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University of Miami Athletics

Jim Larrañaga


Head Coach

Jim Larrañaga - Men's Basketball - University of Miami Athletics

Larrañaga Records (through 2023-34 season):
Career (40 years): 740-500
At Miami (13 years): 270-166 overall, 126-115 ACC

As of March 26, 2024:
No. 7 on NCAA’s list of winningest active DI coaches
No. 28 on NCAA’s list of all-time winningest coaches (min. five years DI experience)
No. 10 on ACC’s list of all-time winningest coaches (third among active coaches)
No. 10 on ACC’s list of all-time winningest coaches in league play (fourth among active coaches)
Only coach in NCAA history with 100-plus conference wins at three DI schools and/or in three DI leagues
One of four coaches (three active) in NCAA history with 150-plus wins at three DI schools
One of seven coaches (three active) in NCAA history with 250-plus wins at two DI schools

The Larrañaga File
Born: October 2, 1949, Bronx, N.Y.
Personal: Wife, Liz; Sons, Jay and Jon; Four grandchildren, Tia, James, Jon, Henry
Education: Archbishop Molloy High School, 1963-67; Providence College, 1967-71 (B.A. Economics)

Playing Experience
Archbishop Molloy, 1963-67
Providence College, 1967-71
Geronemo Basketball Club (Belgium), 1976-77

Coaching Experience
University of Miami (Head Coach), 2011-present
George Mason University (Head Coach), 1997-2011
Bowling Green State University (Head Coach), 1986-97
University of Virginia (Assistant Coach), 1979-86
American International College (Head Coach), 1977-79
Geronemo Basketball Club (Belgium) (Player/Coach), 1977
Davidson College (Assistant Coach), 1971-76

In his 13 seasons at the University of Miami, head coach Jim Larrañaga has led the Hurricanes to six NCAA Tournament appearances, including four trips to the Sweet 16. He has guided the Hurricanes to their first Elite Eight (2022), first Final Four (2023), first ACC Tournament title (2013) and first two ACC regular season crowns (2013 and 2023). Larrañaga has been named the Associated Press, Naismith, USBWA and Henry Iba National Coach of the Year, twice was both the ACC and USBWA District Coach of the Year and was the 2013 NABC District Coach of the Year.

The winningest coach in program history, Larrañaga has posted five 25-win seasons at UM – the only Miami coach to do so even once – and seven in his career. He also has recorded eight 20-win campaigns at Miami and 14 in his career. In conference action, the Hurricanes have won nine or more league games in eight of 13 seasons, while prior to Larrañaga’s arrival, Miami had never won more than eight ACC games in a season. Larrañaga has helped the Hurricanes to 30 postseason victories, including 11 in the NCAA Tournament (six appearances), 13 in the ACC Tournament (13) and five in the NIT (two). He ranks top-30 all-time among Division I coaches with 725 victories, including eighth among active coaches. In 2023, Larrañaga was both inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame & Museum and named a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame first-time nominee.

Miami’s 71 total road wins in the past 13 seasons are fourth-most among ACC teams during Larrañaga’s tenure and its 118 total victories away from home also place fourth. During that same stretch, the Hurricanes are fifth in overall ACC wins (120), as well as fourth in both ACC road victories (48) and ACC Tournament triumphs (13), plus sixth in ACC home wins (72). In the six years prior to Larrañaga’s arrival, when the ACC had only 12 teams, Miami was tied for ninth in ACC victories (36) and won just 10 total ACC road games. In nine of Larrañaga’s 13 years, the team has finished higher in the ACC final standings than it was picked in the preseason poll, including placing multiple spots higher on seven occasions.

The Hurricanes have a combined 16 wins over Duke (8-10) and North Carolina (8-12) under Larrañaga, tied for the second-most of any team during his 11-year tenure, after going 4-31 versus those two programs before his arrival. Eight of those victories are by double digits and seven are on the road, the former the most of any team during that stretch and the latter tied for the most. Miami’s 27-point win over the Blue Devils on Jan. 23, 2013, is the third-largest ever against the AP No. 1 team in the nation. It is one 31 victories over a top-25 foe under Larrañaga, including 13—five of which came in the past two seasons, 2021-22 and 2022-23—versus a top-10 opponent.

Miami has seen unprecedented fan interest in the program under Larrañaga. In 2017-18, for the third straight season, the Hurricanes sold out their season-ticket allotment at the Watsco Center. The 2015-16 campaign marked the first time in UM history that any team sold out of season tickets. Across the last two seasons, 2021-22 and 2022-23, Miami recorded four of the five highest single-game student attendance marks in program history.

