Men's Basketball, Men's Sports, Sports

Reports indicate Long Beach State will hire Chris Acker as new head coach

San Diego State assistant coach Chris Acker has reportedly been appointed to be at the helm of Long Beach State men’s basketball going forward, according to college basketball writer Jon Rothstein. The news comes less than one week after the loss to Arizona in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The suspected hire comes from a familiar place with Athletic Director Bobby Smitheran spending the last 15 years at SDSU.

Speculation surrounding Acker as the next potential head coach began early with Smitheran’s ties to the program and Acker ascending as a top assistant for a SDSU team that has been amongst the elite schools in the country over the past five seasons with him on staff.

Acker’s role with the Aztecs includes recruiting, player development and a focus on the offensive side of the ball. During his tenure in San Diego, the team reached the national championship game for the first time in school history and set a single-season program record for points scored.

The Los Angeles native has also made stops as an assistant coach at Hawai’i, where he helped lead the team to a program-record 28 wins en route to a Big West title and their first tournament win. This was followed up by a brief two-year stint at Boise State as a defensive coordinator.

The Beach found themselves in the national spotlight in the days leading up to the NCAA Tournament, with the sudden firing of former head coach Dan Monson before going on one of the most improbable runs, ending in a Big West championship for the first time since 2012.

According to the AP, Smitheran said he timed Monson’s firing before the Big West Tournament to motivate the team.

“I’m not trying to pat myself on the back, but it worked,” Smitheran said. The quote was not perceived well within in the Long Beach State community and on social media.

There is expected to be significant turnover on the roster with the coaching change and presumably a whole new staff. The Beach bid farewell to five seniors, including leading scorer Marcus Tsohonis.

Long Beach State Athletics has yet to confirm the move, Acker is still currently in his position as assistant coach with the Aztecs as they get set for a national championship rematch with UConn tomorrow in the Sweet 16 round.

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