Vance Walberg hired as next Fresno State basketball coach

Walberg ascends to the job after decades of coaching all levels of basketball.

Fresno State has found its man, staying local to bring on Clovis West head coach Vance Walberg as the next men’s basketball coach. 

Walberg, who was announced as the coach on Saturday afternoon, will have a clean slate to rebuild the program after the university parted ways with former coach Justin Hutson. 


Driving the news: Walberg moves from north Fresno to the Save Mart Center as the 20th head coach in Fresno State history. 

  • Throughout his decades of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels, Walberg is famous for inventing the dribble drive motion offense. 
  • Walberg has long had a presence in the Central Valley, having first started coaching at Clovis West in 1989. 
  • In 2002, Walberg left the high school ranks to take over Fresno City College, leading the Rams to a 133-11 record. That included a perfect season in 2005, when the Rams went 34-0 and won the California State Community College championship. 
  • Following Fresno City College, Walberg became the head coach at Pepperdine, where he stayed until 2008. 
  • Pepperdine would be the last head coaching job Walberg had until he returned to Clovis West in 2016. He was an assistant at UMass from 2008-2011 and then moved to the NBA as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers and the Sacramento Kings. 

What we’re watching: Walberg will officially be introduced at a press conference on April 12. 

What they’re saying: Fresno State President Saul Jimenez-Sandoval praised Walberg’s deep community ties. 

  • “With his decades-long track record as an authority in the field, his passion for Fresno State and his drive for excellence, Coach Walberg will take our men’s basketball program to new heights,” Jimenez-Sandoval said. “I am very pleased that a Valley native will lead us to higher levels of greatness.” 
  • Walberg thanked Jimenez-Sandoval in a statement and said he is thrilled to lead the program. 
  • “I am committed to not only fostering a winning culture on the court but also to galvanizing the community around our program while supporting our student-athletes so they can thrive academically and athletically,” Walberg said. 
  • Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who utilizes the dribble drive offense, applauded Fresno State’s decision. 
  • “Vance Walberg is one of the most talented coaches in our country who has been ahead of the trends,” Calipari said. “His style of play will help get recruits and be appealing to the fans. He is a gatherer who will bring people together for a common cause.” 
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