Hutson Elevated to Men’s Hoops Associate Head Coach
May 9, 2017
SAN DIEGO - Justin Hutson has been elevated from SDSU men’s basketball assistant coach to associate head coach, Aztec head coach Brian Dutcher announced. Hutson is entering his 10th season atop Montezuma Mesa.
“Justin has been an integral part of the success we have enjoyed at San Diego State,” Dutcher said. “I think all Aztec fans are aware of his contributions on the defensive end of the court and in recruiting. His impact, however, is felt in every part of this program. Continuing to have Justin not only on staff, but with increased responsibility, will help us continue our winning culture.”
A graduate of CSU Bakersfield, Hutson recently finished his fourth season of his second stint at San Diego State. In those four campaigns, he helped the Aztecs reach the 2014 NCAA Sweet 16, the 2015 NCAA Round of 32 and the 2016 NIT semifinals, which equated to 105 victories (26.3 wins per year) and three Mountain West championships.
Since his return to The Mesa, Hutson has elevated SDSU’s defense to elite status as the program’s defensive coordinator. The Aztecs have 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.
A two-year stay at UNLV split his two stints at San Diego State in half. Hutson made his way to Las Vegas following the 2010-11 campaign and helped the Runnin’ Rebels to a pair of 25-win seasons and two NCAA tournament appearances. He played a key role in bringing 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.
Hutson originally left the Aztecs following his fifth season, which ended with SDSU setting all types of records. The 2010-11 squad won a school-record 20 straight games to begin the year, captured both the MW regular-season and tournament titles for just the second time in program history, won the first Division I NCAA tournament games, reached its first Sweet 16 and won a school-record 34 games. San Diego State, which earned its first national ranking that season, finished the campaign ranked No. 6/11 nationally.
The 2010-11 season capped a five-year run in which Hutson helped the Aztecs win three Mountain West titles and advance to five postseason tournaments.
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.
Before arriving at San Diego State, Hutson served as an assistant coach at Cal Poly where the Mustangs when 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-freshman 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.