Basketball Coach Retirement

Black and gold graphic bar
 Mar. 9, 2005

Chris Hughes
Asst. Athletics Dir.
(323) 343-5308



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:
Cal State L.A. Head Men’s Basketball
Coach Dave Yanai Retires

Was a collegiate head coach for 28 years,
including the last nine at CSULA

LOS ANGELES – Cal State L.A. head men’s basketball coach Dave Yanai is retiring after nine seasons as head coach of the Golden Eagles and 28 seasons overall as a collegiate head basketball coach in the Los Angeles area, it was announced today.

“When Dave came to me about his retirement, I knew I was not only losing a great head coach, but a man who has made significant contributions to the sport of basketball on a national level and who shaped the lives of thousands of young men that he coached,” said Cal State L.A. Athletic Director Carol M. Dunn. “His deep commitment in teaching life lessons to his students and instilling academic success and graduation are trademarks of his program. Dave is a consummate professional and it was a privilege for me to work with him. Everyone in the Golden Eagle family wishes him a wonderful retirement.”

Yanai led Cal State L.A. to the 1998 and 2000 NCAA Tournaments, finishing as CCAA Conference runner-up both seasons. His 1997-2001 teams recorded 84 wins, the winningest five-year span in CSULA men’s basketball history. In addition, Cal State L.A. men’s basketball has earned 16 all-conference awards during Yanai’s tenure and at least one all-region nod in six of his nine seasons.

In the summer of 2000, Yanai was honored as an outstanding coach at the John R. Wooden Award Ceremony held at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The award is given annually to an individual who exemplifies the outstanding qualities set by the legendary coach, such as placing the highest standards of commitment to his/her student-athletes; significant contributions to his/her community, as well as to the Southern California basketball community; and is a quintessential teacher with the ability to embrace various cultures in understanding the sport of basketball.

Yanai took over the CSULA men’s basketball program in the 1996-97 season after spending 19 seasons (1977-78 through 1995-96) as head coach at conference-rival Cal State Dominguez Hills, where his Toro teams advanced to the 1981, 1987 and 1989 NCAA Tournaments and won the 1979 NAIA district title. In addition, he guided the Toros to the 1979 NAIA District III championship where he garnered NAIA District Coach of the Year honors. Among Yanai’s coaching accolades are the 1979 District Coach of the Year, 1987 NCAA West Region Coach of the Year and two CCAA Coach of the Year awards. Prior to CSUDH, he spent 10 years coaching in the high school ranks.

As the first Japanese-American head basketball coach at any level nationally, Yanai collected several other basketball distinctions in his career. He was selected as an assistant coach for the 1990 United States Olympic Festival West Team, has served as a coach at the prestigious Pete Newell’s Big Man Camp and is currently an advisor and consultant for the Japan National Team.

Last March, Yanai became just the second head men’s basketball coach in the history of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (dating back to 1940) to reach 400 wins, joining former UC Riverside head coach John Masi. Yanai retired with a collegiate head coaching career record of 401-354.

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