OFFICIAL: UCSB’s Tucker named Head Coach at NAIA Embry-Riddle (AZ)

Following-up on something that I first mentioned in the Daily Dirt back on 7/27. UCSB assistant Ben Tucker has officially been named as the head men’s basketball coach at NAIA Embry-Riddle (AZ). Here’s the release from the school:

After a national search, Embry-Riddle athletics has selected Ben Tucker as the new head Men’s Basketball Coach. Tucker comes to Embry-Riddle after most recently spending five seasons as an Assistant Coach with the Gauchos at the University of California Santa Barbara. Tucker was a part of the 2020-21 team that took home the Big West regular season title, a Big West Tournament Championship, and an NCAA Tournament berth.

“We had an extremely deep and talented group of candidates to pick from for this position, and Ben stood out early in the process for us,” said Athletic Director Phil Hess. “Ben’s enthusiasm and his plan for the next steps for Embry-Riddle men’s basketball were impressive. He has had success at both the NAIA and NCAA levels, and he is ready to be a head coach. I am very excited for the future of our men’s basketball program with Ben as our head coach.”

“My family and I are thrilled to be joining the Embry-Riddle and Prescott communities. I want to thank Phil Hess and the entire hiring committee for this amazing opportunity to lead the Men’s Basketball program at ERAU,” Tucker said.  “It is a responsibility I don’t take lightly. Our program will continue to recruit young men who compete for excellence in all they do, and we will carry on the tradition of excellence set forth by the previous players. Our teams will play a fun and exciting style of basketball that makes the university and community proud. My family and I can’t wait to get on campus and start meeting everyone! Go Eagles.”

Prior to joining the Gauchos in 2017, Tucker spent the 2016-17 season in the same position at Northern Arizona University.  Tucker spent the one season at NAU after serving two years as the assistant director of basketball operations at his alma mater, the University of Arizona. While at Arizona, he oversaw the program’s video scouting efforts and was responsible for the organization, breakdown, scouting and presentation of game film. He also handled player edits for individual players’ use, created recruiting videos and cut recruiting film for coaches’ evaluation. 

A four-year manager at Arizona from 2007-11, Tucker was a senior manager during the 2010-11 campaign when the Wildcats captured the Pac-10 regular season title and advanced to the Elite Eight. He returned to Tucson after a one-year stint at the College of Idaho, where he helped lead the Coyotes to a berth in the 2014 NAIA National Tournament. During that time, he also coached with the Idaho Select AAU program. 

Prior to his time at the College of Idaho, Tucker spent two seasons at Walsh University in Canton, Ohio. In two seasons at Walsh, he helped guide the team to a 44-13 record while making the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. Also during that time, Tucker earned his master’s degree in education from the school.

A Boise, Idaho, native, Tucker earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from Arizona in 2011.

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