Herb Sendek
Herb Sendek
Title: Head Coach
Year: Second Year
College: Carnegie Mellon '85

Videos: Sendek Introductory News Conference | Sendek Campus Welcome | Sendek Talks Goals, Santa Clara Community

Photo Galleries: News Conference/Campus Welcome | Throwing Out First Pitch at Baseball

With a resume that includes 18 postseason appearances and three conference coach of the year awards, along with demonstrated player and staff development, Herb Sendek is in his second season as Santa Clara's head men's basketball coach.

He was hired on March 29, 2016 as the 15th head coach in school history.

Sendek, one of the three youngest coaches with 400 or more career victories, has had three successful head-coaching tenures at the Division I level. He is in his 24th season as a collegiate head coach with stops at Arizona State, North Carolina State and Miami (Ohio). In those three stints, Sendek compiled a 413-295 (.583) record, including 39 victories against top 25 teams. He earned coach of the year in the Pac-10, Atlantic Coast Conference and Mid-American Conference.

Despite having seven players miss more than a combined 70 games due to injury, Santa Clara posted a 17-16 record in 2016-17 and reached the West Coast Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time in six years. Sendek led the Broncos to a five-game overall improvement, tied for the best in the league with Gonzaga at the conclusion of the WCC Tournament. The Broncos, who were tied for fourth in the conference standings, finished above .500 in league play for just the third time in the last 10 years, including first since 2012-13. They also had the best turnaround in league play with a three-game improvement (7-11 in 2015-16).

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sendek has recruited or coached a number of standout players, including NBA first-round draft choices James Harden (Arizona State), Julius Hodge (NC State) and Wally Szczerbiak (Miami). Sendek also has 12 former assistant coaches, administrative assistants or graduate assistants serving as Division I head coaches.

Prior to arriving at Santa Clara, he served nine seasons (2006-15) at Arizona State, posting five 20-win campaigns and making five postseason appearances, including two trips to the NCAAs for a program which had only three in the previous 25 years. In addition, the Sun Devils produced just three 20-win campaigns in the prior 25 seasons to his arrival.

Sendek, who posted a 159-137 (.537) record at the school and has a 430-311 (.580) career mark through the 2016-17 season, led ASU to three straight 20-win seasons - 2007-08 (21-13), 2008-09 (25-10) and 2009-10 (22-11) - which had not happened since 1961-63. He was the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 2009-10 when the Sun Devils went 25-10.

Sendek, 53, had a successful 10-year tenure (1996-2006) at North Carolina State, which finished with five straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament, including four with at least one victory.

He amassed a 191-132 (.591) mark with the Wolfpack, earning 2003-04 Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. In his final five seasons, NCSU won 53 league games, with only Duke totaling more (76) in that time frame.

Sendek earned his first head-coaching job at Miami University when he was just 30 years old. He led the now RedHawks to the postseason in each of his three seasons (1993-96) and his winning percentage (.708/63-26) remains first in school history (minimum three years).

After winning the 1994-95 MAC regular-season title, Miami (Ohio) earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where Sendek's 12th-seeded squad defeated No. 5 seed (and 15th-ranked) Arizona before losing to 13th-ranked and fourth-seeded Virginia in overtime.

He is the only coach ever to lead Miami to postseason play in each of his first three seasons, and he reached 50 victories quicker than any other coach at the school.

After finishing at Carnegie Mellon University in 1985, which included a stint as a volunteer assistant at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Sendek began an eight-year stint as a Division I assistant coach.

He served as an assistant coach at Providence College for four years (1985-89), starting under Rick Pitino and helping the Friars earn a trip to the 1987 Final Four. He spent his final season under head coach Rick Barnes with the Friars again landing in the NCAA Tournament.

With a reputation as a standout recruiter, Sendek joined Pitino at Kentucky for the 1989-90 season and remained for four years. Sports Illustrated named him one of the top 10 recruiters in the nation during 1992-93, which ended in a Final Four run for the Wildcats.

Coming off two years probation, Kentucky also made a trip to the 1992 Elite Eight, a run that ended in overtime against Duke on the famous Grant Hill-to-Christian Laettner last-second inbounds heave.

In addition to his on-court success, Sendek, who graduated from college with 3.95 grade-point average, has stressed academics. While at Arizona State, the program had a 100-percent senior graduation rate and the top graduation success rate in the Pac-12. He inherited a team with Academic Progress Rate (APR) scholarship penalties and posted a perfect 1,000 score in five reporting years, including each of the final four (2010-11 through 2013-14).

Four Arizona State players earned master's degrees in Sendek's final three seasons and six former players came back to finish their studies.

Sendek was one of only three coaches who had NBA first-round picks in both the 2005 and 2006 drafts, and then followed that up in 2009 with a top-three pick (Harden at No. 3) and the first pick of the second round (Jeff Pendergraph). Jahii Carson earned Pac-12 Co-Freshman of the Year in 2012-13, while Jordan Bachynski was the 2013-14 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

Sendek is the co-author of Gen Y Now – Millennials and the Evolution of Leadership and is a member of the NCAA Ethics Coalition. He and his wife, Melanie, have three daughters - Kristin, Catherine, Kelly.

