Nov. 2, 2001
Generally regarded as one of college basketball's top teachers and strategists, Ben Braun is in his fifth season as head coach at California.
And though his time with the Golden Bear program has been short, Braun already has developed a long list of accomplishments that is sure to continue to grow through his tenure in Berkeley.
Braun brought his energetic style of coaching to Cal in September 1996 and succeeded in becoming the first coach in school history to earn Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. During that initial season, he took a team that was predicted to finish in the conference's lower half and molded it into one that tied for second in the league and earned a berth in the '97 NCAA Sweet 16 with tournament victories over Princeton and Villanova. In addition, the 23-9 overall mark gave Braun a school record for most wins by a Bear coach in his first year with the program.
Braun, a National Coach of the Year finalist in his first season at Cal, was rewarded for his success with a new contract in October 1997, which will keep the coach in Berkeley through the 2004-05 season.
"When a University makes a commitment to you, I think the proper thing to do is to make the commitment back to the University," Braun said. "I feel very proud to say I'm here for the long haul and to make that commitment back to the University of California.