Scott Garson is in his second season as an assistant coach with the Santa Clara men’s basketball program.
Garson, who was hired in April 2018, spent the previous five seasons as head coach at the College of Idaho where he led the Yotes to a 129-42 record, three Cascade Collegiate Conference regular season championships, three league tournament titles and four NAIA national tournament appearances, including a run to the 2015 national quarterfinals and 2018 semifinals.
Last season, he was part of a coaching staff which helped Santa Clara navigate through injuries to six players to post a 16-15 overall mark, including two victories over Pac-12 schools (USC and Washington State) for the first time since 1997-98. With a starting lineup that featured two sophomores (Tahj Eaddy and Josip Vrankic) and two freshmen (Trey Wertz and Guglielmo Caruso), the Broncos still finished tied for fifth in the WCC. Wertz was voted to the WCC All-Freshman team, Eaddy earned second-team honors and Vrankic was all-league honorable mention.
Prior to his time at the College of Idaho, Garson was on Ben Howland’s staff at UCLA for nine seasons, worked under Rick Majerus at Utah for five years and spent one season at Pepperdine. During his 21 seasons in college basketball at four different schools, Garson has been a part of 20 winning seasons, 17 postseason berths and 10 conference championships.
Garson led the Yotes to both the CCC regular-season and tournament titles in 2014, 2015 and 2018. He became the first coach at the school to win back-to-back league crowns since the 1950s. His 2014-15 team posted a 30-6 record, which was then the second-most single-season victories in the program 105-year history. The 2017-18 squad matched that total when it finished 30-7.
Garson was the recipient of the 2015 Red Auerbach National Coach of the Year Award, and was named the 2014 and 2018 CCC Coach of the Year. He coached six NAIA All-Americans, two CCC Players of the Year and three CCC Defensive Players of the Year at College of Idaho. In all, 17 players under Garson earned All-CCC honors and 13 secured Academic All-CCC selections.
His College of Idaho teams enjoyed home cooking, posting a 76-10 mark at J.A. Albertson Activities Center. During his tenure, home attendance nearly doubled, with the Yotes leading the NAIA in home attendance during the 2014-15 campaign and finishing second during 2015-16 and 2016-17.
During Garson’s tenure at UCLA (2004-13), the Bruins amassed a record of 222-90, including Pac-10 titles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, a Pac-12 title in 2013, and league tournament titles in 2006 and 2008. The Bruins qualified for six NCAA tournaments and made trips to the Final Four in 2006, 2007 and 2008 – reaching the 2006 national championship game.
Garson was responsible for the development of the UCLA perimeter players – including current NBA players, Russell Westbrook, Arron Afflalo, Darren Collison, Jrue Holiday, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Shabazz Muhammad, Kyle Anderson, and Norman Powell. Garson also was responsible for the recruitment of Zach LaVine, the 13th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft and 2-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion. Garson was instrumental in the recruiting efforts for the Bruins, who claimed ESPN’s No. 1 class in both 2008 and 2012. A total of 16 players recruited or coached by Garson have been selected in the NBA Draft.
Garson spent five seasons (1999-2004) at the University of Utah under hall-of-fame coach and mentor, Rick Majerus. Garson served as a graduate assistant, video coordinator and, in his final year, assistant coach for Majerus. The Utes won three Mountain West Conference titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament four times during Garson’s time there, while amassing a record of 112-47.
Garson, who was the video coordinator and administrative assistant at Pepperdine in 1998-99, played one year of basketball and baseball at Washington University in St. Louis, before transferring to UC-Santa Barbara where he earned a bachelor’s degree in law and society in 1999. He went on to receive a master’s in exercise and sports science, with an emphasis in sport psychology, from the University of Utah.
He and his wife, Amy, have one son, Sidney, and one daughter, Maya.