Filipino makes history as first US NCAA Division 1 basketball coach
Mike Magpayo
Filipino makes history as first US NCAA Division 1 basketball coach
John Bryan Ulanday ( - July 3, 2020 - 3:00pm

MANILA, Philippines – Another Filipino has blazed a trail overseas as Mike Magpayo rose to the ranks as the newest head coach of University of California (UC) Riverside in the US NCAA.

He is the first US NCAA Division I head coach of Filipino and Asian descent, marking a monumental chapter for Philippine and Asian basketball.

The UC Sta. Barbara standout will replace David Patrick, who accepted an associate head coaching job in the University of Arkansas, as per the Highlanders' official announcement.

“We wish Coach Patrick and his family all the best at Arkansas and I am fully confident Coach Magpayo will keep this team on the upward trajectory it is on,” said UC Riverside Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tamica Smith Jones in a statement.

Prior to his rise as the chief tactician of Big West Conference-based UC Riverside, Magpayo served as the team’s defensive coordinator and associate coach. Under his watch, the Highlanders' defense made it to the top 10 nationwide and evened the school’s D-1 record for wins with 17 last 2019-2020 season.

Magpayo is also the founder and president of the Asian Coaches Association, a unified organization for the development of Asian coaches in different basketball ranks around the word.

With equally solid stints in University of San Francisco, Campbell University and Columbia, he was also included in the Silver Waves Media's "Top 50 Most Impactful Low Major Coaches."

Magpayo is the latest Pinoy to have made a loud noise abroad even in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, joining Kai Sotto, Thirdy Ravena, Ken Tuffin and Jack Animam who have decided to bring their talents outside the country.

Sotto last month became the first-ever NBA G League international signee, Ravena as the first Japanese B. League Asian import, Tuffin as a Pinoy standout in the New Zealand – National Basketball League (NZ-NBL) and Animam as a foreign student-athlete in Taiwan’s University Basketball Association (UBA).

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