PORTLAND, Ore. – Lewis & Clark College President Barry Glassner announced today the retirement of longtime head coach Bob Gaillard. Gaillard has spent 22 seasons coaching the men's basketball team.
Associate head coach Dinari Foreman will take over as the head coach beginning with the 2011-12 season.
"We will miss Bob Gaillard tremendously," President Glassner said. "He has contributed vitally to our basketball program and the lives of so many student-athletes over the years. His 500-plus career wins speak for themselves, but what we appreciate just as much about Bob is his success as a mentor and his success as an educator."
Since arriving on Palatine Hill in 1989, Gaillard has turned the Pioneer men's basketball team into a perennial contender in the Northwest Conference and the West Region. When Gaillard came to Palatine Hill in 1989, the Pioneers had managed only two conference victories in the previous three years. Five years later, Gaillard had brought the program to national prominence, starting a string of five successive trips to the NAIA Division II National Championship Tournament, including a trip to the Final Four in 1994.
After a year of transition into NCAA Division III, Gaillard again coached his team to the NCAA Division III National Tournament in 1999-00 and 2000-01 and to the tournament's final eight the next year. Gaillard's Pioneer teams have never lost a first round national playoff game.
The Pioneers have made the NWC Playoffs the last five seasons, including the 2010-11 season in which the Pioneers enter the Playoffs as the No. 3 team.
Gaillard is only the fifth men's basketball coach at Lewis & Clark. He replaced the legendary Dean Sempert, who retired after compiling a 363-327 mark in 26 years at Lewis & Clark.
Gaillard's collegiate coaching career began in 1968 at his alma mater, the University of San Francisco, where he spent two years as an assistant coach. Taking over as head coach at the age of 29, several games into the 1970-71 season, Gaillard is credited with building USF into a national power. He led the Dons to five West Coast Athletic Conference titles and six post-season appearances. Gaillard, a USF alumnus and member of the Dons Hall of Fame, is 26th on their all-time scoring list with 976 points.
"There are a myriad of emotions experienced with the decision to leave Lewis & Clark College," Gaillard said. "My 20-plus years here have been challenging and rewarding. The inevitable peaks and valleys have been enjoyed primarily due to the great intangibles of our students and student-athletes. The 2011 team is at the top of my list of favorites.
"We have had our share of success, highlighted by our 1994 team that rose to be No. 1 in the country. An integral part of any successful coaching career is ensuring that you leave a program in good shape. The L&C program is in great hands with Dinari Foreman moving into the head coach position. He brings knowledge, loyalty, and dedication, among other assets. I look forward to a great future and will cheer on the Pioneers from afar."
Gaillard reached a major milestone in college coaching on Feb. 6, 2009, when he earned his 500th career victory with a 63-49 win against George Fox. With another win the next night, Gaillard upped his career record to 501-254 and moved into 12th place on the list of active Division III coaches with the most career wins. Gaillard currently has a 526-268 (.658) record in his 30-year collegiate coaching career.
Beginning next season, Dinari Foreman will take over for his former college coach and current mentor, becoming the sixth head men's basketball coach in Lewis & Clark history. Foreman will become the first African American head basketball coach in Lewis & Clark history, while also being the only African American men's basketball coach currently in the Northwest Conference.
"While we're sad that Bob won't be coaching our men's basketball team after this year, we are absolutely delighted about Dinari Foreman succeeding him," President Glassner said. "As a Lewis & Clark alum, as a former star player for our team, and as a mentor with a special gift for connecting with student-athletes, Dinari is in an ideal position to continue the strong tradition of men's basketball at Lewis & Clark. The future of our program could not be brighter. I can't wait to cheer Dinari and his team to victory next year and beyond."
An NAIA All-American at Lewis & Clark in the 1994-95 season, Foreman went on to spend two years playing international ball in Germany. He was a member of two Northwest Conference championship teams at Lewis & Clark, including a 1993-94 team that went to the NAIA Final Four. In his senior year at Lewis & Clark, Foreman finished second in the nation in scoring at the NAIA level.
"Being named successor to Coach Bob Gaillard is the most prestigioushonor of my career but at the same time a very sad moment because of how much he has meant to me as a player, coach, and human being," Foreman said.
Despite losing one of the Pioneers most successful coaches Gaillard, Athletics Director Clark Yeager is optimistic about the future of Lewis & Clark basketball under the direction of Dinari Foreman.
"We at Lewis & Clark, and all who have worked with Bob, have been blessed by the time with him," Yeager said. "We will miss him tremendously, no one more so than his players.
"I am very pleased that Dinari has accepted our offer to be the next men's basketball coach. He has been sought out by many fine colleges at every level for openings and is considered by many to be one of the brightest young head coaching candidates in the country. Luckily for us, Dinari has wanted to spend every minute possible at the college and in the city that he loves."