April 3, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. - Herb Sendek, who has taken North Carolina State to five consecutive NCAA appearances, won more than 250 games in the past 13 seasons and has been a part of Final Four coaching staffs at two different schools, has been named the 13th men's basketball coach at Arizona State University, Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love announced Monday.
"I am very excited to have Coach Sendek taking the reigns of the Arizona State basketball program," said Love. "His knowledge of the game and proven record of success made him the ideal candidate for us. His experiences as a head coach on the major conference level and in building winning programs is exceptional, as is his background as an assistant coach. He has been on the staff of two Final Four teams and worked at high-level programs. We look forward to helping Coach Sendek produce those same results at Arizona State."
Sendek, who is 254-158 (.617) in his 13 seasons as a head coach and was 191-132 (.591) at North Carolina State in 10 seasons, was the Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year in 2003-04 and has taken his team to the postseason a dozen times. While competing in arguably the nation's most intense college basketball conference against some of the nation's most storied traditions, he has posted five 20-win seasons, including the past three. He also was named the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year in 1994-95 after leading Miami (Ohio) to a 23-7 record, including a first-round NCAA Tournament win over 15th-ranked Arizona. And after taking over a program that had not been to the postseason in six years, he led NC State to postseason appearances in nine of 10 seasons.
His most recent Wolfpack squad went 22-10 (his third straight 20-win season), and topped California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Prior to this year, his 2004-05 squad advanced to the regional semifinal led by Julius Hodge and beat defending NCAA champion UConn in the second round.
"I hope the people at Arizona State realize what just happened. When you talk about the complete and total package of a coach, he's it."
Florida Head Coach
In 2003-04, the Wolfpack won 11 regular-season league games for the first time since 1974, including five on the road. NC State was in the top-20 for the final six weeks and defeated five ranked teams, including top-ranked Duke. Sendek was named the ACC's Coach of the Year and the NABC District 5 Coach of the Year.
In 2002-03, Sendek took his sixth Wolfpack squad to postseason play and became just the seventh coach in the storied history of the ACC to take three of his first seven teams to the ACC Tournament championship. For the second straight season and the third time in his seven years, his squad knocked off the tourney's top seeded team and a Wolfpack player was named to the All-ACC first-team (Anthony Grundy in 2002, Julius Hodge in 2003).
The 2002 season may have been Sendek's most challenging, yet most rewarding. He took a team with just two seniors and five freshmen and won 23 games (nine in the ACC) for the first time in over a decade. The Pack posted a third-place ACC finish (after being picked seventh) and advanced to the ACC Tournament finals and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Sendek won his 100th game at NC State in 2002, was the NABC District 5 Coach of the Year and a finalist for the Naismith Coach of the Year Award. The Sporting News selected him as the ACC Coach of the Year.
Injuries were a big factor in the Wolfpack's fortunes in 2000-01, but the season was highlighted by a victory over sixth-ranked Virginia, the fourth over a top-10 team by a Wolfpack squad under Sendek. The four seniors from that 2001 squad -- Kenny Inge, Damon Thornton, Ron Kelley and Cornelius Williams -- all graduated.
In 1999-2000, NC State began the year 15-3 before injuries to its top two reserves contributed to a seven-game skid. Still, the Pack was able to finish the season strong with its first 20 win season since 1990-91, and advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals for the third time in four seasons. NC State made its fourth straight trip to the postseason under Sendek (and Sendek's seventh postseason appearance in seven years as a head coach), advancing to the NIT semifinals in New York, and beat Eddie House-led Arizona State twice in Raleigh.
The Wolfpack continued its climb under Sendek in 1998-99, finishing the year with a 19-14 mark. NC State also finished fifth in the tightly contested ACC and advanced to the postseason for the third straight season. Sendek joined Everett Case as the only coaches in school history to lead each of their first three teams to the postseason.
In 1997-98, NC State made its second-straight postseason appearance despite battling injuries throughout the year. Reduced to eight healthy players at one point, the Pack rallied together to defeat No. 1 North Carolina in Chapel Hill and once again advanced to the second round of the NIT.
