New Mexico adds Katsuma as Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach

The New Mexico men’s basketball program announced Wednesday that Aaron Katsuma is joining the program as an assistant coach. Katsuma comes to UNM after spending the last five seasons at Colorado State, four as the Director of Basketball Operations and last year as the Director of Recruiting.

Katsuma brings over a decade of experience to New Mexico, having worked previously at Drake and Minnesota prior to his tenure at Colorado State. He began his career at his alma mater, Minnesota, including four seasons working for Richard Pitino as a student manager, graduate manager and Assistant Director of Player Personnel. He joined Niko Medved’s staff at Drake in 2017-18 as Director of Basketball Operations before moving with Medved to Colorado State beginning in 2018-19.

“I am excited about the addition of Aaron Katsuma,” said Head Coach Richard Pitino. “I’ve known Aaron for many years, going back to when he worked for us as a student manager. He did an unbelievable job for me at the University of Minnesota. He is a tireless worker who builds amazing relationships with the players, is a relentless recruiter and is terrific on the court. He will fit in very well with the culture of our program.”

During his five seasons at Colorado State, Katsuma was part of a staff that led the Rams to two postseason appearances, including a NCAA bid in 2022. The Rams, led by Mountain West Player of the Year David Roddy, finished the 2021-22 season ranked No. 24 nationally in the Associated Press poll. In his roles at CSU, Katsuma managed the basketball budget, scheduled and contracted non-conference games, organized recruiting and official visits, coordinated transportation and accommodations for team travel and worked with the academic advisor to ensure success in the classroom, highlighted by the highest team GPA in 15 years in fall of 2021. In 2022, he was honored with the Asian Coaches Association Coach of the Year award.

“I first got to know Coach Pitino as one of his student managers at the University of Minnesota,” said Katsuma. “The opportunity to work for him again, this time as an assistant coach, is a full circle moment for me. This program has an incredible history and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it. I’m excited to help this coaching staff bring championships to New Mexico and its passionate fan base.”

In his one season at Drake, in 2017-18, the Bulldogs reached the postseason, advancing to the second round of the Tournament. As the Director of Basketball Operations, Katsuma organized team travel, community outreach and helped oversee student-athlete academics.

After serving as a manager at Minnesota while working on his undergraduate degree for four seasons from 2010-11 to 2013-14, Katsuma was a graduate manager for two seasons in 2014-15 and 2015-16 where he helped with scouting, academics and player development. Upon gaining his masters, he spent the 2016-17 season with the Golden Gophers as the Assistant Director of Player Personnel as the program won 24 games and reached the NCAA Tournament. He worked in numerous aspects of the program that season, including scouting, video assessment, recruiting and academics.

A native of Madison, Wisc., Katsuma graduated from Minnesota in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. He earned his master’s of education in Applied Kinesiology/Sport and Exercise Science from Minnesota in 2016.

Story Courtesy: Steve Kirkland – University of New Mexico

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