NORTHRIDGE (CNS) — Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) officials have fired men’s basketball coach Reggie Theus after five seasons — all with losing records — and athletic director Brandon E. Martin.
The Matadors were 6-24 this season, which ended Feb. 28 with a 102-76 loss to Cal State Fullerton, their fifth consecutive loss. Two of CSUN’s victories were over NAIA teams.
The Matadors were 3-13 in Big West Conference play, finishing last in the nine-team conference, and were the only team not to qualify for the conference tournament.
Theus had a 44-105 record in five seasons as CSUN’s coach. All nine victories in the 2014-15 season were vacated because of NCAA penalties related to academic misconduct and impermissible academic benefits for 10 players by a director of basketball operations.
“I want to thank both Coach Theus and Dr. Martin for their dedication to Matador Athletics,” said CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, who hired Martin as athletic director in 2013, said Wednesday, March 7. “CSUN is absolutely committed to the success of Matador Athletics and to supporting our student-athletes.”
The school will undertake a nationwide search for the sixth men’s basketball coach in the history of the program that began in the 1958-59 season, Harrison said. The search for a new athletic director will begin immediately, she said.
Martin had been a senior associate athletic director for administration at Oklahoma immediately before being hired at CSUN. He previously had been a senior associate director of athletics at USC.
When Theus was hired to coach the Matadors in 2013, Martin called it “a game-changing hire.”
CSUN’s best season under Theus was his first — the 2013-14 season when it was 17-18. The Matadors had a 9-24 on-court record the next season, when all their victories were vacated. CSUN was 10-20 in the 2015-16 season and 11-19 in the 2016-17 season.
The Matadors have not had a winning season in men’s basketball since the 2008-09 season, the most recent time they qualified for the NCAA Tournament. They have had six winning records since moving to Division 1 in the 1990-91 season.
Theus coached the NBA’s Sacramento Kings from 2007-08, the Los Angeles D-Fenders — the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Development League affiliate — in the 2012-13 season and was an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves from 2009-11.
Theus coached New Mexico State to a 41-23 record from 2005-07, guiding the Aggies to an NCAA Tournament berth in 2007. He was an assistant coach at Louisville from 2003-05.
As a player, Theus helped UNLV to the 1977 Final Four. He played 13 seasons in the NBA for five teams from 1978-91 and was a two-time all-star.
In addition to being a basketball coach on the professional and college levels, Theus also portrayed a basketball coach on television, playing coach Bill Fuller of fictional Deering (Indiana) High School on the NBC Saturday morning series “Hang Time” from 1995-98.