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Coach Kevin Pham enters his second season at the helm of the University of California, Merced men's basketball team. In his first season he helped turn a team who finished 1-28 the previous year into a nine-win team. Season highlights included a victory over #23 nationally ranked California State University-Maritime at home, and bringing in California Pacific Conference Freshman of the Year Aaron Laflin.
Pham is the second coach in UC Merced men's basketball history, and took over last season as a familiar face to the department. Prior to jumping to the men's side, he had been with UC Merced for three years as the Head Women's Basketball Coach.
Pham was instrumental in the progression of the UC Merced women's basketball program at UC Merced as he developed the foundation starting in their 2012-13 inaugural season. In three years at the helm, Pham accumulated an impressive resume as he increased the teams record each season, most recently with a 14-12 overall record (5-5 Cal Pac) in 2014-15. His last season was topped off with a California Pacific Conference Tournament Championship as they defeated #15 nationally ranked Menlo College in the Cal Pac semi finals and secured a trip to the NAIA National Tournament with a win in the championship game. It was the first team championship in UC Merced History
With only two recruiting classes in his three years with the women's program Pham's development of talent has been highlighted by numerous conference honors including two Freshman of the Year, one Newcomer of the Year, three First Team All-Conference, Four Second Team All-Conference, three Honorable Mention All-Conference and three Player of the Week honorees. Additionally two student-athletes were honored as Daktronics-NAIA Division II Women's Basketball Scholar-Athletes this past season.
Pham, a graduate in Economics from UC Berkeley and a Sacramento, Calif. native, brings his basketball knowledge, passion, strong organizational skills, and successful coaching experience to a men's program that is looking to build a strong foundation moving forward.
Prior to UC Merced, Pham served five years as the Assistant Head Coach for Cosumnes River College (Sacramento, CA) where his main responsibilities included recruiting, practice planning, on-court training, as well as scouting and game preparation. During Pham's tenure at CRC, the Lady Hawks moved up from last place in conference to achieve three winning seasons, earned back-to-back California College Athletic Association state tournament appearances, and were ranked as high as 5th in Northern California and 14th in the state.
Prior to joining the CRC coaching staff, Coach Pham spent two seasons as a student assistant at the University of California, Berkeley. At Cal, Pham gained valuable experience working with and developing the guard positions.
Coach Pham also spent one season as an assistant varsity coach at Sacramento Waldorf High School. At Waldorf, the team compiled a 19-10 record and advanced to the San-Joaquin section semifinal playoff game.
Known for his passion and knowledge of the game, Pham has worked at some of the nation's top basketball camps including those at Cal, Texas A&M, Texas, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Villanova. Coach Pham was also the subject of a published article for SLAM Magazine (Slamonline.com, 12/26/2011).
Michael Sanchez is a Yreka, California native entering his fourth season as an assistant coach for the UC Merced Men’s Basketball team, bringing 15 years of college level basketball coaching to the program.
Sanchez attended and graduated from Yreka High School in 1994, where he played basketball for 2 years and was part of a section title team as a senior. He then moved to Merced, California where he played two years at Merced College in the 1994-95 and 1996-97 seasons. Sanchez eventually went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management from Ashford University. Sanchez has been coaching since 1999 and is currently the Recreation Superintendent of Merced County.