In his first season (1996-97), the Pack won 17 games, the program's first winning record in six years, advanced to the championship of the ACC Tournament and earned a NIT berth, its first postseason appearance since 1991. The Wolfpack won eight of their final 11 games. The improbable ACC run had college basketball fans around the nation buzzing about the progress and potential of the Wolfpack. Sendek's team relied on just six players throughout the tournament, but pulled off upsets of top-seeded Duke (66-60), fifth-ranked Maryland (65-58) before falling to North Carolina.
The 43-year old Sendek's basketball pedigree runs beyond his years. Growing up in Pittsburgh, Pa., he constantly tagged along with his father, Herb, Sr., a teacher and coach at the high school and junior college levels. During his youth, Sendek was influenced by several coaches, including legendary junior college coach Bill Shay.
Sendek became a standout guard at Penn Hills High School, earning All-East Suburban notice as the team captain. He was also a leader in the classroom, graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. He has been named to the Penn Hills Hall of Fame and to the East Boros Chapter of the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame. From there, Sendek opted to attend Carnegie-Mellon University, earning a prestigious Carnegie Merit Scholarship and the opportunity to play for coach Dave Maloney.
One week into practice prior to his senior season, Sendek's playing career ended unexpectedly when a new coach cut him and two other players recruited by Maloney. What seemed like a disastrous event for Sendek, however, turned out to have a silver lining. Chuck Crummie, the head coach at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, gave Sendek the opportunity to serve as a volunteer assistant coach.
After graduating from Carnegie-Mellon summa cum laude with a 3.95 GPA in 1985, Sendek launched his coaching career. He joined Rick Pitino's staff at Providence College that fall, serving as an assistant coach with the Friars until 1989.
Sendek rejoined Pitino, who has had numerous former assistant coaches advance to the head coaching ranks, in 1989 at the University of Kentucky. He served as an assistant (1989-91) and then associate head coach (1991-93) for the Wildcats, earning a national reputation as a standout recruiter. Sports Illustrated named him one of the nation's top 10 recruiters in its 1992-93 College Basketball Preview.
Sendek met his wife, the former Melanie Scheuer of Danville, Ky., in Lexington and the couple was married nearly two years later and has three daughters, Kristin (11), Catherine (9) and Kelly (7).
After 11 years as an assistant, including Final Four appearances in 1987 with Providence and 1993 with Kentucky, Sendek took over the program at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. There, in his first venture as a head coach, he led the Redskins to three consecutive postseason appearances and the 1985 Mid-American Conference regular-season championship. His three-year record at Miami was 63-26, giving him the highest winning percentage (.708) in school history. He is the only coach ever to lead Miami to postseason play in each of his first three seasons, and he reached 50 victories quicker than any other MU coach.
After winning the MAC regular-season title in 1995, Miami earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, where Sendek's 12th-seeded squad defeated fifth-seeded Arizona (ranked No. 15 in the national polls), 71-62, before losing to 13th-ranked and fourth-seeded Virginia in overtime, 60-54. Sendek was named the 1995 Mid-American Conference and Ohio Coach of the Year.
With the announcement of Sendek's hiring, the Athletic Ticket Office has announced that season tickets will go on sale beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, April 3. Prices for tickets to the 2006-07 season are $275 for the lower level, $150 for the upper level sides and $125 for the upper level ends. Tickets, as well as more information, can be obtained in person at the ticket office or by calling (480) 727-0000.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT SENDEK
Dick Vitale, ESPN Basketball Analyst
"I guess you can call it surprising, though personally I was not shocked by the news of Herb Sendek's departure from NC State. He said bye-bye to head west to Arizona State and the Pac-10. But let me ask you one question; Name the two ACC coaches to make the NCAA tournament each of the last five seasons? Try Duke's Mike Krzyzewski and Mr. Sendek. He averaged 19 wins a season in 10 campaigns at NC State. Sendek's Wolfpack beat California in the first round of the NCAA tournament before losing to Texas in round two. He'll be in a job where they will flat-out appreciate him. The Sun Devils have struggled big time in recent years and Sendek knows how to put a winner on the court. Now he'll be allowed to do what he loves to do -- coach, coach, coach. I wish nothing but the best for Herb Sendek, who is a super class guy who knows his hoops. Arizona State has made a very good hire to replace Rob Evans."