From 2017-19, Miami was one of two ACC programs, alongside Duke, to have a player selected in each NBA Draft. Four total Hurricanes were picked in that span, including Lonnie Walker IV going No. 18 in 2018. During the last NBA Draft, Jordan Miller went No. 48 and Isaiah Wong went No. 55, making Miami one of 12 schools with multiple selections and one of 18 with six-plus draftees in the last seven years.


During the 2023-24 season, the Hurricanes posted a 15-17 overall record and a 6-14 mark in ACC play. Under Larrañaga’s tutelage, fourth-year junior Norchad Omier earned his second consecutive All-ACC Second Team honor and was named the 2024 Skip Prosser Award recipient, honoring the league’s top men’s basketball scholar-athlete.

In 2022-23, Larrañaga guided Miami to its best year ever. The Hurricanes finished 29-8 (15-5 ACC), shared the ACC regular season title and earned their first Final Four appearance. Miami set or tied program records for overall, ACC, regular season (24), home (16), top-25 (seven), top-10 (three) and top-five (two) victories. The team ended the year third in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll, good for its best finish ever.

Seeded No. 5 in the Midwest Region, the Hurricanes knocked off top-seeded and No. 2/1-ranked Houston, 89-75, and second-seeded and No. 5/7-ranked Texas, 88-81, in a three-day span in Kansas City, Mo., to clinch their Final Four bid. They also toppled seven teams with a combined 23 NCAA titles (including one vacated) during the 2022-23 campaign, including an eight-point road victory at North Carolina, a 22-point home win over Duke and a 16-point triumph over Indiana in the NCAA Tournament. The team lost by more than seven points just twice all year and sold out four home games.

Larrañaga earned multiple significant achievements during the historic season. First, on Nov. 19, 2022, he led Miami to a 74-64 victory over his alma mater, Providence, in Uncasville, Conn., to become just the 35th coach with DI experience to reach 700 wins, including only the fourth to do so while in the ACC. On Dec., 21, 2022, he was named a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame first-time nominee. Following the season, on May 4, 2023, he was inducted into the UM Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.

Numerous Hurricanes claimed major awards during the season, as well. Isaiah Wong became Miami’s second ACC Player of the Year and sixth All-America, garnering NABC third-team distinction. He was also a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and the Jerry West Award, among many other accomplishments. Jordan Miller received Second Team All-ACC status, while Norchad Omier picked up third-team plaudits. Nijel Pack won NCAA Tournament Midwest Region Most Outstanding Player honors, while Miller and Wong both tallied All-Tournament Team status.

The 2022-23 success followed another tremendous season the year before, as Larrañaga steered Miami to one of its finest seasons in program history in 2021-22 despite being picked No. 12 in the ACC preseason poll. The Hurricanes went 26-11 overall, good for their third-most wins ever, and 14-6 in ACC play to place fourth in the league. Miami earned a No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament and, once there, rattled off three victories to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.

After defeating seventh-seeded and No. 21/22-ranked USC, 68-66, in the opening round, Miami throttled second-seeded and No. 8/7 ranked-Auburn, 79-61, to claim its fourth Sweet 16 berth and third in the past decade under Larrañaga. It then took down No. 11-seeded Iowa State, 70-56, to advance to the Regional Final, in which it fell to top-seeded and third-ranked Kansas, the eventual NCAA champion.

Miami earned two top-10 wins away from home (at second-ranked Duke and against No. 8/7 Auburn) and beat two NCAA semifinalists in Duke and North Carolina, the latter by 28 points, on the way to finishing the season ranked No. 16 nationally. Larrañaga, who led the Hurricanes to a 16-6 mark away from home and a 10-2 ledger in true road games, set the program wins record with his 221st victory at The U on March 2, 2022, at Boston College, just weeks after a Feb. 9, 2022, triumph over Georgia Tech made him the first coach in NCAA history with 100 league wins at three DI schools and/or in three DI conferences. He guided Miami, which rallied to victory from a deficit of 13-plus points five times and from 18 down twice, to a +4.41 turnover margin that ranked eighth nationally and a 113.9 adjusted offensive efficiency that placed No. 19 in KenPom, the program’s second-best mark since the turn of the century.

