Cal Poly

College notebook: Cal Poly men’s basketball assistant Paul Fortier moving on to Drexel

Former Cal Poly men’s basketball assistant coach Paul Fortier, far right, accepted an assistant coaching position at Drexel, the school announced Friday.
Former Cal Poly men’s basketball assistant coach Paul Fortier, far right, accepted an assistant coaching position at Drexel, the school announced Friday. dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

Cal Poly men’s basketball assistant coach Paul Fortier is leaving the Mustangs program to accept an assistant coaching position at Drexel University, the school announced Friday.

Fortier spent the past three seasons on head coach Joe Callero’s staff and helped Cal Poly make a surprise run to the NCAA Tournament back in 2014.

A 1986 Washington graduate who played 17 seasons professionally in Europe, Fortier worked with the Mustangs’ post players during his time in San Luis Obispo. He helped develop former standouts Chris Eversley (2013-14) and Brian Bennett (2014-15) into all-Big West Conference performers.

“We’re sad to see coach Fortier leave our program, but happy to support him in his career goals,” Callero said in a release. “He was an excellent associate head coach and a mentor for our young men. He was a critical part of our team’s success two years ago when we went to the NCAA Tournament.”

Fortier was one of three assistants hired Friday by first-year Drexel head coach Zach Spiker, who led Army to its first postseason appearance since 1978 this past winter. The two coached together at Cornell in 2004-05 under Steve Donahue.

Drexel is located in Philadelphia and competes in the Division I Colonial Athletic Association. The Dragons finished 6-25 overall last season.

“Leaving Cal Poly is not easy because the program holds such promise,” Fortier said. “We’ve made history here and the young men that are still in the program are ambitious, talented and intelligent players.

“I’ve learned much from coach Callero and the players and I’ll miss all of them and this very special place.”

Big Sky hires new commissioner

The Big Sky Conference announced Friday the hiring of Andrea Williams to be its new commissioner.

Williams spent the past 10 years as the associate commissioner for the Big Ten Conference in Rosemont, Ill.

According to a release put out by the conference, Williams is currently the chair of the NCAA WBCO, and previously served as the president of the Collegiate Event and Facility Managers Association. She has volunteers at several major sporting events, such as the CFP National Championship Game, Super Bowl and Transplant Games of America.

“I’m thrilled to have been selected as the next commissioner of the Big Sky Conference, and I’m excited to guide the league into the next era of academic and athletic achievement,” Williams said in the release. “I am grateful to the President’s Council and selection committee for the opportunity to work with an outstanding group of institutions that prioritize the student-athlete experience and higher education.”

Williams will officially begin her service for the Big Sky on July 1.

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