Jay Bilas, ESPN/CBS Basketball Analyst
"Herb Sendek built a very successful program at NC State when the Wolfpack was really struggling and turned it into an annual NCAA Tournament participant and national contender. He is a man of dignity, a smart man and is a really, really good basketball coach. I think Arizona State is fortunate they were able to secure a coach as qualified and as good as Herb Sendek."
Billy Donovan, University of Florida Head Coach
"I hope the people at Arizona State realize what just happened. When you talk about the complete and total package of a coach, he's it."
Seth Greenberg, Virginia Tech University Head Coach
"A steal. It's a complete steal for Arizona State. I'm sitting in these league meetings with Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski and (Sendek) is by far the brightest guy in the room. He always sees things from a unique angle, an intelligent light."
Lee Fowler, North Carloina State University Athletics Director
"On behalf of the entire NC State community, I would like to thank Herb Sendek and his staff for their 10 successful seasons with our men's basketball program. Herb inherited a program in 1996 that was in need of consistent success, and he brought that back to NC State basketball, beginning in his first season when he led the team to the first of three appearances in the ACC Championship game. In addition, he is one of the finest people I have met in my 32 years of college athletics. We wish Herb, Melanie and their three daughters the greatest success as they begin this new phase of his coaching career. For 10 years, they have been wonderful members of our athletics family."
James L. Oblinger, North Carloina State University Chancellor
"In his 10 years as the men's basketball coach, Herb Sendek brought integrity, hard work and discipline to our program. Coach Sendek, his family, staff and players have been outstanding representatives of our university. We thank them for all they have done to contribute to our basketball tradition. NC State is a better place because of Coach Sendek's efforts on and off the court and he will always have a special place in the history of Wolfpack basketball. We congratulate Coach Sendek on his new position and wish him only the best for the future."
QUICK INFORMATION ON SENDEK
Has taken teams to the postseason in 12 of 13 seasons as a head coach including the NCAA Tournament each of the last five seasons (2004-05 team advanced to the Sweet 16)
Took NC State to the NCAA Tournament each of the five years, joining Mike Krzyewski of Duke as the only two ACC schools to hold that distinction
Was twice named his conference's coach of the year, including the 1995 MAC and 2004 ACC awards, while also earning the NABC District 5 Coach of the Year honor
His teams won 20 or more games in a season seven times with 12 of his 13 years as a head coach recording at least 17 victories
In a Sports Illustrated poll, Sendek was selected as one of the Top 10 recruiters in the nation
Has been a member of the two coaching staffs that have taken teams to the Final Four (1987 with Providence & 1993 with Kentucky)
THE SENDEK FILE
Born: February 22, 1963 in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Family: Married to the former Melanie Scheuer; the couple has three daughters: Kristin (11), Catherine (9), Kelly (7)
High School: Penn Hills High School, Pittsburgh, Pa., Valedictorian of Class of 1981, 4.0 GPA
College: B.A. in industrial management from Carnegie-Mellon University, 1985; 3.95 grade point average, graduated summa cum laude and earned Carnegie Merit Scholarship
Three-year letterman, Carnegie-Mellon, 1981-84
Two-year captain at Penn Hills High School
1996-06: Head Coach, North Carolina State University
1994-96: Head Coach, Miami University (Ohio)
1989-93: Assistant Coach, University of Kentucky
1987-89: Assistant Coach, Providence College
1985-86: Graduate Asst. Coach, Providence College
1984-85: Assistant Coach, Central Catholic High School (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
1994-95: Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year
1994-95: Ohio Coach of the Year
2001-02: Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist
2001-02: NABC District 5 Coach of the Year
2003-04: Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year
2003-04: NABC District 5 Coach of the Year
Sendek's Year-by-Year Results:
NCAA Second Round 1995-96
NIT Semifinal 2000-01
NCAA Second Round 2002-03
NCAA First Round 2003-04
NCAA Second Round 2004-05
NCAA Sweet 16 2005-06
NCAA Second Round Totals