Kameron McGusty turned in one of the best years in program history, claiming First Team All-ACC, NABC First Team All-District 2, ACC All-Tournament First Team, NCAA Tournament All-Midwest Region and Senior CLASS Award finalist accolades. Isaiah Wong earned his second straight Third Team All-ACC plaudit, while Charlie Moore picked up ACC All-Defensive Team and All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition. After the season, Miami welcomed a second straight consensus top-25 recruiting class, this one with three top-150 recruits.

In the COVID-condensed 2020-21 season, Larrañaga’s team led all Power Five schools in games missed due to injury with 113, severely hampering Miami’s abilities and limiting the team to just six scholarship players for the final quarter of the year. However, the Hurricanes still managed to record some notable wins, including rallying from an 18-point halftime deficit to defeat Purdue for the program’s largest second-half comeback since the rebirth. Larrañaga logged his 665th victory with a triumph at NC State, passing John Wooden on the all-time wins list. The Hurricanes’ run to the ACC Tournament quarterfinals included upsetting fifth-seeded Clemson to give Larrañaga his 200th win at Miami and make him 17th individual to reach that figure while at an ACC school. Miami also earned home victories over Duke and No. 16/18 Louisville, the latter behind 30 points from Isaiah Wong, who earned Third Team All-ACC recognition after the season.

The Hurricanes finished just one game under .500 in 2019-20, posting a 15-16 mark despite six different players missing a combined 47 games due to injury. Miami did not have double-digit scholarship players available at any point and played with fewer than nine in 11 outings, including with just six once. Junior Chris Lykes placed top-10 in the ACC in scoring for the second year in a row and earned all-league honorable mention status. The Hurricanes went 3-1 in overtime games, including winning at Virginia Tech in the first 3OT affair in program history. Miami also notched an 81-79 road win at Illinois, which ended the season in the top 25, to give Larrañaga his 650th victory.

Miami’s four-year postseason streak came to an end in 2018-19 as it played much of the season with just seven healthy scholarship players. Five individuals averaged double digits in the scoring column, including sophomore Chris Lykes placing ninth in the ACC at 16.2 points per game. After the season, Miami had a player selected in the NBA Draft for the third year in a row, as Dewan Hernandez went No. 59 overall, joining Duke as the lone schools in the ACC with a player picked each year from 2017 to 2019.

Miami played in its fourth NCAA Tournament in the past six years in 2017-18, claiming a No. 6 seed in the South Region. The Hurricanes tied for third in the ACC and finished the season with a 22-10 mark, including an 11-7 record in conference play. The Canes were nationally ranked for 15 weeks, reaching as high as No. 6 in the polls.

Freshman Lonnie Walker IV was named Honorable Mention All-ACC, becoming the first freshman all-conference honoree in program history. He also was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team. Miami earned road wins over then-No. 12 Minnesota and then-No. 9 North Carolina, the fourth straight year and the sixth time in Larrañaga’s seven seasons that the Canes defeated two or more top-15 teams.

The Hurricanes finished the 2016-17 season 21-12 overall and tied for seventh in the ACC, posting a 10-8 record in the league. Miami earned an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, claiming the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region. Miami defeated three ranked teams, downing No. 9 North Carolina and No. 10 Duke in Coral Gables, as well as No. 18 Virginia on the road.

Nationally, the Canes were ranked No. 24 in scoring defense (64.1). Among conference teams, Miami was second in scoring defense, second in fewest fouls (15.6/g) and third in rebounding margin (+4.0).

Senior Davon Reed was the recipient of the 2017 Skip Prosser Award, presented annually to the top scholar-athlete in ACC men’s basketball. Reed earned his degree in sports administration and double minors in communications and marketing. A 1,000-point scorer (1,343) at Miami, Reed was also named third team All-ACC and was listed on the ACC’s All-Defensive Team.

Freshman guard Bruce Brown Jr., recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists against South Carolina State on Dec. 6, which was the second triple-double in program history at Miami. Brown was named to the All-ACC Academic Team.

The 2016-17 campaign was filled with career milestones for Larrañaga. He recorded his 600th career victory on Jan. 14 at Pitt, making him one of five ACC coaches with at least 600 wins. Larrañaga also coached his 1,000th career game on Feb. 1 against Florida State. Miami’s victory against Georgia Tech was Larrañaga’s 200th career game at UM, and with a 78-67 win over Columbia on Dec. 28, 2016, the University of Miami men’s basketball program earned its 1,000th program victory.

