Stanford’s Anne & Tony Director of Men’s Basketball Jerod Haase has named Jesse Pruitt as an assistant coach for the Cardinal, completing Haase’s coaching staff.
“Jesse has many West Coast connections and all of his experiences are an asset to Stanford,” Haase said. “He has a passion for the game and an infectious personality. Jesse compliments me and the staff well and fits Stanford perfectly. We are happy to have him join our staff.”
A well-regarded coach with strong California ties, Pruitt most recently spent eight seasons on the staff at Santa Clara under head coach Kerry Keating. He served as an assistant coach for the Broncos the last four seasons, where he helped lead Santa Clara to the 2013 College Basketball Invitational (CBI) postseason tournament title. Two years prior, the Broncos won the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Championship.
“I am so thrilled to join the coaching staff here at Stanford under the leadership of Coach Haase,” Pruitt said. “Coach Haase has created a championship culture everywhere he’s been, and I look forward to helping him establish that here with our group. I’ve always admired the competitive spirit and commitment of the Stanford student-athlete, and I’m so humbled to have the opportunity to work with these young men.”
Pruitt’s main responsibilities at Santa Clara involved recruiting, player development and scouting. In each recruiting class during Pruitt’s time as an assistant coach, at least one student-athlete earned a spot on the West Coast Conference (WCC) All-Freshman team, including Jared Brownridge (2013-14), Matt Hubbard (2014-15) and KJ Feagin (2015-16).
Pruitt aided in the development of Brownridge, a two-time first-team All-WCC performer (2015 and 2016) and 2014 conference newcomer of the year. Brownridge, who ranks first in school history in three-point field goal percentage (.419) and third in free throw percentage (.850), owns a career scoring average of 17.7 ppg.
In his first season as an assistant coach, Pruitt helped lead the Broncos to the 2013 CBI title. Santa Clara won 26 games and posted 21 regular season victories for the first time in almost 20 years. Pruitt was essential to the Broncos’ run, helping coach first-team All-WCC selections Marc Trasolini and Kevin Foster. Foster became Santa Clara’s all-time leading scorer and the second-leading scorer in WCC history. He snapped the all-time WCC record for threes made, finishing tied for fourth in Division I history with 431. In addition to their success on the court, all five seniors graduated.
Santa Clara was successful in the classroom as well during Pruitt’s tenure on the staff, with at least one player earning a spot on the WCC All-Academic team in seven of the eight seasons with the program. All 19 players who reached their senior season earned degrees and the men’s basketball program had a 100 percent graduation rate during Pruitt’s time on the staff.
Prior to joining the coaching staff, Pruitt served as Santa Clara’s Director of Basketball Operations for three years from 2008-10 and began his SCU tenure as the video coordinator in 2008-09.
Before joining Santa Clara, Pruitt was an assistant at Division II powerhouse Cal Poly Pomona under Greg Kamansky from 2006-08. There, Pruitt was instrumental in the recruiting efforts that led to back-to-back national title game appearances (2009 and 2010) and a national championship in 2010.
Pruitt graduated from UC Davis in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and organizational studies. He was a member of the Aggies’ men’s basketball team for two seasons under former UC Davis head coach Brian Fogel. Pruitt had a career-high 14 points against UC San Diego in a thrilling double-overtime victory for the Aggies on Jan. 25, 2003. At UC Davis, he played alongside current UAB Head Coach Robert Ehsan.
A native of Pomona, California, Pruitt earned three varsity letters at Upland High School and played under the legendary head coach Jeff Klein (now head coach at Chaffey College).
Pruitt married the former Mary Jo Alexander on Oct. 2, 2010 at Stanford Memorial Church. His wife was an All-American runner at UC Davis and was an assistant coach with the Stanford track and field and cross country teams. She is currently the Athletic Director at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. They have two children, Gisele Brin (3), and Paige Elizabeth (born in July of 2015).
Photo Courtesy Stanford Athletics