On Monday, it was reported that Oregon assistant men’s basketball coach Brian Fish would be named head coach of the Montana State University men’s hoops program. The announcement became official Tuesday afternoon and Fish was named as the 22nd head coach in Bobcats history.
“I’m overwhelmed with emotion,” Fish said in a Montana State press conference Tuesday. “I’m very excited and feel really good that an Athletic Director such as Peter Fields and Montana State University believes in me and is trusting me with its basketball program.”
Fish leaves Oregon after four years as an assistant to Dana Altman, who worked with Fish in some capacity for 15 years.
“My first job was with Coach Altman and I ended up being with him for 15 years and I learned the business the right way, with integrity yet being able to win a lot of games,” Fish said. “We had a lot of kids graduate, and some of them had professional basketball careers and the one thing that was out of my control was the first person that hired me. That ended up being the luckiest thing that’s happened to me … I learned a great deal about coaching from Coach Altman, a great deal about how to develop a team and how to bring a team along.”
Fields praised Fish on multiple accounts, calling him “a tremendous student of the game of basketball.”
“He has great integrity,” Fields said. “He’s a very loyal person, a very hard worker, he’s committed to helping student-athletes succeed and he’s a tremendous student of the game of basketball.”
In addition to working with Altman at Oregon, Creighton and Marshall, Fish worked under Billy Tubbs at Texas Christian University and assisted Brad Holland at the University of San Diego.
“In my six years with Billy Tubbs I learned a totally different style of basketball,” Fish said. “We won a lot of games and I learned how to play up-tempo and I learned a lot of things just riding in a car with him going to see a recruit. Brad Holland was a great guy to work for and a great people person. He’s a very good coach, but was also very good at getting to know people and pushing the buttons to get the best out of them.”
Fish played collegiate basketball at Western Kentucky University from 1984-86 before transferring to Marshall, where he played from 1987-89 and graduated with a BA in sports management.
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