Men's hoops opens up the season against SD Christian
Bio entering 2017-18Justin Hutson enters his fifth season of his second stint at San Diego State after returning to Montezuma Mesa following a two-year stay at UNLV where he was the associate head coach. This year is his 10th overall at SDSU (2006-11, 2013-present), but his first as the Aztecs’ associate head coach after being elevated from assistant coach in May 2017.
Upon returning to San Diego State, the Aztecs won the Mountain West regular-season championship in 2014 and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before finishing with a No. 13/12 national ranking.
In the last three seasons, which have produced a pair of additional MW regular-season titles, the Aztecs appeared in the third round of the 2015 NCAA tournament and went to the semifinals of the 2016 NIT. Since his return, San Diego State has averaged 26.3 victories.
SDSU’s defensive numbers also improved to an elite level when he decided to rejoin the Aztec coaching staff. As the defensive coordinator, San Diego State has finished in the top 15 nationally in both scoring defense and field-goal percentage defense all four seasons. San Diego State finished second in scoring defense in 2014 and 2015, third in 2016 and 15th last year. As far as field-goal percentage defense, the Aztecs were eighth in 2014, seventh in 2015, first in 2016, and eighth in 2017.
In his two years at UNLV, Hutson helped the Rebels to a pair of 25-win seasons and two NCAA appearances. He played a key role in helping UNLV bring in a highly regarded incoming class in 2012-13, which included the 2013 No. 1 overall NBA Draft selection, Anthony Bennett, a player Hutson recruited.
During his first stint at San Diego State, Hutson helped elevate the Aztecs to the national program it has become. In five seasons, SDSU won three MW titles and earned postseason berths in each of those campaigns, including 2010-11.
That year, San Diego State won 20 straight games to begin the season, won the MW regular-season and tournament titles, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament before finishing with a school-record 34 victories. SDSU ended the year ranked No. 6/11 nationally.
In both of his stints, Hutson has played a pivotal part in San Diego State's recruiting efforts as the team’s recruiting coordinator. He was the point person in recruiting future All-Americans and NBA Draft picks Kawhi Leonard, Jamaal Franklin and Xavier Thames, while also helping land D.J. Gay, who left SDSU as the school’s all-time leader in career wins, and Chase Tapley, who was a four-year starter. More recently, Hutson led the charge in the Aztecs inking Malik Pope and Jeremy Hemsley, who both are returning starters.
In a poll of Division I coaches conducted by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in the summer of 2013, Hutson was considered the eighth-best recruiting assistant nationally and the best on the West Coast. More recently, ESPN’s Adam Finkelstein listed Hutson as a top up-and-coming recruiter (May 2014), while Miles Simon placed him on his west region ultimate coaching staff (May 2014).
Before arriving at SDSU in July 2006, Hutson served as an assistant coach at Cal Poly.
The Mustangs went 10-19 in 2005-06, doubling their previous season's win total. He was responsible for recruiting the 2006 Big West Freshman of the Year and landing two freshmen on the Big West all-freshmen team, along with bringing two first-team all-Big West selections and the defensive player of the year to San Luis Obispo in 2006-07.
Prior to his stint at Cal Poly, Hutson served as the head varsity coach at Bakersfield High where he led the Drillers to a CIF Central Section title and four appearances in the playoffs in four seasons. His 2004 team was ranked as high as No. 22 in the nation and fourth in California, while his 2003 squad finished the season with a 25-5 record and won the section title. Prior to entering the high school ranks, he was an assistant coach at his alma mater CSU Bakersfield for two seasons (1999-00).
As a collegiate player, Hutson enjoyed a storied career, winning two NCAA Division II championships at CSU Bakersfield. In the 1993 championship season, the Roadrunners were undefeated with a 33-0 record and followed that up with a 27-6 record during the 1994 season.
A native of Bakersfield, Hutson earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1994 and a teaching credential in 1995 from CSU Bakersfield. He also received his master of arts in education from CSU Bakersfield in 2009.