In back-to-back seasons, Larrañaga and his staff signed the top recruiting class in program history. For the 2017-18 campaign, the staff inked three ESPN Top 100 players in McDonald’s All-American and Jordan Brand Classic All-American guard Lonnie Walker (No. 13), guard Chris Lykes (48) and forward Deng Gak (94) as well as New Zealander Sam Waardenburg.

In 2016 the staff signed McDonald’s All-American Dewan Huell, Jordan Brand Classic All-American Bruce Brown Jr., Australian standout Dejan Vasiljevic and Rodney Miller from national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.). The group was named one of the top 2016 classes in the country, with 247Sports ranking the class No. 9, Scout at No. 10, ESPN at No. 13 and Rivals at No. 13.

The 2015-16 Hurricanes played their way into the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for the second time in four seasons, and just the third time in school history. Miami ended the season ranked No. 10 by the Associated Press and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Canes were ranked in the polls a school-record 18 straight weeks and ranked in the top 15 for a school-record 14 weeks.

Miami’s 27 wins were the second-most victories in school history, behind 29 in the 2012-13 season. The Hurricanes finished 13-5 in ACC action, tied for second place in the league and posted a perfect 9-0 mark at home in conference play. During the campaign, UM defeated five ranked teams: No. 3 Virginia, No. 11 Louisville, No. 16 Utah, No. 22/20 Butler and No. 24/20 Duke, with back-to-back wins over Virginia and Louisville.

Larrañaga was recognized as the 2015-16 USBWA District IV Coach of the Year and ACC Coach of the Year, while Sheldon McClellan was named to the USBWA All-District Team and three players – McClellan, Tonye Jekiri and Angel Rodriguez – were named All-ACC. Jekiri was also on the ACC Defensive Team and Davon Reed was honored on the All-ACC Academic Team. All four seniors from the squad graduated from the University of Miami.

In 2014-15 Larrañaga led the Hurricanes to the championship game of the NIT, coaching in his home state of New York. It was Larrañaga’s first time competing as a head coach in Madison Square Garden and Miami’s first time playing in the month of April. The Hurricanes’ 25-13 record marked the second-most victories at the school, behind UM’s 29 in 2012-13 and Larrañaga’s fourth 25-win season as a head coach. In January, the Canes downed eventual national champion then-No. 4 Duke, 90-74, at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the only team to defeat Duke at home this season. Miami also defeated No. 8/7 Florida and Syracuse on their home courts, two of Miami’s 10 regular-season wins away from home. The Canes ranked 13th in the country in turnovers per game (10.1) and were 22nd in the nation with a 74.6 percent clip at the free throw line. Miami finished the season sixth in the ACC after being projected to finish 10th. Junior forward Tonye Jekiri was named to the All-ACC Defensive Team and third in voting for ACC Most Improved Player, and along with classmates Sheldon McClellan and Angel Rodriguez, all three were honorable mentions to the All-ACC team.

Returning just 13 percent of the team’s scoring, 15 percent of rebounding and no starters from the championship season, Larrañaga led the 2013-14 Hurricanes to a 17-16 record with a 10th-place, 7-11 mark in the ACC. After starting the year No. 175 in field goal defense, the Canes ended the year No. 39 in the NCAA in the category. The Canes sent five games to overtime, played 13 games that were decided by five points or fewer and won five of its last eight games to post UM’s seventh-straight winning season. Five more seniors graduated under Larrañaga’s watch, with the sixth senior earning both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees the next spring.

In 2012-13, Larrañaga helped Miami to a No. 2 national ranking by both the AP and USA TODAY and a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. At the time, he was the 10th coach in the last 10 years to lead two top-10 programs, as Miami was No. 2 on Feb. 18, 2013, and George Mason was No. 8 in the final Top 25 poll in 2006.

Larrañaga directed the Canes to a 27-point win over No. 1 Duke and three other 20-plus point wins over ACC opponents that season, including North Carolina (+26), Florida State (+24) and Boston College (+22). UM’s 29 overall and 15 ACC wins in 2012-13 stand as program-bests, as was the 14-game winning streak and 13-0 start in conference play. Other program firsts included defeating all three teams in the North Carolina Triangle in the same season, beating a trio of teams in the Top 20 since joining the ACC and hosting five home sellouts at the BankUnited Center.

