MORAGA, Calif. -- UCLA assistant Paul Landreaux, formerly one of the most successful basketball coaches in California junior college history, was named Thursday the new head coach at St. Mary's College.
Landreaux replaces Lynn Nance, who stepped down as the Gaels head coach after the 1988-89 season to take a similiar job with the University of Washington.
In Nance's final season St. Mary's rolled to a best-ever 24-5 record, won the school's first NCAA berth in 30 years and was ranked in the Top-20.
St. Mary's Athletic Director Donald McKillip said Landreaux was selected over a field of candidates because of his reputation as a defensive-minded coach.
'Paul Landreaux brings to St. Mary's an outstanding basketball background on all levels, and is recognized in basketball circles as a leader in defensive strategies,' McKillip said. 'He has many strong assets, including his ability to recruit and his style of coaching, and I feel he will be a tremendous addition to St. Mary's program.'
Landreaux's ability to recruit will be tested by the Gaels, who graduated all five starters. The only returning players with a great deal of game experience are junior James Dailey and freshman Eric Bamberger.
During Landreaux's nine years at El Camino, he guided his teams to three state junior college titles, seven conference titles and nine straight 20-win seasons. He also had four 30-win seasons. His overall record at El Camino was 290-48.
For his success, Landreaux was twice selected as the California Community College Coach of the Year and was named his conference's Coach of the Year in seven of his nine seasons.
Landreaux, 45, was born in New Orleans and played collegiately at Cal-State Los Angeles.