The Beach comes to an agreement with one of its most successful basketball coaches.
Four 49ers finish in double figures as Long Beach State wins by 22.
Long Beach State hosts Loyola Marymount on November 14 at 7 p.m.
Long Beach State opens the 2013-14 season November 9 against Hawaii Pacific.
Ennis becomes the 26th Long Beach State player chosen in a professional basketball draft.
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Dan Monson has rebuilt the Long Beach State basketball program in his seven seasons with The Beach.
Monson has taken a program that won just six games in his first season at LBSU to three Big West titles, six straight top three finishes, two NIT appearances and a trip to the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Long Beach State has averaged over 20 wins per season over the last four years, and those wins have come while Monson's teams have played the nation's toughest non-conference schedule in each of those four seasons.
Monson's success at Long Beach State has been rewarded with three Big West Coach of the Year awards, as well as back-to-back NABC All-District Coach recognition from 2010-11 and 2011-12. The conference coaching award following the 2012-12 season marked the fourth time that Monson has been recognized as a league's top coach, previously winning the honor as the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 1998 following his first season at Gonzaga.
Success at the collegiate level hasn't been the only measure of what Monson has accomplished at Long Beach State. Two-time Big West Player of the Year Casper Ware reached the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers, becoming the first 49er to enter the NBA since 2003. 2013 Big West Player of the Year James Ennis also became the first LBSU player picked in the NBA Draft since 1992, a second-round selection of the Atlanta Hawks before being traded to the Miami Heat. Ennis became the fourth player to play under Monson selected in the NBA Draft, joining Joel Przybilla, Rick Rickert and Kris Humphries from his time at Minnesota.
Last season, a refreshed roster started the season 1-9, but rallied to go 13-7 through the rest of the season following the arrival of midseason help in junior Tyler Lamb and freshman Travis Hammonds. The squad was led by junior Mike Caffey, who earned First-Team All-Big West honors, becoming the sixth player under Monson to merit first-team selection, and the fourth to be named multiple times.
In 2012-13, Monson directed a squad that lost four starters from the 2011-12 NCAA Tournament team, and guided them to a another Big West championship, a third-consecutive regular season championship, the first time in over 40 years The Beach had won three straight conference titles.
LBSU's championship season in 2012-13 came on the heels of a four-year run based on a nucleus of solid recruiting in his first few years on campus. His first recruiting class featured Greg Plater, the second-leading all-time 3-point shooter at the school, while his second recruiting class of Larry Anderson, Eugene Phelps, T.J. Robinson and Casper Ware may go down in school history as the best recruiting class of all-time at Long Beach State.
Anderson, Phelps, Robinson and Ware all rank among the all-time leaders in school history in at least two categories and all four have earned all-league honors at least twice.
Three of the four own a school record. Ware is the school's all-time assist leader, Anderson has more steals than anybody in 49er history, and Robinson is not only the all-time leading rebounder at Long Beach State, but the leading rebounder in the history of the Big West Conference.
Ware established himself as not only one of the top players in the conference, but one of the best players in the nation. Named a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, honoring the top point guard in Division I, as both a junior and a senior, Ware won Big West Conference Player of the Year awards and was named an honorable mention Associated Press All-American in 2011 and 2012, while also being named the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District IX Player of the Year as a senior.
In 2010-11, Ware became the first player in Big West history to be named both the league's player of the year and its defensive player of the year. His first-team all-league selection made him the third Monson recruit at LBSU to be named first-team all-league. Ware also was named first-team All-District 9 by the NABC and first-team All-District IX by the USBWA as both a junior and senior.
Monson's team also picked up two wins over nationally-ranked teams in 2011-12, handing No. 9 Pittsburgh an 86-76 defeat on the road before knocking off No. 14 Xavier 68-58 at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. The two wins over ranked teams marked the first time a LBSU team had beaten multiple top 25 teams since the 1992-93 season.
