The first step in what’s expected to be a busy offseason for Randy Bennett and the Saint Mary’s Gaels has been taken, securing two new additions to their basketball program as they prepare for the 2015-16 season.
No, they haven’t yet landed any top-notch recruits to replace their talented (and sorely missed) class of 2015 seniors, but instead have named former SMC guard David Carter as an assistant coach and Danny Yoshikawa as the program’s director of operations. These two moves now complete the Saint Mary’s coaching staff for next year.
Carter and Yoshikawa come in to replace Eran Ganot, who was recently hired as the head coach for the University of Hawaii, and Jim Shaw, who was named the new head coach at Western Oregon University back in April.
Having graduated from Saint Mary’s back in 1989, Carter played three seasons for SMC under the direction of head coach Lynn Nance and helped the team make the 1989 NCAA Tournament. He has spent the last 16 years at the University of Nevada, acting as the head coach for the last six years with the Wolf Pack and compiling a 98-97 record. In 2012, Carter led Nevada to a 28-7 record, won the Western Athletic Conference title, and was named the WAC Coach of the Year.
He was a 4-year starter and set the program record for assists with Saint Mary’s, landing himself in the school’s athletic hall of fame back in 2006.
Yoshikawa brings a wealth of experience to the table as well, having served as a professional basketball coach in Japan. Prior to this experience, he led the West Valley College to five straight California Community College Tournaments and two state championship Elite Eight appearances. In 2006, Yoshikawa was awarded Coach of the Year honors in his conference and advanced his team to the state championship game.
He also coached at UC Santa Barbara for one year, leading the Gauchos to a 23-9 record and winning the Big West Conference title. He’s also very familiar with the WCC after spending four seasons as an associate head coach with San Francisco.
Both Carter and Yoshikawa bring great experience to the table for the Gaels and are fine replacements for Ganot and Shaw with the Saint Mary’s program.