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Wooldridge is New Coach


Jim Wooldridge to be Introduced Thursday as New UC Riverside Men's Basketball Coach

A press conference is set for 4 p.m. Thursday, May 3.

(May 2, 2007)

Jim Wooldridge

Jim Wooldridge

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) -- Jim Wooldridge has been named the sixth coach in the history of the UC Riverside Men's Basketball program and will be formally introduced to the media and public in a press conference on Thursday, May 3rd at 4 p.m.

Wooldridge has a 312-237 record in 19 seasons as a collegiate head coach. The Oklahoma City, OK native has earned the reputation as a skilled program builder and coach whose teams emphasize teamwork, hard-nosed defense and rebounding.

"Jim Wooldridge brings a wealth of knowledge about what it takes to build a program and to position a team to not only compete, but to win," Director of Athletics Stan Morrison said. "His single focus will be immediately apparent to his players, assistants, and colleagues in the department. At the same time, he will be in our community in a number of ways and he will serve as a wonderful ambassador of his program, our department of athletics and our university."

The press conference, which will be open to the public, will be held in the Chancellor's Conference Room at University Village, 1201 University Ave., Riverside. A live video stream of the press conference will be available from the UCR web site at www.athletics.ucr.edu.

Wooldridge has coached at the collegiate or professional level for 29 years, including stops as head coach at Central Missouri State, Texas State, Louisiana Tech and Kansas State and two years as an assistant coach to Tim Floyd with the Chicago Bulls.

Wooldridge spent six years at Kansas State (2000-01 through 2005-06), leading the Wildcats to their first winning season in six years in the 2004-05 season when the team posted a 17-12 record in the Big 12 Conference. His teams never finished with fewer than 11 wins and his 83 wins rank sixth on Kansas State's all-time wins list.

Wooldridge saw six players earn All-Big 12 honors and coached 2004 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year Jeremiah Massey. Guard Larry Reid (2002), forwards Cartier Martin (2006, 2007) and Massey (2005) each earned All-Big 12 second team honors during their careers.

In 1998-99 and 99-00, Wooldridge worked as an assistant coach under former college teammate Floyd. He was instrumental in the development of several top NBA players, including 1999-2000 Co-Rookie of the Year Elton Brand and Ron Artest, who earned All-Rookie team honors in 1999-2000. He was considered the staff authority on the triangle offense, having taught it as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, and learned it from friend and triangle "guru" Tex Winter.

Wooldridge started his collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Louisiana Tech in the 1977-78 season, then spent four years as an assistant coach at the NAIA's East Central State. He returned to the NCAA in 1982 as a member of Lynn Nance's staff at Division II Central Missouri State, where he was the program¹s chief recruiter. When Nance left following the 1985 season, Wooldridge was named head coach. He led the team to 20-or-more wins four times, including a 27-6 season in which they lost to CS Bakersfield in the NCAA Finals. Wooldridge is the only coach in CMSU history to record back-to-back 25-win seasons (1989-90 and 1990-91). For his efforts, Wooldridge was inducted into the Central Missouri State Athletic Hall of Fame on February 28, 2004.

He made his Division I head coaching debut when he was hired at Texas State (then Southwest Texas State) in 1991-92. He turned around a program that had suffered through seven consecutive sub-.500 seasons, getting the program above .500 in his second season. By his third year, the squad was 25-7 and made the Bobcats' first trip to the NCAA tournament.

From there, Wooldridge was hired at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech. He took over a program that had won just nine games the previous two years combined and guided the Bulldogs to a pair of winning seasons in his first three seasons, including a 14-13 record in his first campaign. It was a remarkable improvement considering Louisiana Tech was coming off NCAA probation and a 2-25 record the previous season (1993-94). Even more impressive was the fact that the Bulldogs posted a .500 conference slate (9-9) in Wooldridge's inaugural season, after going winless in Sun Belt play the year before(0-18).

Wooldridge played on Putnam City High School's class 4A state championship team in Oklahoma City in 1972. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Louisiana Tech in 1977, then earned a master's degree in education from East Central University in 1979. Wooldridge and his wife, Ann, have two children, Jamie and Eric.
Coach Wooldridge in actionEnlarge

Coach Wooldridge in action

Coach Wooldridge consults with a playerEnlarge

Coach Wooldridge consults with a player

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The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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