Entering his 11th season as head coach of UC Irvine, Pat Douglass is close to becoming the career wins leader in Anteater men’s basketball coaching history. His all-time record at UCI is 156-139 and he has led the program to a first or second place finish in the Big West Conference four times in the last seven years.
The New University was given the chance to catch up with Douglass and look back at the road he took to get where he is now.
New University: How would you describe your childhood, where were you born?
Head Coach Pat Douglass: I was born in Tennessee. Being part of a military family, we traveled to a lot of different states in the south. I came out [to California] for good in 1964 when I was entering ninth grade.
New U: How did you get to California?
Douglass: Back in those times job opportunities were more plentiful in the west than they were in the south so my parents came out here for job opportunities.
New U: What were your favorite sports growing up?
Douglass: I played them all but mainly baseball and basketball.
New U: Who were your sports heroes?
Douglass: Probably Gail Goodrich, he played for UCLA, and Sandy Koufax who pitched for the Dodgers.
New U: Any particular reason you chose them?
Douglass: Both of them were left-handed and I’m left handed.
New U: How did you get into the coaching field?
Douglass: I played college basketball at the University of Pacific. [What] I wanted to do was coach, so I later became a high school coach, a junior college coach and replaced my college coach who died, back in Montana, and at age 30 I became a college head coach.
New U: Did you have any mentors or people who helped you learn about coaching?
Douglass: My high school coach