Hutson Joins Rice's Staff
Justin Hutson has become UNLV's Associate Head Coach after five years at San Diego State.
Justin Hutson has become UNLV's Associate Head Coach after five years at San Diego State.

April 15, 2011

LAS VEGAS ( - Justin Hutson is new UNLV men's basketball head coach Dave Rice's first hire as he works to complete his coaching staff. Rice, who was introduced Monday, announced during his press conference that he hired Hutson as the program's associate head coach.

"We are really excited to have Justin join our staff," Rice said. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience, he is a relentless recruiter and an excellent floor coach. His efforts were a big factor in San Diego State's success. He has a great rapport with players and is really respected in the college basketball community."

Hutson comes to UNLV after spending five seasons as an assistant coach at fellow Mountain West Conference member San Diego State.

"I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with such a storied basketball program at UNLV, a great university in an exciting city, and for a great man in Dave Rice who is going to be an incredible head coach," Hutson said. "It was a very difficult decision to leave San Diego State, especially the players - one of the hardest things I have ever done. Coach Fisher treated me great, as did the university, the administration, the fans and the city. But the opportunity here at UNLV is just so great, it was time for me to move on. I am excited to be a Runnin' Rebel."

During his time with the Aztecs, Hutson helped the team reach the postseason all five years that he was on the bench. He also served as the team's recruiting coordinator and was instrumental in player instruction, skill development and assisting in all areas of the program, such as on-court coaching, opponent scouting and recruiting.

Each season Hutson was at SDSU, the squad won 20-plus games, and the last two years resulted in NCAA Tournament appearances. This past season, the Aztecs were ranked 11th in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top-25 Poll after finishing the year with a school-record mark of 34-3, winning their first-ever NCAA Tournament games and making their first-ever appearance in the Sweet 16. It was also the first time the school has been ranked in the final poll of the season.



Last season, SDSU won the MWC regular-season co-championship as well as the league's tournament crown to enter the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 5 in the country by the coaches. The Aztecs started the season 20-0, climbing as high as No. 4 in the rankings.

On the recruiting side, Hutson was instrumental in the signing of San Diego State's nationally recognized 2007-08 incoming class, and the 2009-10's top-15 class. The 2009-10 incoming group, which featured the California Player of the Year in Kawhi Leonard, was ranked No. 15 in the nation by The HOOP SCOOP Online and was rated as the No. 1 class among non-automatic qualifying BCS schools by The HOOP SCOOP Online and slotted the Aztec incoming class at No. 4 in its "mid-major recruiting."

On the floor, Hutson worked with the team's guards at SDSU. In 2007, he helped Richie Williams rank first in the MWC in steals, second in assists and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio. He was also instrumental in Brandon Heath ranking second in scoring, sixth in assists, third in steals and three-point field goals made per game and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio. In each of the last four seasons, he tutored D.J. Gay as he played in all 140 games (119 starts).

The last four seasons, Hutson served as the Aztecs' defensive coordinator and helped the team rank first in the MWC in scoring defense and steals in 2008-09, in scoring defense and rebounding defense in 2009-10 and scoring defensive and field-goal percentage defense in 2010-11. On a national level, SDSU had one of the stingiest defenses in 2009-10, allowing just 61.8 points to rank 36th among all Division I schools, and then in 2010-11 the Aztecs ranked seventh in the country allowing just 59.2 ppg.

Prior to his time at San Diego State, Hutson served as an assistant coach at Cal Poly. The Mustangs went 10-19 in 2005-06, doubling their previous season's win total. He was responsible for recruiting the 2006 Big West Freshman of the Year and landing two players on the Big West all-freshmen team, along with bringing two first-team All-Big West selections and the defensive player of the year to San Luis Obispo in 2006-07.

Before arriving at Cal Poly, Hutson served as the head varsity coach at Bakersfield High School where he led it to a CIF Central Section Championship and four appearances in the playoffs in four seasons. His 2004 team was ranked as high as No. 22 in the nation and fourth in California and his 2003 squad finished the season with a 25-5 record and won the section title. Prior to entering the high school ranks, he was an assistant coach at his alma mater, Cal State Bakersfield, for two seasons (1999-00).

As a collegiate player, Hutson enjoyed a storied college career, winning two NCAA Division II championships at Cal State Bakersfield. In the 1993 championship season, the Roadrunners were undefeated with a 33-0 record and followed that up with a 27-6 record during the 1994 season.

A native of Bakersfield, Hutson earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1994 and a teaching credential in 1995 from Cal State Bakersfield. He also recently received his master's degree in education from Cal State Bakersfield in 2010.

Hutson has two children, Jada (9), and Janae (6), and is engaged to Ruth E. Patterson.

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