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SoCalHoops Coaching News

SoCal Coaching Moves: Townsend,
Spencer, Sandle, Metz All Move--(July 24, 2001)

Summer is the time for coaching changes nationally at the college level, and this summer you'll be seeing some familiar faces in Las Vegas and at other tournaments, but they'll be wearing new school colors.  There have been a few involving coaches in and around, or from, SoCal and two of the biggest moves involve UCLA and USC.  UCLA lost assistant coach Steve Spencer to Orange Coast College, where he will become the head coach, and his replacement is a longtime freind of Lavin and assistant Jim Saia, Pittsburgh's Patrick Sandle, an L.A. native who played for Willie West at Crenshaw in 1980.  USC for it's part let Dave Miller go following a harrowing round of NCAA investigations into a variety of issues and replaced him with former Michigan Assistant Coach Kurtis Townsend.   And finally, former Rockfish and Bishop Montgomery assistant coach Izzi Metz, who was an assistant last season at Hobart College in New York, was hired as an Assistant Coach at Cornell University. 

We've gathered up the press releases from these hires from the official sites so you can read more about the individuals involved. Here they are:

Press Release From UCLA:

Pittsburgh's Patrick Sandle Joins UCLA Staff

Bruin Assistant Steve Spencer named new men's head coach at Orange Coast College.

July 20, 2001

Los Angeles - Pittsburgh assistant Patrick Sandle, who is from Los Angeles and prepped at Crenshaw HS, has joined the UCLA staff with the departure of Bruin assistant Steve Spencer, who on Friday was named the new men's head basketball coach at Orange Coast College. 

During his five years on Ben Howland's staff at Pittsburgh (1999-01) and Northern Arizona (1996-99), Sandle (pronounced sand-al) was responsible for the Panthers' defense, scouting, conditioning and player development, on-campus recruiting and academic progress. He has 16 years of coaching experience at the high school, junior college and major college levels, including Div. I experience at Pitt (1999-2001), Northern Arizona (1996-99), Fresno State (1991-92) and Saint Mary's College, CA (1990-91).  

"I know Pat is very excited to be coming back to his hometown of Los Angeles," said UCLA head coach Steve Lavin. "He brings to us experience from all levels of coaching, including seven years in Div. I. For the past five seasons, he's worked for one of the nation's bright young coaches in Ben Howland. Pat has helped prepare winning programs in tough conferences like the Big East and the WAC. He's a great addition to our staff." 

Sandle, 37, is from Los Angeles and played at Crenshaw HS under legendary prep coach Willie West. As a 6-1 senior starting guard in 1980, he helped lead Crenshaw to the City Championship. Following high school, Sandle was a standout performer at Cuesta Junior College (1980-82, earning All-California and All-North Coast Conference honors) and San Francisco State (1982-84, where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1986 and is a member of the school's Hall of Fame). He began his coaching career at Cuesta College in 1986-87. 

"I feel like I'm going from one family to another," Sandle said. "For the last five years (at Pittsburgh and Northern Arizona), Coach Howland has been my teacher and mentor. Now I'm coming home to my family in Los Angeles. I want to thank Coach Lavin for this opportunity. I'm really looking forward to working with Steve (Lavin), Jim (Saia) and Gerald (Madkins), the faculty and the staff at UCLA. I grew up watching Marques (Johnson) and the rest of the Bruins under Coach (John) Wooden. Coming home and being at UCLA is a tremendous thrill for me."  

Sandle is UCLA's second new assistant. Last month, former Bruin guard standout Gerald Madkins, who as a senior in 1992 helped lead UCLA to the NCAA "Elite Eight", was hired to replace Michael Holton. In April, Holton, who was on the Bruin staff for five seasons and a UCLA standout guard from 1980-83, was named the new men's head basketball coach at the University of Portland. Sandle and Madkins join Bruin veteran assistant Jim Saia, entering his sixth season, to complete Lavin's staff for the 2001-02 campaign. 

Spencer Named New Men's Head Coach at Orange Coast College

Spencer, 41, was selected for the position by a hiring committee at OCC. He is also slated to teach physical education at the college.   "My five years at UCLA have been an incredible experience," Spencer said. "I greatly appreciate the opportunity that Coach Lavin gave me when he brought me to UCLA. I've learned a lot from him, Coach (Jim) Saia and Coach (Michael) Holton. I was looking forward to working with Coach (Gerald) Madkins. Coach (Patrick) Sandle is the best. No one in the country is better suited for the job. 

"I will miss the players," he said. " They were all fantastic to work with and they taught me so much - all of which will make me a better coach in the future. I want to thank Peter Dalis and the great administrative and support staff at UCLA. Everyone is fun to work with and an expert in their field. I will miss UCLA. 

"I am very honored to be selected for this job," Spencer said. "I'm excited to meet the players and I look forward to working with the other coaches. I'm excited to become a part of the team at Orange Coast College. The college has a great reputation academically and athletically."

