May 17, 2013

Taylor Completes Men's Basketball Coaching Staff for 2013-14 Season

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton head men's basketball coach Dedrique Taylor announced Friday (May 17) that John Smith, Danny Sprinkle, and Robert Spence have been added to the Titans' coaching staff for the 2013-14 season.

"We are extremely excited and fortunate to have assembled a staff that coincides with our vision for Cal State Fullerton men's basketball program," Taylor said. "We have hired a staff that possesses the characteristics we feel are necessary to represent the University and Titan basketball. The staff represents a mixture of passion, experience, and energy along with a familiarity of recruiting in Southern California. I am extremely excited about the direction the program is headed and looking forward to continuing to build the Titan basketball brand."

Smith, who will serve as Fullerton's associate head coach, recently completed his ninth year as the head coach at Riverside City College, compiling a 196-87 (.693) overall record -- the second-highest win total in school history -- and leading the Tigers to four conference championships (2005, 2007, 2010, 2011), nine-postseason berths, five 20-win seasons, and the 2009 California state championship -- the school's first in 43 years since Hall of Fame Head Coach Jerry Tarkanian accomplished the feat three-straight times in the 1960's (1964-66).

Riverside City College finished 19-9 and 9-3 in the Orange Empire Conference in 2012-13, earning Smith Southern California Coach of the Year honors in addition to his four previous Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year trophies.

Prior to RCC, he spent four seasons as the head coach and Assistant Athletics Director at San Bernardino Valley College from 2000-04, posting an 88-40 overall record and a state championship tournament semifinal appearance in 2002-03, bringing his record as a head coach at the junior college level to 265-118 (.692). He was named the 2003 Foothill Conference Coach of the Year while leading the team to the league championship in his third season.

Smith's coaching resume also includes stops at Riverside's J.W. North High School, where he was the head coach of the freshman team and an assistant for the varsity squad that advanced to the CIF championship game, the College of Southern Idaho, Chaffey College, and Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, Calif. He also spent one season as the West Coast scout for the WNBA's Detroit Shock.

As a player, Smith was a two-time all-league and all-county selection at J.W. North High School before going on to play two seasons at UNLV from 1987-89. From there, he transferred to Dominican University in San Rafael, Calif., where he was an NAIA All-State Honorable Mention selection and all-conference honoree for his brother, Steve. He graduated from Dominican in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and also holds a master's degree in kinesiology from Azusa Pacific (2004).

"I am very happy that Coach Smith chose to join us as he brings a great deal of experience as a mentor, to not only our young men, but to myself," Taylor said. "His experience as a head coach will prove invaluable as he has built two very successful programs in Southern California. He is very well respected among his peers for his basketball knowledge and his ability to relate to his players, driving them to be their best both on and off the court. I am beyond elated to have him as a part of our staff."

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Danny Sprinkle

Sprinkle spent 11 seasons and two tours of duty as an assistant coach at Big West Conference rival Cal State Northridge from 2001-06 and, again, from 2008-13, working with the Matadors' guards, assisting with the offense, and coordinating the program's recruiting efforts. In his first season, Northridge captured the Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament titles to make the school's first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

While at Northridge, Sprinkle helped the Matadors to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths (2001 and 2009), Big West Conference regular season and tournament titles in 2008-09, the Big Sky regular season and tournament crowns in 2000-01, and another berth in the Big West Tournament championship game in 2003-04. In 2004, he was promoted to recruiting coordinator, recruiting or assisting in the recruitment of 15 all-conference players, including one conference tournament MVP, six all-freshman team selections, one freshman of the year, and 15 players who eventually went on to play professionally at some level.

He also spent two seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Montana State, from 2006-08, serving as the Bobcats' recruiting coordinator, assisting with the offense, and development of MSU's perimeter players. As an undergraduate, Sprinkle was a four-year starter for the Bobcats, helping lead the program to four Big Sky Conference Tournaments -- including the championship game twice in 1996 and 1998 -- and was named the tournament MVP as a freshman after helping Montana State claim both the regular season and tournament titles. 

A three-time All-Big Sky Conference selection, Sprinkle entered the 2012-13 season as the school's career record holder with 263 three-pointers made -- a total that also ranks fourth in Big Sky history -- while shooting .418 from three-point range and .473 from the floor overall for his career. He averaged 13.4 points per game in his four seasons, ranking sixth on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,497 points, while also collecting 233 assists and 74 steals.

Sprinkle, who was born in Pullman, Wash., and was an all-state selection in basketball twice at Helena High School in Montana, was inducted into the Montana State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006 in his first year of eligibility. He graduated from Montana State in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in Health and Human Development.

"Coach Sprinkle has developed a great reputation in college basketball circles across the country," Taylor said. "He has a very good understanding of recruiting to our university based on over 10 years of experience in the Big West Conference and he will be the driving force behind our recruiting efforts as well as play a huge role in the development of each of our players both on and off the court. His energy is relentless as well as contagious and we are proud to have him as a part of the Titan basketball family."

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Robert Spence

Spence spent the last six seasons as part of the Arizona State men's basketball staff, joining the Sun Devils as the technology coordinator in 2006-07 before being promoted to the Director of Basketball Operations prior to the 2007-08 campaign, placed in charge of travel, budget, practice organization, academics, and scouting.

Prior to ASU, Spence was an assistant coach for one season (2005-06) at NCAA Division II University of Arkansas-Fort Smith and one year at Miami Dade College in Florida, where he oversaw out-of-state recruitment, team travel, and academics as well as his duties on the sidelines. The Sharks finished 25-7 in his only season. That followed one year as the head coach at Milford Academy, a prep school in New York.

Spence, a North Carolina native, earned his bachelors degree in business management with a concentration in accounting in 2004 from Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., where he was a four-year letter winner for the Quakers from 2000-04.

"We are very fortunate to have Coach Spence join us as he brings a great deal of experience from all areas of building a program," Taylor said. "He was very instrumental in helping Arizona State basketball sustain its success, working diligently behind the scenes developing great relationships with the players as well as the community. We are looking forward to him having the same impact in the Titan basketball program. His ability to relate to our players and help them navigate the ins and outs of college will prove to be of great value to our program. I feel very fortunate that he has joined ranks with us and will be an integral part building the Titan Basketball brand."

In addition, Graduate Manager Aaron Lawrence and Director of Basketball Operations Anthony Santos will remain with the program in their previous capacities. Lawrence will be entering his third season with the program, managing the program's video responsibilities including coordinating the video exchange program, preparing and presenting film/scout presentations, and editing, while also assisting with the academic progress and development of the student-athletes. Santos will also be entering his third season overall with the Titans, his second as the director of operations, responsible for the day-to-day operations of the program, including travel, budgets, and game operations.