Dan Monson named Head Basketball Coach at Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington University named Dan Monson as the 20th head men’s basketball coach in program history. 

Eastern brings in Monson who has 445 wins in 841 games spanning 27 seasons as a Division I head coach. Over his career, Monson has led his programs to 13 postseason appearances, including four NCAA Tournament bids (1999, 2005, 2012, 2024) and nine NIT appearances, winning seven games. Over his career, Monson led his programs to nine conference championships and earned five Coach of the Year awards. 

Monson is no stranger to Spokane County after coaching Gonzaga in the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons where he played a pivotal role in the start of the program’s current success. Led by Monson, the ‘Zags advanced to the 1999 Elite Eight, winning both the WCC regular season and conference tournament championships that season. Monson went 24-10 in his first season with the Bulldogs, advancing to the second round of the NIT after winning the regular season title. He was named WCC Coach of the Year in ’98.

“Eastern Washington University is a huge part of Spokane County and our region. Throughout the search for our next men’s basketball coach, it was important, for us, to identify a head coach who represented this area,” Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Tim Collins said. “While talking to Don, it became clear that this region matters as much to him as Eastern does to it.”

Recently, Monson was the head coach at Long Beach State, leaving as the program’s all-time winningest coach (275). In 2024, he led the team to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big West Tournament as the No. 4 seed. He also led the Dirtbags to the 2011-12 NCAA Tournament, along with four NIT appearances during his tenure.  In his 17 seasons at Long Beach, Monson coached four Big West Player of the Year winners and 18 First-Team All-Big West honorees. 

Prior to Long Beach, Monson spent eight seasons as the head coach at Minnesota. In the 2004-05 season, the Gophers won 21 games and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in six seasons. He advanced to the Big Ten tournament five times and made four appearances in the NIT with six wins.

Along with coaching at the collegiate level, Monson was on the staff for two USA Basketball teams. He served on the 20-and-Under Word Championships in 2004 and the 1999 Men’s World University Games, winning gold medals at both events. 

Monson started his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach for the University of Alabama-Birmingham, where he spent two seasons with the Blazers. He earned his master’s degree in education, emphasizing athletic administration from UAB in 1988. Monson earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Idaho in 1985.

Monson’s dad, Don, was the head coach for Idaho and led the Vandals to the Sweet 16 in the 1982 tournament. Idaho also qualified for the 1981 NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Sky championship. Don started his coaching career at Cheney High School in the 1950s. 


Tagged with: