Filipino Mike Magpayo named top US NCAA basketball coach

Mike Magpayo top US basketball coach
Mike Magpayo continues to make history as the first Asian-American US NCAA Division I head men’s basketball coach. Photo from Mike Magpayo IG.

Filipino coach Mike Magpayo has won the Joe B. Hall award as the best first-year head coach in Division I college basketball of the United States National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

University of California (UC) Riverside’s Mike Magpayo bested seven other head coaches and was announced the latest recipient of the annual award by on April 1, 2021.

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Magpayo, the first-ever Division I men’s head coach of Asian and Filipino descent, earlier led the UC Riverside Highlanders to a 14-8 overall record and a third-place finish in the Big West Conference. The team’s .636-winning percentage is the school’s best in 20 years.

“Dealing with the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the future of athletics at UC Riverside, Mike Magpayo led the program to an historic season,” said Angela Lento Vice President of “Coach Magpayo’s attention to detail and leadership are second to none. He’s a star in the profession.”

Under Magpayo, four Riverside Highlanders earned All-Big West honors, namely Arinze Chidom, Jock Perry, Dominick Pickett, and Zyon Pullin.

UC Riverside took to Instagram to congratulate Coach Mike Magpayo as he continues to make history in college men’s basketball.

“First Asian-American to lead a Division I program.⁣ Highest Big West seed in program history. ⁣Rising Coaches speaker,” UC Riverside wrote.

The 41-year-old Magpayo was named head coach by the University of California, Riverside last year. Prior to arriving in Riverside, Magpayo spent a year as the men’s basketball director of operations at the University of San Francisco (USF).

Magpayo is the founder and president of the Asian Coaches Association, an organization that serves to unify, support, and elevate all Asian coaches beyond just the basketball community.

Pinoy rising stars in U.S. basketball include Filipino-American guard Ron Harper Jr. who has recently declared for the 2021 National Basketball Association (NBA) Draft, Jalen Green of the NBA G-League, and Kai Sotto who continues his bid to be the first homegrown Filipino to play in the NBA.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipino head coach Mike Magpayo for winning this year’s Joe B. Hall award, an honor given to the best first-year head coach in Division I college basketball of the United States National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

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