After years of being regarded as one of the most respected high school coaches in Southern California, Rod Palmer is in his 11th season as an assistant at the Beach, and was promoted to Associate Head Coach beginning in 2014-15.
Palmer has helped Long Beach State win three Big West Conference regular-season titles and a earn a spot in the 2012 NCAA Tournament, as well as leading the Beach to three NIT appearances.
Palmer came to LBSU from Centennial High School in Compton where he was the head varsity basketball coach for nine years (1998-2007). Palmer led Centennial to the 2004 California Division III State Championship and his 2002 squad was a state finalist, falling to San Francisco Riordan.
Both the 2002 and 2004 squads were Division III Southern Regional Champions and in 2006 Centennial was the CIF Division IIIA champs. Prior to coaching at Centennial, Palmer was the head coach at Compton High School for four years (1993-97).
In the 2007 NBA Draft, Palmer saw two of his former players take the first step of realizing their NBA dreams. UCLA's Arron Afflalo was drafted in the first round by the Detroit Pistons and USC's Gabe Pruitt was drafted in the second round by the Boston Celtics.
Over 13 years as a high school coach, Palmer guided his teams to eight CIF Sectional title games (six consecutive), three Southern Regional Championship games, two Southern Regional Championships, two state final games and one Division III State Championship. He has also sent over 25 players to NCAA Division I schools on basketball scholarships.
The 2004 state championship squad was led by Afflalo. The Apaches went 32-3 that year and defeated Oakland Bishop O'Dowd 60-36 in the title game in Sacramento. During his last season at Centennial the Apaches were 19-5 and won the Pioneer League title with a perfect 10-0 record, but lost in the first round of the CIF IAA playoffs to Jordan in overtime.
Palmer earned his bachelor's degree from UC Irvine in 1990 in psychology and received a teaching credential-secondary in social science in 2004 from Cal State Dominguez Hills. He is a member of the Black Coaches Association.
Palmer prepped at Dominguez High School and was a two-time All-CIF guard and earned a scholarship to UCLA where he played from 1985-87. He then transferred to UC Irvine for his final two seasons.
Palmer and his wife, Sherell, have three children, daughters Erin and Shevae and a son, Joshua.
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