What They've Said About Sendek…

"My family and I couldn't be more excited for Coach Sendek and his family. First of all, he is a great coach. Santa Clara University should be so excited.  He brings an unmatched commitment level to work every day. He takes tremendous pride in the development of his players, coaches, and staff in all areas of their life. He impacted me in so many ways and continues to do so to this day. The University as a whole, alums and the campus community will not have a better advocate on their behalf, he represents character and class at all times"
- Archie Miller, current head coach at Dayton who served as a Sendek assistant at NC State and Arizona State

"Santa Clara hit a grand slam. I've been very blessed to be friends with Coach Sendek for about the last 10 years. I would go down and watch his practices and the way he coached his team on a daily basis was impressive. He's a man of the highest integrity. His players are going to represent Santa Clara in the best of all ways. They're going to be well prepared on the court. I know it's a terrific academic school and coach's teams have always done well academically. He preaches balance to these young men in their lives in terms of being the best players they can be but also being the best students. He's the finest teacher of the game I've ever been around. There is nobody who cares more about doing things the right way than Coach Sendek. I hope Santa Clara knows how blessed they are to get a man of his stature. He's been a coach of the year in three different conferences. What he brings to the school is instant credibility and recognition."
- Doug Collins, current ESPN analyst and former head coach of the Chicago Bulls and All-NBA player

"In Herb Sendek, Santa Clara has hired one of the most respected head coaches in college basketball. He has the complete and total understanding of how to run a program. His teams always embody the qualities of unselfishness, purpose and great effort. This is a direct reflection of the experience and intelligence of Herb. Santa Clara will experience tremendous development under his guidance."
- Sean Miller, current head coach at Arizona who served as a Sendek assistant at Miami (Ohio) and NC State

"I've known Herb for over 30 years, and I can truly say my relationship with him is one of my most cherished in the game of basketball. Herb is a great basketball mind, and I've learned an incredible amount about the game from him over the years, from my time playing for him in college, coaching alongside him at Kentucky, and most importantly as a friend just talking about the game."
- Billy Donovan, current Oklahoma City Thunder head coach who played under Sendek at Providence and coached with him at Kentucky

SENDEK'S MAJOR COACHING HONORS

Year

Award

1994-95

Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year

 

Ohio Coach of the Year

2001-02

Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist

 

NABC District 5 Coach of the Year

2003-04

Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year

 

NABC District 5 Coach of the Year

2007-08

USBWA District IX Coach of the Year

2009-10

Pac-10 Coach of the Year

 

USBWA District IX Coach of the Year

 

 

SENDEK'S COACHING TREE

Coach

Current School

With Sendek as Asst. Coach

Jim Christian

Boston College

Miami (Ohio), 1995-96

John Groce

Akron

NC State, 1996-2000

Larry Hunter

Western Carolina

NC State, 2001-05

Ron Hunter

Georgia State

Miami (Ohio), 1993-94

Archie Miller

Indiana

NC State, 2005-06

   

Arizona State, 2006-07

Sean Miller

Arizona

Miami (Ohio), 1993-95

   

NC State, 1996-2001

Eric Musselman

Nevada

Arizona State, 2012-14

Barret Peery Portland State Arizona State, 2014-15
    Santa Clara, 2016-17

Rob Senderoff^

Kent State

Miami (Ohio), 1994-96

Lamont Smith

San Diego

Arizona State, 2008-12

Dedrique Taylor

Cal State Fullerton

Arizona State, 2006-13

James Whitford#

Ball State

Miami (Ohio), 1994-96


#served as admin assistant; ^served as grad assistant

 

SENDEK'S YEAR-BY-YEAR RECORD

Year

School

Record

Postseason/Notes

1993-94

Miami (Ohio)

19-11 (.633)

NIT

1994-95

Miami (Ohio)

23-7 (.767)

NCAA Second Round

     

MAC Coach of the Year

1995-96

Miami (Ohio)

21-8 (.724)

NIT

Record at Miami (Ohio) 63-26 (.708)

1996-97

NC State

17-15 (.531)

NIT

1997-98

NC State

17-15 (.531)

NIT

1998-99

NC State

19-14 (.576)

NIT

1999-00

NC State

20-14 (.588)

NIT

2000-01

NC State

13-16 (.448)

 

2001-02

NC State

23-11 (.676)

NCAA Second Round

2002-03

NC State

18-13 (.581)

NCAA First Round

2003-04

NC State

21-10 (.677)

NCAA Second Round

     

ACC Coach of the Year

2004-05

NC State

21-14 (.600)

NCAA Sweet 16

2005-06

NC State

22-10 (.688)

NCAA Second Round

Record at NC State 191-132 (.591)

2006-07

Arizona State

8-22 (.266)

 

2007-08

Arizona State

21-13 (.618)

NIT Quarterfinals

2008-09

Arizona State

25-10 (.714)

NCAA Second Round

     

Ranked in AP Top 25 all year

2009-10

Arizona State

22-11 (.667)

NIT

     

Pac-10 Coach of the Year

2010-11

Arizona State

12-19 (.387)

 

2011-12

Arizona State

10-21 (.323)

 

2012-13

Arizona State

22-13 (.629)

NIT

     

16-4 home record

2013-14

Arizona State

21-12 (.636)

 

2014-15

Arizona State

18-16 (.529)

 

Record at ASU 159-137 (.537)

2016-17

Santa Clara

17-16 (.515)

 

Career Record 430-311 (.580)