Leath added to Utah Basketball Staff

Utah head men’s basketball coach Craig Smith announced the addition of Loren “Lo” Leath to his coaching staff.

“We are thrilled to announce that Loren Leath will be joining the Runnin’ Utes basketball family,” Smith said. “Coach ‘Lo’ has deep connections in California and throughout the country. He is not only connected, but he is a connector as well. Ute fans will love his passion and charisma for people and the game of basketball. His experiences as a hall of a famer player­­­­­, collegiate coaching background and his first-hand knowledge at the grassroots level will help us navigate the ever-changing landscape. We are excited to welcome coach Lo and his wonderful family!”

Leath comes to Salt Lake City after spending the last two seasons (2022-24) at his alma mater, Sacramento State. In his first season with the Hornets, they accumulated the most wins by any first-year coaching staff in the program’s Division I era and third all-time for the program with 14. They also earned a top-six seed in the conference tournament for just the second time in 16 seasons and received a first-round bye for the first time ever since joining the Big Sky Conference in 1996.

That 2022-23 squad led the Big Sky in rebounding margin (+6.0) and offensive rebounds with 10.9 offensive boards per game. Sacramento State was also third in scoring defense in the conference that season, allowing opponents just 67.8 points per game. It’s +6.0 in scoring margin was tied with three other teams for the 15th-best in the country.

“I would like to thank Mr. Harlan, Coach Smith and the rest of the Utah staff,” said Leath. “My family and I are thrilled for this wonderful opportunity. Salt Lake is a great city and the University of Utah is a great place. I’m pumped to be a part of this program and am ready to hit the ground running! GO UTES!!”

As a student-athlete, Leath wrapped up his career (2005-09) fifth all-time in scoring (1,489) and third in the Division I era (1991-pres.) at Sacramento State. He is still the only Hornet to average double-digits points all four seasons of his career since they made the transition to Division I. The two-time All-Big Sky Conference honorable mention selection was also named to the school’s all-decade team (2000-10) before officially being inducted into the Sacramento State Men’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.

During his career, Leath averaged 13.3 points for the Hornets while shooting .383 from the floor and .354 from 3-point range. He only missed four games his entire collegiate career while also tallying 97 assists and 112 steals. Meanwhile, his 240 career 3-pointers ranks first in the DI era and fourth all-time. He is also tied for the second-best single-season free-throw percentage in program history, shooting an .897 clip his freshman year. Leath’s 41-point performance with 9 made 3-pointers in 2008 at Northern Colorado remains the top single-game performance for the Hornets in the Division I era.

After his collegiate career, Leath played professionally overseas in France and Spain before joining the coaching ranks.

Born in Oakland with roots in Los Angeles, Leath spent 10 years with the AAU program he grew playing for – the Oakland Soldiers – and worked under the guidance of his uncle and Oakland Soldiers President Mark Olivier. During his decade long tenure with the program, Leath served as a coach (2012-16) and vice president (2016-22). The Oakland Soldiers became one of the very few teams in the EYBL to win multiple championships during his time with the program.

The Oakland Soldiers saw over 100 of their players receive Division I scholarships with 11 former Soldiers currently playing in the NBA or G League. For his efforts, Leath was named one of the top-100 most impactful people in men’s collegiate basketball by Silver Waves Media. The Oakland Soldiers enjoyed success up and down the state of California while Leath served as vice president when he created chapters in San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Stockton and of course Sacramento. He also started the first women’s program under their banner named the Lady Soldiers.

Leath is married to his wife, Brittani, and have three daughters together – London, Myoko and Capri.

NBA Players During Leath’s Tenure with Soldiers

2014Aaron Gordon1st4th
2015Stanley Johnson1st8th
2016Stephen Zimmerman2nd41st
2017Ivan Rabb2nd35th
2018Chimezie Metu2nd49th
2020Kenyon Martin Jr.2nd52nd
2021Jalen Green1st2nd
2021Ziaire Williams1st10th
2021Josh Christopher1st24th
2022Peyton Watson1st30th
2022Christian Koloko1st33rd

-Scotty Pippin Jr.        Los Angeles Lakers (2022-23) à Memphis Grizzlies (2023-Pres.)
-Gabe Vincent            Miami Heat (2019-23) à Los Angeles Lakers (2023-Pres.)
-Jordan Ford              Sacramento Kings Two-Way Contract (2023-Pres.)
-James Akinjo             NBA G-League (Wisconsin Herd)
-Cameron Oliver         Houston Rockets (2020-21 à Atlanta Hawks (2021-22)


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