San Diego State has honored men’s basketball head coach Steve Fisher by naming the Viejas Arena hardwood “Steve Fisher Court,” the school announced today at a news conference inside the Aztecs’ on-campus home.
The announcement comes four days before SDSU is to step onto the court for its exhibition vs. Cal State San Marcos (Nov. 2) at Steve Fisher Court at Viejas Arena. Speaking at the news conference was SDSU president Dr. Elliot Hirshman, athletics director Jim Sterk and Fisher.
A two-time National Coach of the Year and 2015 recipient of the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award, Fisher is entering his 17th season atop Montezuma Mesa. In 16 years at the helm, Fisher has built the Aztecs into a nationally recognized program. He has claimed an unprecedented nine Mountain West men’s basketball championships, guided San Diego State to the NCAA tournament and won at least 23 games each of the last six seasons (one of three programs in the country), and advanced the Aztecs to the round of 32 in each of the last three NCAA tournaments (one of nine programs in the country).
He has been named Mountain West Coach of the Year in three of the last five seasons.
To coincide with the court naming, a generous $500,000 challenge gift has been committed to create the “Steve Fisher Basketball Endowment” with a goal of $1 million, which will generate support for basketball excellence, SDSU Athletics announced. For more information, contact the Aztec Club office at 619-594-6444.
When Fisher stepped onto campus prior to the 1999-2000 campaign, San Diego State won just four games in the season before. In his second year, the Aztecs finished at .500 and in year No. 3, SDSU won the 2002 Mountain West championship and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. An NIT berth followed in 2003 and was highlighted by the Aztecs’ first-ever postseason victory.
In 2006, Fisher led the Aztecs back to the NCAA tournament after leading them to the Mountain West regular-season and tournament titles. Three straight NIT appearances followed, including 2009’s run to the national semifinals, and SDSU has been in an NCAA tourney regular ever since.
The first of six straight NCAA berths came in 2010 after San Diego State won the MW tournament, which led to the school’s historic 2010-11 season. In that year, the Aztecs won a school-record 34 games and captured their first NCAA tourney win en route to the Sweet 16, a round they reached again in 2014. Last season, SDSU won its Mountain West-leading ninth conference title and reached the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Fisher and the Aztecs enter the 2015-16 season as the preseason favorites in the Mountain West, as announced by the league earlier this month at MW Media Days in Las Vegas. SDSU returns three starters off a 2014-15 squad that went 27-9 and won the regular-season championship for the second straight year.
Since 2007 The Campaign for SDSU has raised more than $635 million in private philanthropic funds to support the students, faculty, staff and programs at SDSU. More than $75 million alone has been raised for athletics to support student scholarships and facilities, like the Jeff Jacobs JAM Center.