Monson notched his 250th career win during that same season, on the same night LBSU clinched its second consecutive Big West Conference title, when the 49ers beat UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 22. Monson's success during the last two seasons came after his team nearly broke through in 2009-10. After finishing the season tied for third place in the Big West, the 49ers jelled in the Big West Tournament and advanced to the title game, just missing a berth in the NCAA Tournament after a five-point loss in the championship.
During the 2009-10 season, Monson led LBSU through the toughest schedule in school history and in the process picked up his 200th career win at Cal State Northridge on Jan. 28, 2010. The 49ers faced five teams ranked in the top 25, including the eventual National Champions, Duke, and a Final Four team, West Virginia. Monson also led the 49ers to their first win ever over national-power UCLA and a win over eventual WAC champion Utah State. Long Beach State played eight teams that eventually advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Monson was tabbed as the 16th head coach in Long Beach State men's basketball history on April 7, 2007. He inherited a depleted roster but still managed to be competitive in his first season at LBSU. Monson has been a Division I head coach for 16 years, during which he has compiled a career record of 274-214 (.561), with ten trips to postseason play, including a trip to the Elite Eight in 1999 with Gonzaga University.
Monson was the head coach at the University of Minnesota for seven-plus years, compiling a 118-105 mark and reaching postseason play in five of his seven seasons.
In 2004-05 he led the Gophers to a memorable year. He engineered the second-best Big Ten turnaround in the previous 20 seasons, finishing with a 10-6 conference mark after posting just three league wins the previous campaign. Minnesota reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 1992-93 and
Monson led the Golden Gophers to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. In 2005-06 the Gophers advanced to their fifth postseason appearance in six years. Senior guard Vincent Grier was named All-Big Ten and All-District for the second straight year. In 2002-03 Minnesota went 19-14 and earned the program's first trip to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden.
Monson reached two personal coaching milestones in 2004-05. With a victory over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals, he earned his 100th victory at Minnesota. When he defeated Purdue on February 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 school behind Jim Dutcher (1975-85) in wins during his first six years as head coach.
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 and that season concluded with a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the programs first year off probation.
Prior to accepting the Minnesota job on July 24, 1999, Monson was the head coach at Gonzaga for two years. In 1998-99 he led the Bulldogs to within a breath of the Final Four.
Gonzaga, which went 28-7 on the year and won the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament championships, 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 as the head coach of the Bulldogs.
Monson spent 11 years helping build the Gonzaga program. He began at GU 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 postseason play every year but one.
Prior to joining the Bulldogs' staff, Monson spent two seasons as a graduate assistant coach under Gene Bartow at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.
Monson played one year of football at Idaho, but turned his attention to coaching when a knee injury cut short his gridiron career. He coached the boys' basketball team at Oregon City (Ore.) High School for one year prior to taking the UAB graduate assistant post.
A 1985 graduate of the University of Idaho with a bachelor degree in mathematics, Monson earned his master's degree in education with a concentration on athletic administration from UAB in 1988. In addition to his 20-plus seasons coaching Division I basketball, as either a head or assistant coach, Monson has served on two coaching staffs for USA Basketball representing the United States in international competition.
Monson gained valuable experience by coaching on the international level with USA Basketball. He was an assistant coach for Kelvin Sampson on the gold medal winning 20-and-Under World Championships for Young Men Qualifying Tournament squad in the summer of 2004 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He also assisted Oliver Purnell at the 1999 Men's World University Games in Mallorca, Spain where the U.S. won the gold medal. With Team USA, Monson had the opportunity to coach future NBA players Sean May, Brendan Haywood, Bracey Wright, Chris Paul, Michael Redd, Mark Madsen, Kenyon Martin and Charlie Villanueva.
Monson grew up around basketball as his father, Don, was a well-respected collegiate coach. Don was the head coach at Idaho and Oregon and was an assistant coach under Jud Heathcote at Michigan State (1976-78) for two years.
Monson and his wife Darci have four children, a son, MicGuire, a daughter, Mollie, a son, Maddox and a daughter, McKenna.
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