Rarely is there a coaching change made in college basketball in the all-important, recruiting-centric month of July. But on Wednesday the University of the Pacific announced it would have a new head coach for the 2021-22 season. The school jointly announced the departure of Damon Stoudamire and the immediate hiring of Tigers assistant Leonard Perry.
Stoudamire, who spent the past five seasons with the Tigers, is leaving the school to join the Boston Celtics’ staff as an assistant under newly-hired coach Ime Udoka. Stoudamire and Udoka have known each other for decades. Stoudamire leaves Pacific with a 71-77 record, including a 32-19 mark the past two seasons. In April, Stoudamire was a finalist for the head job at his alma mater, Arizona, before that university hired former Gonzaga lead assistant Tommy Lloyd.
“I am truly excited to announce the hiring of Leonard Perry as our new men’s basketball coach,” Pacific athletic director Janet Lucas said. “He brings a passion and enthusiasm to the game that is contagious. His involvement the last five years was influential in helping Damon Stoudamire move this program in the right direction. Damon was an outstanding coach and I sincerely appreciate his efforts to rebuild our men’s basketball program.”
Perry, who will take on his new post in a full-time capacity, has been on staff with the Tigers since Stoudamire’s hiring in 2016. He was previously a head coach at Idaho, his alma mater, from 2001-2006. He also spent time as an assistant more than a decade ago with the Indiana Pacers.