Santa Clara men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek moved quickly in filling an opening on his staff.
Justin Gainey, one of Sendek’s former players who spent the last three seasons at Marquette, was hired Thursday as an assistant coach.
Gainey, a standout guard at NC State who went on play professionally, was the director of operations for the Golden Eagles after serving five seasons (2010-14) as an assistant coach at Appalachian State where he helped develop a number of players, including point guards, into All-Southern Conference selections under head coach Jason Capel.
He spent the 2009-10 season as an assistant coach at Elon, following three years on staff at NC State, where he served as an administrative coordinator (2006-08) and director of basketball operations (2008-09).
“We are elated to welcome coach Justin Gainey, his wife, Courtney, and their sons, Jordan and Jayson to the Santa Clara University family,” Sendek said. “As our point guard at NC State, Justin ‘system-whipped’ competition and led our teams like a coach on the floor. Not surprisingly, he has transitioned and advanced in the coaching profession earning the respect and trust of colleagues, parents, and students-athletes. Undoubtedly, coach Gainey will enrich our basketball program and university community.”
Gainey was a three-year starter with the Wolfpack, earning honorable mention All-ACC honors. As a freshman in 1996-97, he helped guide an eighth-seeded squad to the ACC title game, playing all 40 minutes in each of the four contests to earn all-tournament honors.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to work for Coach Sendek after playing for him at NC State,” Gainey said. “He is not only a great basketball coach, but an even better person and I look forward to helping him make Santa Clara a championship level program.”
Gainey went on to a professional playing career, seeing action for Austria’s Woerthersee Piratens in 2000-01 and the following season for France’s Olympique D’ Antibes in the Pro A league. He ended his pro career in 2002-03 with USBL’s Pennsylvania ValleyDawgs.
He replaces Barret Peery who was hired last week as the head coach at Portland State.
“My family and I are excited to get settled in Santa Clara and develop friendships and roots in the community,” Gainey said.
Gainey begins his duties immediately.