LA JOLLA, Calif. – After a two-month long national search, UC San Diego Director of Athletics Earl W. Edwards announced today that Chris Carlson has been hired as the new head coach of the Triton men’s basketball program. He replaces Bill Carr who posted a 38-45 record in his three seasons at helm before leaving to become the associate head coach at the University of San Diego.
“We are very excited to have Chris join our staff and lead our men’s basketball program,” said Edwards. “He comes from a winning tradition and brings a tremendous amount of knowledge to us from his vast experiences at the Division-I level. I have no doubt that he will take this program to a new level of success.”
Carlson becomes the 11th head men’s basketball coach in the 42-year history of the program and only the third to lead the program at the NCAA Division II level.
“I am honored and excited to be a part of the UCSD family. I want to thank Earl Edwards and the search committee for this amazing opportunity,” said Carlson. “These are exciting times in the UCSD Athletic Department and the chance to work with the top-notch student-athletes and coaches that are here is something I feel very privileged to have.
“I strongly believe in the mission of the University and this Athletic Department, as well as the type of student-athlete that UCSD attracts,” continued Carlson. “The potential and promise that exists here is something unique and special, and I am looking forward to building upon the recent successes of the program. I also want to thank Ben Howland, who has been instrumental in my development as a coach and person, for his trust and guidance throughout the many years in which we have worked together."
Carlson comes to UCSD after spending the previous four seasons as the Director of Basketball Operations at UCLA under head coach Ben Howland. At UCLA he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program and serves as a liaison to the athletic administration and other school officials. Carlson additionally assisted in scheduling and recruiting.
“I am very excited for Chris and for UC San Diego,” said UCLA head coach Ben Howland. “We have coached together at four different institutions and he will definitely be missed here. I am very confident that he will do an outstanding job at UC San Diego, leading that program to new heights. Chris is an outstanding coach and is a great communicator and I think he will be a great attribute to the UCSD campus and the San Diego community."
Before assuming his duties at UCLA, Carlson served in the same capacity for two years (2002-03) at the University of Pittsburgh. Carlson, the San Diego native, joined the Pittsburgh staff in the summer of 2001 and has extensive experience as an administrator and coach. Before joining his program at Pittsburgh, Carlson was on Howland's coaching staff at Northern Arizona for one season in 1998-99. He remained at NAU for two more years (1999-2001), after Howland’s departure, where he worked with the Lumberjacks' post players, along with recruiting and scheduling.
Prior to Northern Arizona, Carlson served as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UC Santa Barbara, from 1994-98. He was also an assistant coach at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif., from 1991-93.
Carlson takes over a program that posted a 12-15 overall record in 2006-07. The team did, however, defeat three teams ranked in the top-12 last year and returns all but one player from that squad. Among the returners are All-CCAA forward Henry Patterson and guards Clint Allard and Kelvin Kim. That trio of Tritons all ranked in the top four on the team in points per game last season.
Born Dec. 5, 1969, Carlson is married to Karen Nance and they have two sons, Nicklas, born Nov. 5, 2002, and Charlie, born Oct. 1, 2005. Prior to attending UC Santa Barbara, Carlson attended Helix High School in La Mesa where he earned All-League honors in basketball.