Individually, Shane Larkin earned the ACC Player of the Year and Lute Olson National Player of the Year awards, as well as All-American status and finalist nods for the Bob Cousy, John Wooden and James Naismith player of the year honors before declaring early for the 2013 NBA Draft. Larkin was also the ACC Tournament MVP, on the ACC All-Defensive Team and a Defensive All-American. Durand Scott was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, three players – Larkin, Scott and Kenny Kadji – were listed on all-conference teams and four were on the ACC All-Tournament Team – Larkin, Scott, Julian Gamble and Trey McKinney Jones.

All six seniors on the Sweet 16 team earned degrees from the University of Miami and one player was listed on the All-ACC Academic Team.

In Larrañaga’s first year at Miami in 2011-12, the Canes earned an NIT bid and posted a 20-13 record, making Larrañaga the first Miami head coach to record 20 wins in his inaugural season in Coral Gables. Under the new coaching staff, UM won nine games in conference play, the first time Miami posted a winning record in ACC play since joining the conference for the 2004-05 season. The Canes tied for fourth in the ACC, another program-best accomplishment.

On Feb. 5, 2012, Larrañaga did what no other hoops coach at Miami had done when he took the Canes into Cameron Indoor Stadium and defeated No. 7 Duke. The Canes downed the Blue Devils 78-74 in overtime that afternoon, led by 27 points and 12 rebounds from Reggie Johnson, and received votes in the next AP Poll for the first time since 2010. Gaining momentum, Miami then beat No. 15 Florida State at home in front of a packed house, UM’s first win over FSU since 2009.

Three players earned postseason recognition in Larrañaga’s first season, as Kenny Kadji was selected to the All-ACC Third Team, Durand Scott was voted an honorable mention performer and Shane Larkin earned a spot on the ACC All-Freshman Team.

George Mason
Larrañaga came to Miami after serving as the head coach at George Mason for 14 seasons. He guided the program to five NCAA Tournament appearances (1999, 2001, 2006, 2008, 2011), including an unprecedented run to the 2006 Final Four that captured the nation’s attention, as the Patriots defeated Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and UConn along the way. Following that run, Larrañaga was selected the 2006 Clair Bee National Coach of the Year.

Larrañaga built the GMU Patriots’ program into a perennial contender in the highly-regarded Colonial Athletic Association, winning more games than any other coach in program and conference history (273) en route to three conference titles (1999, 2001, 2008).

A two-time CAA Coach of the Year honoree, Larrañaga earned the accolade in 2011, leading the Patriots to a 27-7 overall record and 16-2 conference mark, including the CAA regular-season title and their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under his leadership. Seeded a program-best eighth in the NCAA Tournament, George Mason rallied from a double-digit deficit to defeat ninth-seeded Villanova, 61-57, before falling to overall No. 1 seed Ohio State in the round of 32.

Larrañaga’s George Mason teams were known for their offensive efficiency and a frenetic defense dubbed the “Scramble.” In Larrañaga’s last season at George Mason, his Patriots, who were ranked 24th in the final RPI, finished the season 11th in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (39.5), 18th in scoring margin (10.3), 22nd in turnovers (11.1), 26th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.28) and 37th in scoring defense (62.5). During its 16-game win streak – which catapulted Mason to No. 25 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll on Feb. 28 – all but four victories came by a double-digit margin.

Larrañaga became Mason’s all-time leader in men’s basketball victories with his 131st win on January 22, 2005, with a 77-58 triumph at James Madison. He became the CAA’s all- time leader in wins on February 4, 2006, when the Patriots defeated UNC Wilmington. His Mason teams went 182-89 in CAA play.

In 2006, Larrañaga became the first coach at a mid-major school to take his team to the Final Four in 27 years and earned the CAA’s first NCAA tournament at-large berth in 20 years. Along the way, he led Mason to a school record in wins, its first-ever national ranking, its first-ever appearance in the Top 10 and its first wins over Top 10 teams.

The Patriots finished the year with a 27-8 record and a No. 8 ranking in the final USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Earlier that season, Mason cracked the polls at No. 25, but NCAA tournament wins over Michigan State, No. 10 North Carolina, Wichita State and No. 2 Connecticut vaulted Mason up the poll and into the national conscience while making Larrañaga a household name.

After going 9-18 in his first year with the Patriots in 1997-98, Larrañaga guided the 1999 Patriots’ squad to a 19-11 overall record and a 13-3 CAA mark. That season, he earned his first Coach of the Year accolades in the CAA and NABC District 4 after making a 10-game improvement and leading the program to its first-ever conference regular-season championship, its second CAA Tournament title and first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1989.

