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Retiring UOP Men's Basketball Coach Leaves Legacy

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pacific hosts Long Beach State Saturday in its final regular-season game.  A large crowd is expected for Coach Thomason Appreciation Night.

Pacific's Bob Thomason claims over 430 wins as head coach.  He was named Big West Coach of the Year five times ... and led his team to the NCAA Tournament four times.

THOMASON: "Every year I turn the chapter on the last team and move it to the next team so this is the last time I am going to be the head coach, and so we are trying to finish that off in a real successful way."

Thomason came to Stockton when the team had the longest losing streak in the nation and turned it around.  Now, he's hoping for yet another Big West Championship before he rides off into the sunset...and one more invitation to March Madness.  And Thomason says playing in the national spotlight isn't just about basketball.

THOMASON: "When I go to the NCAA's, it makes me so proud to bring back recognition to Stockton, and Pacific, and all the alumni, and that's probably the most gratifying part of being successful is for the other people be part of that success."

Dell Demps was a star player in Thomason's first season 25 years ago.  Demps would later play for three NBA teams and is now General Manager of the New Orleans Hornets.

THOMASON: "He had a great basketball mind, creative, innovative, ahead of his time. This self confidence and belief, he always had it, and no matter what the odds were, no matter who we were playing, he always felt we could win."

Thomason turns 64 years old this month.  And as with a new team, he will turn a new chapter in life.

THOMASON: "I always felt that you want to do other things in your life too. I am going to enjoy my time and do whatever I want to do."

For Thomason, retirement like coaching should be a slam dunk. 

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