Basketball has played a major part in Alex Pribble’s life for a long time — from his days starring at Sir Francis Drake High in Fairfax, California, to his four-year playing career at Cal.
His career took another major step Monday, when Saint Martin’s University’s officially named Pribble its men’s basketball coach after he spent the past two seasons as an assistant under Jim Hayford and his successful program at Eastern Washington.
This is Pribble’s first college head coaching job, but his coaching résumé already is stacked with experience at the collegiate and high school levels. Prior to arriving in Cheney in 2013, the 30-year-old Bay Area native coached two seasons as an assistant at Division II San Francisco State after being the boys basketball coach at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California, from 2008-11.
Now, he feels ready to guide his own program.
“I’m in a good position now to lead this team in the right direction,” Pribble said Monday, on his way to Lacey from the Spokane area. “With being a younger coach, I won’t be outworked by anybody. I’m committed to the development of this basketball program.”
Pribble talked about “new energy and new excitement” not only in the team, which went 6-22 overall and 3-15 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference last season, but also in the community by establishing a culture the area is proud of.
And that starts with a new product on the floor.
This past season, Eastern Washington ranked fifth-highest among Division I teams in scoring — led by junior guard Tyler Harvey, the nation’s leading scorer. The Eagles went 26-9, won the Big Sky tournament and made it to the NCAA tournament, where they lost in the opening round to Georgetown. Pribble plans to install that same high-tempo game with the Saints.
“We’re going to have a brand of basketball that’s fun to watch, fun to play, and fun to recruit,” said Pribble, who played at Cal from 2003-07. “I believe in that through individual development and building talent that we can get the right pieces of the puzzle to have success playing fast-pace but also efficient basketball.”