Fresno State Basketball: The Bulldogs Hire Vance Walberg as 20th Head Coach

Fresno State Basketball: The Bulldogs Hire Vance Walberg as 20th Head Coach

The Bulldogs end their coaching search with an experienced coaching hire.

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Fresno State hires a local winning coach in Vance Walberg.

Fresno, CA–The Fresno State Bulldogs have their man, as an announcement from the athletic department named Vance Walberg as the program’s 20th head coach.

The 67-year-old’s head coaching experience at the D-I level was brief & well over a decade ago in a two season stint at Pepperdine. He led the Waves to an overall record of 14-35 during that time.

It’s a different hire than when Justin Hutson was brought in back in 2018. Walberg’s coaching background spans all levels of basketball, especially in the Central Valley.

Walberg spent twenty-one years (two separate stints) at Clovis West High School in Fresno. Winning 11 state titles from 1989-2002 before moving to the college ranks at Fresno City College between 2002-2006. Posting an overall record of 133-11 & a State Championship to cap off an undefeated 2005 season.

After his time in Malibu, Walberg spent 2008 to 2011 as an assistant at UMASS before making the jump to the NBA coaching ranks. Spending 2012 to 2016 with the Denver Nuggets, Philadelphia 76ers & lastly with the Sacramento Kings.

The job is tougher than it appears from the commonly described “a mid-tier job out in a recruiting hotbed state like California” status it gets from bystanders outside the conference.

Though the Bulldogs have never quite found their footing in the Mountain West since joining in 2012. Enjoying five seasons with above .500 records in conference play, most of which came in the latter portion of Rodney Terry’s tenure before darting off to UTEP & eventually the University of Texas.

Since Jerry Tarkanian left, Fresno State has not been to the NCAA Tournament since winning the Mountain West Conference Tournament in 2016. Fresno State also hasn’t won a conference title since way back in 2003 as members of the WAC.

Walberg will inherit a clean slate roster wise heading into next season. With six players in the portal to potentially re-recruit, a part of a new world in college athletics plenty of coaches with his age & resume find tough to navigate.

But his age & status as the oldest hire in program history shouldn’t put a damper on any potential future winning as one of the more successful coaches currently in the Mountain West is sixty-four & enjoying success down in San Diego. Walberg has also won at every head coaching gig he has been at, & Bulldog fans are ready for some winning on the hardwood again.

Larry Muniz covers college basketball as a writer for Mountain West Wire and WAC Hoops Digest. Also as a co-host of the college basketball podcast “Hoops Talk W/Jay & Larry”. He is also a USWBA Member.

Story originally appeared on Mountain West Wire