Men's Basketball Coaching Change Announced for Next Season

Feb. 13, 2018

MALIBU, California – Marty Wilson will not return as head coach of the Pepperdine men’s basketball program next season, the University announced today.

“It has been decided that terminating the current contract at the end of this season is in the best interests of the program,” said Dr. Steve Potts, Pepperdine’s Director of Athletics. “Marty Wilson will always be a Pepperdine Wave. He has worked tirelessly for our men's basketball program for many years and we sincerely thank him for his commitment and contributions to our program. We wish great success for Marty in the future. We all wish that we had experienced more success in our men's basketball program and we are committed to identifying new leadership that can help bring us that success.”

Wilson’s record over the past seven years with the Waves is 86-125. He took over prior to the 2011-12 season when Tom Asbury retired. The 2014-15 and 2015-16 teams posted identical 18-14 records, fourth-place finishes in the West Coast Conference and appearances in the College Basketball Invitational, giving Pepperdine its best results in more than a decade. But last year’s team fell to 9-22 overall and this year’s squad is 4-22.

Wilson will remain as head coach for the final four regular-season games and the WCC Tournament.

Wilson, a 1989 Pepperdine graduate, is in his 21st year with the Waves as a student-athlete or coach. He was an assistant coach from 1991-96 (and served as interim head coach for the final 13 games of the 1995-96 season), then returned as the associate head coach in 2008-09.

A national search for his replacement will begin immediately.

Following is a statement by Wilson:

I would like thank President Andy Benton and Athletic Director Dr. Steve Potts for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach at Pepperdine for the past seven years. Pepperdine is one of the finest academic institutions in the country and will always be a special place to me. I was afforded the opportunity to meet my wife of almost 27 years here, as well as raise our two beautiful children, Jessica and Jalon, for part of their lives here at Pepperdine.



I would also like to thank coaches Jim Harrick, Tom Asbury and Tony Fuller for recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to be the first in my family to attend and graduate from college. My relationship with all three has continued to be strong throughout the years. I still consider them my coaches and I have leaned on them for personal advice over the years. I especially would like to thank all of my assistant coaches, players, managers, trainers, boosters and donors and other support staff that had “both feet in” toward accomplishing many goals over the past seven years.

I would like to thank all of the parents that entrusted our staff to coach, mentor, lead and teach their sons on and off of the basketball court and I hope to continue that lasting relationship over the years. We were fortunate to recruit high-character young men who took great pride in being true student-athletes. After this spring, we will have had the opportunity to have watched 21 of 22 young men who have finished their eligibility earn their degree and graduate under our guidance.

I also would like to thank all of the head coaches that gave me the opportunity to work for 21 years as an assistant coach alongside of them: Tom Asbury (Pepperdine), Tony Fuller (Pepperdine), Brad Holland (San Diego), Bob Williams (UC Santa Barbara), Ray Giacoletti (Utah) and Jim Boylen (Utah). They will always be appreciated.

I have been in college coaching for 28 years and realize that the ultimate goal is to win basketball games. The fact that we did not consistently achieve that goal lies on my shoulders; however, I praise our staff for the integrity that they showed in such a challenging profession where the pressure to bend the rules are great in order to win basketball games.

I will always take great pride in all that Pepperdine has done for my family and me as well as what our university represents. We will leave the program with some very good young talent, and equally important, young men who are of high character and from great families. I told our staff over the years that we will eventually look back on the type of people that we had in our program and feel extremely proud of how they represented our program, themselves and their families, and we will always cherish the opportunity we had to help them grow.

Lastly, my family and I had the opportunity to live on the most beautiful campus in the country and in Malibu for 10 years and build some great relationships with some great people that will continue to be our friends for years to come. My wife Mayra, our daughter Jessica and I all have our degrees from Pepperdine. Soon our son Jalon will earn his Pepperdine degree and we will continue to support and be proud Waves for years to come.


Marty Wilson
Pepperdine ‘89

Pepperdine Waves
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