The Patriots followed that with another 19-11 overall mark in 1999-2000, tying for first place in the CAA at 12-4 and earning the top seed in the conference tournament. In 2000-01, the Patriots finished 18-12 overall and 11-5 in the CAA, good for a tie for second place, and they won the CAA Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three years. The Patriots produced another solid campaign with a 19-10 overall record (13-5 in the CAA) and an NIT berth in 2001-02. Mason’s 2002-03 roster was hampered by injuries, but managed to pull together a 16-12 record (11-7 in the CAA) and a fourth-place CAA finish.

In 2003-04, Larrañaga led the Patriots to a 7-2 non-conference record and a school-record 23-win season, as Mason finished 23-10 on the year, its first 20-or-more win campaign in 14 years. Gaining an NIT berth (the Patriots’ fourth postseason appearance in six years), Larrañaga led Mason to two consecutive postseason victories for the first time in school history.

Under Larrañaga, the Patriots won three CAA titles including the 2008 championship when Mason went 23-11. In his final four seasons, the Patriots appeared in the postseason all four years for the first time in Mason history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2008, the NIT in 2009, the Postseason Tournament in
2010 and again in the NCAA Tournament in 2011.

Bowling Green
The native of Bronx, N.Y., previously served as the head coach at Bowling Green for 11 seasons (1986-1997) and at Division II American International for two seasons (1977-79).

At Bowling Green, he made an immediate impact in his first season. In 1986-87, the Falcons were the nation’s most improved team under a first-year head coach that took over a program with a losing record, posting a 15-14 record for an eight-game improvement over the previous season. Larrañaga went on to record a 170-144 mark in 11 years at Bowling Green, earning 1997 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors after leading Bowling Green to a 22-10 record, a conference regular season co-championship and a berth in the NIT. The 22 victories were the most by a Bowling Green team in 47 years and the 13 conference wins were the second- highest total in BGSU history.

Larrañaga’s 170 victories at Bowling Green ranked second all-time on the Falcons’ coaching list and he was only the second coach to record consecutive postseason appearances. Larrañaga led his squad to NIT berths in 1990 (18-11) and again in 1991 (17-13), the first time the Falcons enjoyed back-to-back postseason appearances since the early ’60s. Bowling Green won better than 60 percent of its games in Larrañaga’s last four years, recording a 70-44 mark during that stretch. The Falcons finished fourth or better in the MAC in five of Larrañaga’s 11 seasons and he is among the winningest coaches in MAC history.

American International
Larrañaga received his first head coaching position in 1977 when he was named to the post at American International, a Division II program in Springfield, Mass. Taking over a team that had suffered through five consecutive losing seasons prior to his arrival, Larrañaga turned AIC into a winning program in his first year and compiled a 28-25 mark in two seasons.

A 1971 graduate of Providence College with a degree in economics, Larrañaga was a four-year letterman for the Friars. As the team captain in his senior season, he led Providence to a 20-8 record and an NIT appearance. He graduated as the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,258 points and was selected in the sixth round of the draft by the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association. He was the team’s top scorer as a sophomore and junior and was named New England’s Division I Sophomore of the Year in 1969. He was inducted into the Providence College Hall of Fame in 1991.

As An Assistant Coach
Larrañaga’s first coaching opportunity came at Davidson College from 1971-76, serving as an assistant coach to Terry Holland. Davidson captured three Southern Conference regular-season championships and an NIT berth in his five years there, and he compiled a 47-12 record doubling as the freshman team coach. In 1976, he left Davidson and spent one season as player-coach for the Geronemo Basketball Club in Belgium.

After his two-year stint at American International, Larrañaga was reunited with Holland at the University of Virginia in April 1979. An assistant coach under Holland at UVA for seven seasons from 1979-86, he helped the Cavaliers reach the NCAA Final Four on two occasions (1981 and 1984), finish in the top five of the AP and UPI polls and average more than 24 victories per season. The Cavaliers were 169-62, won three regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference championships and made four NCAA Tournament appearances in that span. Virginia also made a pair of NIT appearances, winning the NIT Championship in 1980. Larrañaga was on the staff during the careers of three-time National Player of the Year Ralph Sampson and NBA first-round draft choice Olden Polynice.

Larrañaga, 73, and his wife, Liz, have two sons and four grandchildren. Their son Jay played for his father at Bowling Green, was the head coach of the NBDL’s Erie Bayhawks, and is now an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Clippers. Jon was a member of his father’s George Mason teams from 1999-2003, earning first team Academic All-America honors for NCAA Division I-AAA schools.