A Division I assistant coach at perennial winners LSU and Texas Christian University with a stellar recruiting record has been named the next men’s basketball head coach at University of California, Riverside.
David Patrick is credited with recruiting future No. 1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons to LSU, and has also coached current NBA stars Patty Mills and Matthew Dellavedova.
“He knows Division I business,” UCR Athletic Director Tamica Smith-Jones said. “David can relate to the game both from an amateur and a professional perspective. He has a long history of success, and he will bring to UCR men’s basketball the winning attitude that can take us to the top of the Big West Conference.”
Jones said Patrick is in sync with two primary objectives she has established for the athletics program: that athletes should be students first, and that coaches should be well integrated into the community and the national landscape.
“I am extremely humbled, honored, and privileged to be named the head coach at UC Riverside,” Patrick said. “I cannot wait to get to Riverside to start developing our student-athletes on and off the court and for our program to be competing for Big West championships in short order.”
“I’ve worked my entire life to lead young men and to become a head coach. It’s a surreal feeling to have this come to fruition and especially at an institution like UC Riverside.”
Patrick was born in Bermuda and grew up in Australia. He played one season at Syracuse, with his team reaching the 1996 NCAA championship game, and then was a point guard at Louisiana-Lafayette from 1997-2000. He played four years professionally in Australia, England and Spain, was an assistant coach at Nicholls State for one year and St. Mary’s College for four years, and then was a scout with the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
He was hired by LSU in 2012, and in his time there helped LSU to register the nation’s fifth- and third-ranked recruiting classes, in 2013 and 2015. Patrick is in his second year at TCU. In his first season, the team won the 2017 NIT Postseason Championship, the first in the school’s history. TCU will compete in the 2018 NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years, playing the winner of the Syracuse and Arizona State game on Thursday night.
“To hire someone of David Patrick’s coaching pedigree frankly exceeds all of our expectations,” UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox said. “David is going to bring an entirely new level of engagement with the Riverside community.”
The Highlanders released former men’s basketball coach Dennis Cutts from his contract on Dec. 30. Head assistant coach and UCR alumnus Justin Bell became the interim head coach after Cutts’ departure. UCR finished 4-12 in conference play, winning four of its last eight. The team was eliminated from the Big West tournament by UC Davis on March 8.
“The ultimate compliment I can pay DP is he’s the kind of coach that I want my son to play for one day,” said Tony Bennett, head coach of the University of Virginia men’s basketball team, who said he’s known
Patrick for 20 years. “He has such a bright mind for the game and his recruiting prowess speaks for itself. What a great day to be a Highlander.”
ESPN writer and commentator Jeff Goodman said: “David Patrick is, in my opinion, a home run hire for UC Riverside. He’s a guy who has tremendous relationships in the industry, connects with players—and will be able to utilize his overseas connections to bring in kids that Riverside wouldn’t normally be able to get.”
Jones said being able to conduct a search prior to the end of the season provided an advantage in access to top coaching prospects. “This got us in front of every job that will be open in a week or two,” Jones said.
“A perk being at a campus like UC Riverside is I get to recruit the best coaches who will attract and retain the best and brightest scholar athletes, who care just as much about their classwork as they do what happens on the court,” Jones said. “With Coach Patrick, we are very fortunate to get a rising star whose values, connections and commitment to our program will make an immediate impact, positively change the narrative of UCR basketball for many years to come and make Highlander nation proud.”
Patrick is expected to officially join the team April 1, and a public introduction in Riverside is being planned. Patrick is married to wife Cassie, and has two daughters, Bailee and Madison.