Another Bulldog chapter came to a close earlier today, as Director of Athletics Jeff Martinez announced that Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Ducey has moved into a voluntary, phased retirement, effective April 30, 2020. With the change, Ducey will continue as a member of the faculty for the Department of Physical Education at the University of Redlands but will no longer be a head coach.
“It is difficult to find the right words to share in these moments, as a simple thanks and congratulations hardly seem enough; perhaps that is because of the unique qualities and outlook on life that is Jim Ducey,” Martinez said. “While his robust list of achievements is impressive, it is likely impossible to capture in words how he has mentored and influenced thousands of young people, students, colleagues, and friends alike, throughout his coaching career.”
With coaching stints in four different programs during his time at Redlands, Ducey leaves behind a storied career of leading, engaging, and impacting student-athletes, assistant coaches, and many others since 1991-92. His most recent role began in 2007, when he took over the men’s basketball program after long-time Head Coach Gary Smith stepped down from his post of 36 years. Ducey made the move following a nine-year stint as the head women’s basketball coach at Redlands. He also worked with the Bulldog men’s and women’s tennis programs from 1992-1999 and then worked with the women again from 2004-2009. With unparalleled and distinct success, he owns 125-plus wins and one or more conference championships as the head coach of each of his teams.
Ducey guided the Redlands men’s basketball team to six Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournaments, two regular-season conference titles, and a pair of conference tournament championships. During the 2019-20 season, the Bulldogs orchestrated a late-season push that resulted in a solid 20-7 overall mark and a 12-4 SCIAC record for second place in the standings and ultimately a spot in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament final.
“I can’t thank my assistant coaches enough. The work Tim [Bross] has done has been outstanding as well as Bryan’s 13 years with us,” commented Ducey.
During the fall of 2006, Ducey went on sabbatical to study other basketball training programs, including those of the San Antonio Spurs with Head Coach Greg Popovich. He has developed unique coaching and teaching opportunities with team trips to places like Ireland, New Zealand, as well the Bulldogs’ recent “Around-the-World Tour.”
As the women’s basketball coach, he led the Bulldogs to a top-four conference finish in seven of nine seasons, as highlighted by the program’s second SCIAC championship in 2003-04. The men’s tennis team enjoyed a five-year run at the top of the conference to complement eight-consecutive years of finishing eighth or better at the NCAA Championships. His leadership with the women’s tennis team resulted in three conference titles and five trips to the NCAA tournament.
While at Redlands, Ducey has coached numerous All-Conference, All-America, Hall of Fame, and National Champion players. He was inducted into the Bulldog Bench Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2018.
A 1978 graduate of Redlands, Ducey returned to his alma mater in 1991 from Cal State San Bernardino, where he was the head tennis coach for three seasons and director for two while serving as head men’s basketball coach from 1984-91. Ducey graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and minors in Art and Geology. He played basketball for Coach Smith, earning the Hustle Award and serving as a team captain. He later went on to complete his Master of Arts in Education from Claremont Graduate School.
“I have enjoyed working with all of you and I have had a great 42 years of coaching college athletes. I thank them for all that they have done over the years,” Ducey said.