“I have enjoyed watching Justin’s development as a coach over the past three seasons, and know he will be successful in this new role,” said Cutts. “He has been a terrific coach and recruiter for our program, and continues to have a bright future in this profession.
“Justin’s playing experience, particularly the three years he played here at his alma mater, makes him a great role model and mentor for our current student-athletes.”
Bell returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in July of 2012. Over the last two seasons, the Highlanders have recorded the second most wins in consecutive years since the 1998-99, 1999-2000 seasons. They have also won the most conference games in consecutive years since that same two-season stretch.
UC Riverside’s offense in 2015-16 recorded the highest scoring average for the program since the 1999-2000 campaign, and the team’s 410 assists last season were the most since 1995-96.
Bell also coached two-time All-Conference honoree Jaylen Bland, who set the program’s single-season and career made three-pointers records this past year.
Prior to rejoining the Highlanders, Bell served as the lead assistant coach for the men’s basketball team at Concordia University-Irvine under head coach Ken Ammann.
During his time with the Eagles, Bell helped the squad to a 63-11 overall record, which included a league championship, two conference tournament championships, and a NAIA National Championship in 2012.
After graduating from UC Riverside, Bell spent time in the NBA as a youth basketball assistant for the Golden State Warriors. Bell’s role for the Warriors included directing basketball camps and clinics throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
He began his coaching career at De La Salle High School under the tutelage of legendary high school coach Frank Allocco. During his time there, Bell helped the Spartans to a record of 54-8, while also coaching six players who went on to play college basketball. After his time at De La Salle, Bell spent one year working for Synergy Sports Technology where he analyzed colligate and professional basketball game film for scouting and recruiting purposes.
As a collegian, Bell played two years at Saddleback College for head coach Bill Brummel accumulating a record of 55-14, while winning two league championships. He transferred to UC Riverside for the 2004-2005 season and appeared in 27 games finishing second on the squad in assists (70). After scoring 14 points in UC Riverside’s exhibition opener of the 2005-06 campaign, Bell underwent reconstructive knee surgery and was forced to use a medical redshirt.
Bell returned better than ever the following year starting 30 games as team captain while leading the team in minutes played (1,024), three-point field goals (70) and assists (128), and finishing third in scoring (10.2). Bell’s 70 made three-pointers established the program’s Division I era benchmark at the time, and on January 10, 2007, he handed out a Division I-era record 12 assists at San Diego.
Bell played high school basketball at Escondido High School in North County San Diego where he had a stellar four-year career playing for Head Coach Paul Baldwin.
After graduating from UC Riverside, Bell received his master’s degree in athletics administration from Concordia University-Irvine.