Vince Iglima has enough perspective to know he’s been fortunate to receive the opportunities he’s gotten, but also knows enough the chances he’s been given have been earned. And he’s always done everything he can to take advantage of those opportunities he’s earned and he’s going to continue to do so.
That’s the perspective the 2002 Carson High graduate has as the Division II San Francisco State men’s basketball coach. He has entered his second season as the Gators’ head coach and his goal is obviously to continue the success the program has had in the last few years. Inglima has been a big part of that success.
The Gators have been finishing around the 20-win mark consistently over the last few years and Inglima obviously intends for that to continue. In his first season, Inglima led the Gators to a 19-11 record and 14-8 in California Collegiate Athletic Conference play last season.
Inglima served as the Gators’ top assistant coach for four seasons before becoming the head coach. In 2016-2017, Inglima helped the Gators to a 25-6 record and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, the program’s first since 1994. SF State opened the season at home on Friday night against Academy of Art.
Inglima noted becoming a head coach at the collegiate level isn’t easy but said about his chance to be a head coach, “right place at the right time more than anything.”
But Inglima also said “I prepared myself well” for the chance. “I thought I was ready of course,” he said. But he added he’s “very fortunate and trying to make the most of this opportunity.”
That means continuing the success of a program despite losing three all-conference players and 52 points of scoring from last season. “This is a big transition year for us,” Inglima said.
The Gators do have a number of players returning from last year, but Iglima said none were really asked to make a statistical impact last season. “I feel like we have a solid group,” he said.
Inglima said one obvious question is who’s going to step up to lead the team in scoring. One player who stepped up was center Ryne Williams, who had an outstanding game last month in an exhibition game against Nevada.
The exhibition game was obviously a homecoming for Inglima. “It was great,” Inglima said. “It was fun.”
The game was played in the Old Virginia Street Gym and Inglima noted the last time he was in that gym was when he participated in a basketball camp as a youth.
“Obviously the atmosphere was great,” Inglima said.
“We had a lot of support,” added Inglima about family and friends. “It’s always good to be back in Northern Nevada.”
“We’re undefeated because the Nevada game doesn’t count,” Inglima added.
Actually, Inglima’s team gave Nevada all it could handle for a half, leading 39-38 at halftime before falling 85-60. Nevada came into the season ranked No. 7 by Associated Press and No. 9 in the coaches poll.
“We knew our work was cut out for us,” Inglima said. “Our main focus was guarding the ball and being physical and rebounding the ball. In that regards we did great. I was really proud of the effort we put out there.”
Inglima said his team could take its share of lumps early in the season, but expects his squad to hit its stride by January.
It was a reunion of sorts for Inglima when he brought his team to Reno as he went up against two Nevada assistants he went up against in the CCAA. Nevada assistant coach Gus Argenal used to be the Cal State East Bay head coach and Wolf Pack graduate assistant Clinton Tremelling used to be an assistant coach at Cal State Stanislaus. “I have quite a few connections to the Wolf Pack right now,” Inglima said.
As far as potentially having a goal of coaching at Division I someday, Inglima said, “Right now my goal is to be the best coach San Francisco State can have,” adding his goal is to win the first conference title for the program since the 1990s.
He said his philosophy has always been never to look ahead and to focus on where he’s currently, but about whatever opportunities may happen in the future, “I’ll kind of figure that out as it goes.”