During his five years (1997-2001) on the Bruin staff, Spencer helped lead UCLA to four NCAA "Sweet 16s" and the 1997 Pacific-10 title. He served as the coaching director for UCLA's basketball camps and has earned a reputation as one of the top individual developmental coaches in the nation. 

"I'm very happy for Steve and this opportunity," said Lavin. "His work-ethic and valuable insight has been a major factor during our past five years of success. His southern California coaching background makes him a natural choice and a great fit at Orange Coast College. It's rewarding to see Steve and Michael recognized for their abilities and given opportunities to run their own programs." 

Before coming to UCLA, Spencer coached professional basketball in Australia and from 1989-94, he was an assistant at Cal Lutheran, where he earned his Masters in counseling and guidance in 1993. As a player, Spencer was a standout guard at Sonoma State (1983-84; where he earned his undergraduate degree in 1985), College of Marin (1979-81) and Sir Frances Drake HS in San Anselmo (1976-78).

Official Press Release From Orange Coast College

Orange Coast Chooses UCLA Assistant To Head Men's Basketball Program

Orange Coast College President Margaret Gratton will recommend UCLA assistant men's basketball coach Steve Spencer to the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees for approval for the head men's basketball coaching position, OCC Athletics Director Fred Hokanson announced Friday.

The 41-year-old Spencer was selected by a hiring committee at Coast.

"Steve is a very talented coach and he comes from UCLA, one of the top programs in the nation," Hokanson said. "He knows what it takes to get it done at the Division I level and we're excited for him to come to Coast."

Official USC Press Release:

Kurtis Townsend Named USC Men's Basketball Assistant Coach

Former Michigan, Cal and Eastern Kentucky assistant added
to coach Bibby's staff.

July 11, 2001

LOS ANGELES - Kurtis Townsend, previously an assistant coach at Michigan, California and Eastern Kentucky, has been named an assistant with the USC men's basketball program, Trojan head coach Henry Bibby announced today. 

Townsend, 42, spent the past 3 seasons (1999-2001) as an assistant at Michigan. The Wolverines participated in the 2000 NIT. 

He was at Eastern Kentucky in 1998 following 4 seasons (1994-97) at California. The Golden Bears played in 3 NCAA Tournaments (1994-96-97), including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 1997. 

Townsend began his coaching career on the high school level in San Jose, Calif. He served as an assistant at Leland High (1985-87) and Del Mar High (1988-89) before becoming the head coach at Leigh High for 2 seasons (1990-91) and at Willow Glen High for 2 seasons (1992-93). As a prep head coach, his teams won league championships all 4 years. He led Leigh to a section title and Willow Glen advanced to the semifinals of the state section tourney both seasons. 

For 3 summers during his time in San Jose, he also served as the head coach of the Bay Pride pro-am team, made up of college and pro standouts, including Brian Shaw and Gary Payton. 

Townsend was a point guard at Western Kentucky for 2 seasons (1979-80). The 1980 Hilltoppers won the Ohio Valley Conference title and played in the NCAA tourney. He received his bachelor's degree from WKU in 1982. 

He then played the 1981 season in the CBA for the Montana Golden Nuggets.  Townsend was an All-Conference point guard at Camden High in San Jose, then earned 1978 All-American honorable mention and All-State first team honors at Menlo Junior College in Menlo Park, Calif. 

He and his wife, Linda, have 3 children: Tanika, 17, Marques, 15, and Keisha, 13.  His older brother, Raymond, lettered in basketball for 4 seasons (1975-78) at UCLA, playing guard on the Bruins' 1975 NCAA championship squad and earning All-Conference honors in 1978, before spending 3 years in the NBA.

Official Cornell University Press Release:

Izzi Metz Joins Basketball Staff As Assistant Coach

Hobart graduate will be part of Steve Donahue's 2001-02 staff.

July 18, 2001

ITHACA, N.Y. - Izzi Metz, formerly an assistant coach at Hobart College, has been appointed as an assistant coach with the Cornell men's basketball team, it was announced July 18 by head coach Steve Donahue. 

Metz spent last year at Hobart College, where he helped lead the Statesmen to the 2001 Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association championship. The team reached the NCAA tournament for the first time. While at Hobart, Metz coordinated all recruiting efforts, worked in all practice planning, practice drills and game management, oversaw the strength and conditioning program, prepared scouting reports and performed other various duties for the program. 

Prior to coaching at Hobart, Metz worked at various camps and helped lead the Bishop Montgomery High School team to the 2000 California Interscholastic Federation Division 3 State and Southern Section championships. He worked primarily with perimeter players and prepared scouting reports for Bishop Montgomery High.  

Metz has worked at the UCLA Basketball Camp (1995-2000), the Eastern Invitational Basketball Camp (1999), the Pocono Invitational Basketball Camp (1999) and the Massachusetts Special Olympics (1992-93). 

Metz graduated from Hobart College in 1998 with a bachelor of arts degree in economics. He was named to the dean's list in 1997 and 1998. Metz was a member of the Statesmen varsity basketball team.

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