Beach Highlights

General information

  • NCAA Division: Division I
  • Conference: Big West
  • City: Long Beach, California
  • Stadium: Walter Pyramid


  • National Championships: 0
  • Conference Titles: 5
  • NCAA Tournaments: 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1995, 2007, 2011, 2012

Past Conferences:

  • Big West
  • PCAA

Team History

The Long Beach State Beach men’s basketball was established in the 1951 season, and its first season began in 1950-51. Due to the lack of a solid foundation, it took several years for the school to gain national attention in Division I.

In the 1970-71 season, thanks in part to Jerry Tarkanian’s leadership within the Pacific Coast Athletic Association, the team was able to secure its first opportunity to make progress in the right direction. The structure of the NCAA Tournament was different back then compared to today. In addition, fewer schools had established athletic programs during that period.

During their debut appearance, the team secured a convincing 20-point victory against Weber State in the opening round. However, the “49ers were met with tough competition in the Sweet 16 and the Regional 3rd place matches, as they went up against formidable opponents UCLA and Santa Clara, respectively.

The following year, the team’s odds of achieving success were much higher due to the valuable experience gained from the previous season. In the first round, the team matched up against Weber State once again, and the outcome was the same as the previous year.

In the Sweet 16, the team easily defeated Pacific, but unfortunately, UCLA continued to pose a challenge and defeated them once again. Regardless of the final results, this season is arguably the best in the school’s history because the Long Beach State team’s perfect conference record of 11-0 in the regular season showed that the squad did not miss a beat all season.

In the 1972 season, the “49ers” defeated both BYU and San Francisco in back-to-back rounds. However, once again, UCLA ruined the team’s hopes of making it past the Elite 8 as they suffered another defeat against them.

The school’s streak of making it to the NCAA Tournament ended at four after the 1973 season. Despite losing in the Sweet 16 against San Francisco, Long Beach State ended the season on a high note by winning a close game against Arizona State in the Regional third-place Game.

Unfortunately, head coach Jerry Tarkanian left the program to take a coaching opportunity with the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels. Eventually, he brought the school a national championship in 1990, which cemented his legacy as one of the greatest coaches in college basketball history.

Following their loss to Idaho State in the first round of the 1977 NCAA Tournament, the school experienced a dry spell, missing out on opportunities to qualify for the tournament for several years. However, during this period, the school did receive several invitations to participate in the NIT.

Under the guidance of coach Seth Greenberg, the program finally made its way back to the NCAA Tournament in the 1993 season after an 18-year absence. The program received its highest seeding in school history up to the present day, securing an 11th seed. However, the team’s attempt at making a memorable comeback story in the tournament was cut short as they suffered a narrow loss to Illinois.

Unfortunately, this trend of falling short in post-season play has continued, as the program has been struggling to get a win in any post-season appearance ever since. Leading up to this season, the school has managed to make three appearances in the NCAA Tournament, as well as participating in the NIT five times. Unfortunately, luck hasn’t been with the Beach (Changed their nickname from 49ers before the start of the 2019-20 season), have yet to secure a win in any of these events, going 0-8 overall.

Throughout the program’s history, the school ran into several issues, such as facing a three-year probation period in the 2008 season. A total of 18 wins were vacated by the NCAA regarding the team’s 2005-06 season.

Although the Long Beach State Beach program has been playing relatively well during the 2022-23 season, their head coach Dan Monson in his 16th season faces long NCAAB odds to win the Big West. The team could make a case to make an appearance in a different tournament this year.

All Time Records

  • Points Scored

Lucious Harris 2,312
Michael Wiley 1,962
Casper Ware 1,841

  • Rebounds

T.J. Robinson 1,208
Francois Wise 896
Michael Wiley 788

  • Assists

Casper Ware 545
Billy Walker 507
Mike Caffey 457

  • Steal

Casper Ware 205
Larry Anderson 205
Lucious Harris 200
Morlon Wiley 187


What is the highest win total in program history?

The program achieved 26 wins during the 1972-1973 season, although there is an asterisk next to the record. In the 2012 season, the program’s overall record was 25-9 with a conference record of 15-1.

Who is the winningest coach in program history?

Dan Monson is entering his 16th year as head coach. He is the only coach in the program’s history to achieve the 200 wins and 250-win milestones, but his win-loss record is slightly below .500 (*Subject to change). On the other hand, Jerry Tarkanian’s short four-year tenure with the program was enough to make a strong case for the winningest coach award in the program’s history.

He led the school to four NCAA Tournaments and an impressive win-loss record of .853 with a record of 116-99; he would go on to win a national championship with UNLV in the 1990 season.

Who is the greatest player in program history?

A number of players who played for the program went on to play in the NBA. There are, however, a few players who deserve to be considered the program’s greatest, such as Craig Hodges and Bryon Russell. During his 10-year professional career, Russell won two NBA Championships, while Hodges had a 13-year NBA career. Both players played for four different teams during their respective tenures in the NBA.

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