Brian Dutcher: Everything you need to know about the San Diego State basketball coach
The story behind the second-oldest coach (63) to make his men’s Final Four debut in the last 25 years, Brian Dutcher from the San Diego State University.
Dutcher was born Oct. 30, 1959, in Alpena, Mich. He attended Jefferson High School in Bloomington, MN, and earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of Minnesota in 1982. While an undergraduate, he worked for his father, then-Gopher head coach Jim Dutcher. He then spent one season in the prep ranks at Apple Valley High School before becoming a graduate assistant at the University of Illinois. He earned his master’s degree in physical education and athletic administration.
While in Champaign, Dutcher helped Lou Henson lead the Illini to a Big Ten championship, two appearances in the Sweet 16, and one regional final.
Dutcher’s first full-time coaching job came at South Dakota State, where he spent three seasons helping turn around the Division II program before departing in 1988 for Michigan.
Before Dutcher arrived at San Diego State, he was an assistant coach and later associate head coach at Michigan under Fisher. He spent ten seasons on the Wolverine staff, establishing himself as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches. His first year in Ann Arbor was 1989, resulting in a national title for Michigan as he assisted then-interim head coach Fisher on the bench. His final season in Ann Arbor ended with the Wolverines claiming the first-ever Big Ten Tournament championship.
San Diego State
Dutcher, who took the helm of the program following Steve Fisher’s retirement announcement on April 11, 2017, was on The Mesa for all 18 of Fisher’s seasons. He held the title of associate head coach/head coach in waiting for six years before his ascension to the top job and is the 15th head coach in the program’s history. Dutcher arrived at San Diego State shortly after Fisher was hired on March 26, 1999. In his first year in “America’s Finest City,” the Aztecs won only five games but improved their win total from the previous season. After that, San Diego State posted a 14-14 record in 2000-01 before winning the 2002 MW Championship, earning an NCAA tournament bid, and finishing with a 21-12 record. The 2002-03 campaign saw SDSU receive an NIT invitation, culminating in the program’s first Division I postseason victory.
In 2017-18, his inaugural season as Aztecs head coach, Dutcher was the only Division I head coach to guide his team to the NCAA Tournament after going 22-10 in the regular season, including triumphing in the 2018 Mountain West Tournament championship.
Brian Dutcher enters his sixth season as head coach after five years in which he led the Aztecs to five Mountain West title games, their conference-record 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th Mountain West crowns, and back to the NCAA tournament three times. He is the only coach in the 101-year history of San Diego State men’s basketball to win at least 20 games in his first five seasons at the program’s helm. His 119 victories are the most of any first-time Division I head coach who began at their current institution since the start of the 2017-18 season.
His .748-win percentage (119-40) entering the 2022-23 season is the best in program history, as is his .600-win percentage (9-6) against top-25 opposition.