the Nevada State Championship Tournament and two to the Nevada State Final Four. On two occasions, including this past year, Padgett was named Northern Nevada 4-A Coach of the Year.

"Pete Padgett is a great addition to our coaching staff," commented Williams. "Our relationship goes back a long time and I am very excited about the opportunity to work with him. Pete was a talented, tough, hard-working player and he brings those same qualities coaching. He should have a major impact on the UCSB program."

In addition to his coaching experience, Padgett has a lengthy list of accomplishments as an athlete. He was a two sport star at the University of Nevada (known as Nevada-Reno when he competed), playing both basketball and baseball. As a basketball player Padgett was a four-time All-West Coast Athletic Conference selection. He was Nevada's captain for all four of his seasons and he finished his career as the school's all-time leading rebounder and third all-time leading scorer. In addition, he was the West Coast Athletic Conference's all-time leading rebounder and he ranked third in NCAA history in rebounding. In 1976, Padgett was a sixth-round draft choice of the NBA's Atlanta Hawks. As a baseball player, he was drafted in the Major League Baseball draft in 1972, 1976 and 1977.

"Quite frankly, this is an opportunity of a lifetime for me," Padgett said. "I have a long history with Bob (Williams) and I think the world of him. My family and I are particularly excited about the opportunity to work at UC Santa Barbara and that was an overriding factor in the decision."

Among other duties, Padgett will work extensively with the Gaucho frontcourt players.

"Pete was a very tough and physical post player," Williams said. "He will have a major impact on that part of our team as well as every other area. Overall, Pete Padgett and Gaucho basketball are a perfect match." 

Padgett earned his BA from Nevada in 1977 and his MA in Education Administration in 1979. He is married (Debbie) with a daughter (Melissa) and a son (David). His father, Jim, was was formerly the head coach at Cal and Nevada. Padgett replaces Jon Wheeler, who accepted a position as assistant coach at Cal in late August.

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