Another Filipino is making waves abroad in the sport of basketball.
Mike Magpayo became the first-ever NCAA Division I head coach of Asian descent after his appointment as the chief tactician of UC Riverside last Thursday (Manila time).
“I am honored, humbled, and absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to lead our University of California Riverside Men’s Basketball program into the future,” expressed Magpayo, who took over from David Patrick.
Magpayo, who was the defensive coordinator of the team, received a glowing recommendation from Patrick, who moved to University of Arkansas as associate head coach.
“The Riverside community and the Highlander program are so important to me, and I am thrilled that Mike Magpayo will have an opportunity to lead the way forward,” said Patrick.
“I have no doubt about the way Mike and the staff will represent this program.”
Last season, the Highlanders finished with a program-best 17 wins.
For his part, Magpayo looks to continue what Patrick left in UCR while continuing to groom student-athletes.
“Over the last two years, Coach Patrick rapidly built a winning program here at UC Riverside. We operate with a high-performance mindset, and Coach Patrick and our staff have recruited an elite group of student-athletes. Our student-athletes tied a record for wins last year, and were outstanding in the classroom as well with a cumulative GPA of 3.09. Leading our program is special, and doing so in my home area of Southern California is truly special. Along with my wife Caroline, who is an alum of UCR, we have established roots here and we absolutely love the city of Riverside,” Magpayo said.
“We look forward to building and keeping the momentum into this next year and beyond. Go Highlanders!”