April 6, 2024

FRESNO, Calif. – University President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval named Vance Walberg as the 20th head men's basketball coach at Fresno State on Saturday, April 6. Well-known in the basketball world for innovating the dribble drive motion offense, Walberg has extensive experience at every level of basketball, including the NBA, college, junior college and high school during his 40-plus year coaching career.

"Vance Walberg has an impressive, winning record in our Valley and comes with deep community ties that will enhance our men's basketball program and our student-athletes," Jiménez-Sandoval said. "With his decades-long track record as an authority in the field, his passion for Fresno State and his drive for excellence, Coach Walberg will take our men's basketball program to new heights. I am very pleased that a Valley native will lead us to higher levels of greatness."

Walberg comes to Fresno State following his second stint as the head coach at Clovis West High School, where he has been since 2016 after spending four seasons as an NBA assistant coach. In 21 seasons at Clovis West High, from 1990-2002 and 2017-24, he has amassed a record of 559-104 with the Golden Eagles. 

He was with the Sacramento Kings from 2015-16, following stints with the Philadelphia 76ers (2013-15) and Denver Nuggets (2012-13). Prior to that, Walberg spent two seasons as the head coach at Pepperdine University (2006-08) and three seasons as an assistant at University of Massachusetts (2008-11).

The principles of his dribble drive motion offense are used by some of the nation's top NBA and college coaches, including those at Kentucky and Alabama. Walberg looks forward to delivering an exciting, high-octane brand of basketball to the Save Mart Center for the Red Wave as the Bulldogs' new head coach. 

"I am thrilled to embark on this journey with Fresno State as the new head men's basketball coach," Walberg said. "I am grateful to both Fresno State and President Jiménez-Sandoval for entrusting me with this incredible opportunity. I am committed to not only fostering a winning culture on the court but also to galvanizing the community around our program while supporting our student-athletes so they can thrive academically and athletically."

He has an overall prep record of 697-195 that includes 16 league titles and 10 section championships in 20-plus years as a high school coach in California (Mountain View High, Los Altos High, Newark Memorial High and Clovis West High) prior to entering the college ranks. 

At Clovis West, he earned conference coach of the year honors nine times, section coach of the year on six occasions and was tabbed the California and West Region (Section 7) Coach of the Year in 1999, and was the Cal-Hi State Coach of the Year in 2001.

In four years at Fresno City College (2003-06), he compiled a 133-11 record, including a 34-0 record in 2005 when he led the Rams to the California State Community College championship. It was just the third team in California community college history, and first in 35 years, to go undefeated. 

His Fresno City College teams won four straight Central Valley Conference titles, made four consecutive trips to the Northern California Playoffs, advanced to the state's Final Four three times and appeared in the title game in 2003 and 2005. Walberg was twice named California Community College Coach of the Year (2003 and 2005) and was tabbed the CVC Coach of the Year in each of his four seasons.

Walberg, a 1978 graduate of Cal State Bakersfield, played two seasons with the Roadrunners and was twice named the school's Defensive Player of the Year. He served as team captain his senior year. Prior to that he helped De Anza Community College to back-to-back conference championships.

Walberg earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from CSUB, a teaching credential from the College of Belmont in 1979 and a master's degree in health, physical education and recreation from Saint Mary's College in 1986.

A formal press conference to introduce Walberg to the Red Wave will take place on Friday, April 12, with details to be announced. To request information about season tickets for the upcoming season click here, or put your $25 season ticket deposit down by clicking here.

What Others Are Saying:

John Calipari, Arkansas Men's Head Basketball Coach

"Vance Walberg is one of the most talented coaches in our country who has been ahead of the trends. His style of play will help get recruits and be appealing to the fans. He is a gatherer who will bring people together for a common cause – Fresno State basketball."

Nate Oats, Alabama Men's Head Basketball Coach

"Fresno State made a fantastic hire in Vance Walberg. Knowing Vance for almost 20 years, he will bring an exciting brand of basketball to Fresno State. I learned a lot of our offensive spacing concepts from him and have stayed in touch with him throughout my years as a head coach. Vance and his family will have a positive impact on the community and the university."

George Karl, NBA Hall of Fame Coach

"Vance Walberg's basketball knowledge is second to none, surpassing nearly everyone I've encountered in the game. With Walberg's four decades of experience at every level of basketball, Fresno State hit the jackpot. He will bring fresh ideas and genuine focus on the players, which is bound to bring contagious energy to Fresno State basketball that fans will love."