NJCAA National Championship coach hired as Lopes’ Head Club Men’s Basketball Coach
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director
GCU Club Sports is proud to announce that they have hired Matt Gordon as the Lopes’ Head Club Men’s Basketball Coach. Gordon will also be in charge of club basketball operations, and will oversee the women’s club basketball program at GCU, working with Lopes’ Women’s Club Basketball Head Coach Erin Reinke to help foster the growth in that program. Gordon becomes the first full-time coach in GCU Club Men’s Basketball history.
Gordon heads to Grand Canyon after one of the most successful men’s basketball coaching careers on the community college level in Arizona history. Gordon has spent the past 14 years turning the men’s basketball program at Phoenix College from a .500 program into a perennial National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) powerhouse. No one in the history of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) has put together a run of men’s basketball success quite like Gordon has. His Bears’ teams not only qualified for every postseason since his hiring in 2004, but they never failed to reach the NJCAA Region I Division II Championship Game, winning the title seven times. In his final season, Gordon led the Bears to their fourth consecutive ACCAC Regular Season title in March, which also earned him his fourth straight ACCAC/Region I Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year Award. The Bears’ 24-8 record this past season was the eighth consecutive year they’ve won at least 20 games.
The “high-water mark” of Gordon’s coaching career was a milestone for the state of Arizona back in 2014. After taking five of his first seven teams to the NJCAA DII Men’s Basketball Championships (placing 4th in the nation twice), Gordon’s 2013-14 team became the first men’s basketball squad in the history of Arizona community colleges to win a national title. Gordon’s 2014-15 squad finished 3rd at nationals in his seventh and final appearance at the tournament. Gordon leaves PC after reaching the 300-win mark in career victories this past December. Before Gordon’s stint at Phoenix College, he began his coaching career on the four-year level with assistant coaching stints at UCLA, Dominican University in California and the University of Portland.
Gordon now focuses on a Lopes’ Club Men’s Basketball program that achieved some major milestones of its own this past year, and came within six points of creating one with national ramifications. In just their second year of participation of National Club Basketball Association (NCBBA) play, the Lopes marched through the regular season, clinching their first-ever NCBBA Southern Pacific (SoPac) East Conference title in February. They earned the right to host the SoPac Regional Tournament at Antelope Gym on the GCU campus, and came just one win short of qualifying for the national tournament. They finished with a 12-3 overall mark, their best in the three-year history of the program.
“With the spectacular 10-court venue being built, it’s vital that we have someone of Matt’s caliber to grow the club basketball programs at GCU,” said GCU Director of Club Sports Dan Nichols. “His experience and success on the court, and his knowledge of Arizona basketball will be key assets.”
Gordon’s first official day on the job will be Monday, July 2.