Gators head coach says farewell after historic season

SF State men’s basketball coach Paul Trevor announced that he will not be returning for his eighth season coaching the Gators, signing instead with Stanislaus State University as co-head men’s basketball coach.

Trevor’s announcement came in the form of a press release from the SF State athletic department late Wednesday afternoon, triggering a flurry of questions about the immediate future of the Gator squad that had a historic season finishing their 2016-17 season 25-6 (16-4) and reaching the Division-II NCAA

tournament for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

After putting Gator athletics on the map again, the timing of Trevor’s departure seems displaced, but Trevor said his decision ultimately came down to rising costs in the Bay Area.

Lee Kin / Xpress

SF State Gators’ head coach Paul Trevor questions a referee after a foul is called on the Gators during their 78-68 win over CAL State Dominguez Hills Toros at Swamp in San Francisco on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. (Lee Kin/ Xpress)

“The cost of living in Stanislaus is affordable, it’s not the Bay Area,” Trevor said. “With my daughter at the age of seven, I want to try and provide some opportunities for her that were a little more challenging here.”

Trevor joined the coaching staff for the Gators in May 2010 after coaching eight seasons at California State University, San Bernardino, the last six of which he was the associate head coach.

The 2016-17 season was not only the Gators’ best under the guidance of Trevor, but was also the program’s best season in nearly 80 years. The 1939-40 Gators were the last team to win at least 25 games, finishing the season 27-7. The resurgent 2016-17 season netted the Gators four all-conference players and Trevor the NABC West Region Co-Coach of the Year award.

Several graduating and returning Gators were surprised by the sudden resignation.

“I know (Trevor) was negotiating his new contract,” redshirt sophomore center Ryne Williams said. “After the year he had, he was probably expecting a good contract, which he should.”

Athletic director Charles Guthrie was non-committal in regards to who would replace Trevor as head coach.

“Obviously everything is moving pretty fast here so we’re just trying to gather our thoughts and make sure that we follow University protocol on our next step,” Guthrie said. “Once we find out what options we have available we’ll explore those.”

Players and members of the coaching staff have already endorsed current assistant coach Vince Inglima, who will be entering his fifth season on the SF State coaching staff.

Inglima played basketball for Sonoma State University, earning CCAA Athlete of the Year, All-West Region and All-American honors in his time with the Seawolves. He can also relate well to the returning Gators as he was part of the team to win the CCAA Championships for the first time in school history.

“I think we would adapt (to the change) better if Vince were to become the head coach,” Williams said. “Obviously we know him already, he knows us, he recruited all of us and I think that would make it a smooth transition.”

Trevor echoed Williams’ opinion on promoting Inglima.

“I think that Coach Inglima has a relationship with all of the players that we’ve been recruiting and all the current players that are returning,” Trevor said. “To keep that program building on its success, it would be very important and I think Vince would have that great rapport with the team,” Trevor said.

Lee Kin

SF State Gators’ assistant coach Vince Inglima passes a ball during practice before the Gators play against CAL State Dominguez Hills Toros at Swamp in San Francisco on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. The Gators win 78-68. (Lee Kin/ Xpress)

In terms of a new head coach from outside the system, Williams said it’s hard to know how well the team would adapt given the amount of time between now and the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

“I think guys like Warren Jackson and Chiefy Ugbaja and Jase Wickliffe can basically fit into any system,” Williams said.

Stanislaus State signing Trevor was a calculated decision considering Wednesday’s announcement that current head coach Larry Reynolds has developed Parkinson’s Disease. Trevor will join the Warriors’ coaching staff as Reynolds’ co-head coach, taking sole possession of the head coach role once Reynolds feels his health wills it.

Having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago, we felt it was in the best interest of the program to add another coach to the staff in the event I couldn’t fulfill my duties and eventually to take over the program,” Reynolds said in a press release by the Stanislaus State athletic department. Stanislaus State did not respond to an Xpress request to contact Reynolds.

Trevor said he is good friends with Reynolds as both coaches served time at the helm of Cal State San Bernardino in the past.

Regardless of who becomes SF State’s head coach in Trevor’s wake, he was adamant that the Gators will forge ahead in good shape.

“They are great young men and they will be successful no matter what,” Trevor said. “They have high character, great work ethic, those guys will succeed no matter what.”

Trevor leaves SF State with a 107-86 as the Gators’ head coach, including an 80-68 record in conference play.

“I think we as a team are sad to see him go after the year we had,” Williams said. “But I think we all just realize he’s doing what’s best for him and what’s best for his family.”

Eli Walsh / Xpress

Graphic illustration by Eli Walsh.

 

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