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Mark Few
Few in February 2008
Title Head coach
College Gonzaga
Sport Basketball
Team record 290-72 (.801)
Born December 27, 1962 (1962-12-27) (age 47)
Place of birth United States Creswell, Oregon
Career highlights
WCC Tournament Championship
(2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
WCC Regular Season Championship
(2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
WCC Coach of the Year
(2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006) [1]
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Gonzaga (asst.)

Mark Few (born December 27, 1962 in Creswell, Oregon[1]) is an American basketball coach, currently the head coach at Gonzaga University. He has served on Gonzaga's coaching staff since 1989, and has been a constant on the sidelines throughout a period that has seen the Bulldogs rise from mid-major obscurity to regular participants in the NCAA tournament.




Early life and education

The son of a Presbyterian pastor,[2] Few was a star point guard[3] at Creswell High School, graduating in 1981. He originally attended Linfield College, hoping to play basketball and baseball, but he was troubled by the aftereffects of a dislocated shoulder he suffered while playing football as a senior at Creswell.[4] He then transferred to the University of Oregon, hoping to play baseball there, but the Ducks had dropped their varsity baseball program by the time he arrived in Eugene. He graduated from Oregon with a B.S. in physical education in 1987.

Coaching career

Assistant coach

He entered the coaching profession even before receiving his degree, serving as an unpaid part-time assistant at his alma mater of Creswell High School starting in 1983, and advancing to a paid position from 1986 to 1988.[5] During this time, he also worked at Oregon's summer basketball camps.[5] After a season as an assistant at another Oregon school, Sheldon High School in Eugene, he moved to Spokane, Washington, joining the Gonzaga staff as a graduate assistant in 1989.[6][7] He had some familiarity with the program, as he had befriended Dan Monson, then a Gonzaga assistant and later the head coach, during his time working the Oregon basketball camps.[5] The following year, he was promoted to a full-time assistant.

In April 1999, Few was promoted to associate head coach, making him the designated successor to Monson, who had just finished his second year as Gonzaga head coach. This was immediately following the season in which Gonzaga became the nation's basketball darlings, making a run through the NCAA tournament, defeating Minnesota, Stanford, and Florida, to advance to the Elite Eight. In the West Regional finals Gonzaga lost to eventual national champions UConn by five points. When Monson left in July to take the open head coaching job at Minnesota, Mark Few was elevated to the Bulldogs' top job.

Head coach

After Gonzaga's 1999 success and Monson's departure, many observers thought that the Zags would be a one-year wonder and go back to their previous obscurity. Mark Few immediately proved them wrong, leading them into the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in his first two years heading the program. This made him one of only two coaches to lead his team to Sweet Sixteen berths in his first two years as a head coach since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The following year (2001–02), Few set an all-time record for NCAA Division I men's coaches by collecting 81 wins in his first three years as a head coach. The record stood until 2010 when Brad Stevens of Butler surpassed it. The program's success has continued as Gonzaga has made the NCAA tournament in every one of Few's eight seasons.

Few was named the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year for six consecutive seasons (2001 through 2006). As of the end of the 2006-07 season, Few's record as Gonzaga's head coach is 211–52 (.802).

The 2006–07 season may well have been one of his better coaching jobs, as the team faced what could be called a "perfect storm":

  • Adam Morrison, a first-team All-America in 2005-06, chose to leave Gonzaga for the NBA with a year of eligibility left.
  • The Zags played an especially brutal nonconference schedule, with no fewer than nine opponents that would make the NCAA tournament.[8]
  • The team's second-leading scorer and leading rebounder in 2006–07, Josh Heytvelt, was suspended after being arrested on drug charges in February 2007, and did not play again during the season.

The Zags ended the regular season at 21–10, their first season with double digits in losses since 1997–98, which was also the last season to date in which they failed to make the NCAA tournament.[9] It had generally been thought that Gonzaga would have to win the WCC tournament to earn a bid to the NCAA tournament.[10] However, Gonzaga would go on to win the conference tournament, notably beating a Santa Clara team in the final that had earlier handed the Zags their first home-court loss in nearly four years. They would go out in the first round of the NCAA tournament to Indiana.

With Few as head coach, the Gonzaga program produced its first two first-team All-Americans in Dan Dickau and Morrison, plus future NBA players in Blake Stepp, Austin Daye and Ronny Turiaf. In 2005, Few signed a contract extension that intends to keep him at Gonzaga through 2015.

He and his wife Marcy, married by his father in 1994, have three sons and one daughter. Newest son was born on 01/01/2009. They have organized a charity golf tournament under the Coaches vs. Cancer umbrella; since the tournament began in 2002, it has raised over $1 million for the American Cancer Society.

Head coaching record

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Gonzaga (West Coast Conference) (1999–present)
1999–2000 Gonzaga 26-9 11-3 2nd NCAA Sweet 16
2000–2001 Gonzaga 26-7 13-1 1st NCAA Sweet 16
2001–2002 Gonzaga 29-4 13-1 T-1st NCAA 1st Round
2002–2003 Gonzaga 24-9 11-3 1st NCAA 2nd Round
2003–2004 Gonzaga 28-3 14-0 1st NCAA 2nd Round
2004–2005 Gonzaga 26-5 12-2 1st NCAA 2nd Round
2005–2006 Gonzaga 29-4 14-0 1st NCAA Sweet 16
2006–2007 Gonzaga 23-11 11-3 1st NCAA 1st Round
2007–2008 Gonzaga 25-8 13-1 1st NCAA 1st Round
2008–2009 Gonzaga 28-6 14-0 1st NCAA Sweet 16
2009–2010 Gonzaga 26-6 12-2 1st
Gonzaga: 290-72 (.801) 138-16 (.896)
Total: 290-72 (.801)

      National Champion         Conference Regular Season Champion         Conference Tournament Champion
      Conference Regular Season & Conference Tournament Champion       Conference Division Champion

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b "Coach Bio: Mark Few - Men's Basketball". Retrieved 2007-03-25. 
  2. ^ Withers, Bud (2002). BraveHearts: The Against-All-Odds Rise of Gonzaga Basketball. Chicago: Triumph Books. p. xviii. ISBN 1527434996. 
  3. ^ Withers, BraveHearts, p. 52.
  4. ^ Withers, BraveHearts, pp. 52-53.
  5. ^ a b c Withers, BraveHearts, p. 53.
  6. ^ Withers, BraveHearts, p. 42.
  7. ^ Gonzaga lists his first season as 1990, but both its official basketball website and basketball media guide consistently refer to seasons by the calendar year in which they end.
  8. ^ "Gonzaga puts difficult season behind". Associated Press. March 20 2007. 
  9. ^ "Drug bust shakes Gonzaga and Spokane". Associated Press. February 15, 2007. 
  10. ^ Glockner, Andy (March 2 2007). "Drive to 65: Bubble fans unite to root on Winthrop's Eagles". 

External links


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