SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Fifth-year Cal Poly men's basketball head coach Joe Callero finalized his staff for the 2013-14 season with the Tuesday announcement by the Mustang Athletics Department that Paul Fortier, former assistant coach with the University of Washington, has joined the program as associate head coach.
As an eight-year assistant coach with Washington, Fortier was tasked with maintaining recruiting standards and helping to develop Husky post players. Among Fortier's protégés are Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes (selected 10th in the 2007 NBA Draft by Sacramento) and Memphis Grizzlies forward Quincy Pondexter (selected 26th in the 2010 draft by Oklahoma City). Fortier also groomed forward Jon Brockman (selected 38th in the 2009 NBA Draft by Portland; currently with French club Limoges CSP) and forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning, an All-Pac-12 first team selection and the conference's Most Improved Player honoree for the 2010-11 season.
During eight seasons in Seattle, Fortier assisted Washington to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including Sweet 16 showings in 2006 and 2010. Washington compiled three 25-plus win seasons with Fortier on the bench.
Fortier assumes a coaching spot vacated by former assistant coach Omar Lowery, who departed the Cal Poly program in April after four seasons to accept an assistant position at San Jose State.
"Paul is a talented, experienced and professional coach and the perfect fit for our program as a teacher, mentor and recruiter," Callero said. "On the floor, coach Fortier will help develop our young post players and as a recruiter, he will help maintain our out-of-state contacts and strengthen our California relationships. With the addition of coach Fortier's leadership, I look forward to the continued progress of Mustang basketball and see a bright future for our program and his career."
Prior to his time at Washington, Fortier spent two seasons at Cornell (2003-05) where he helped the Big Red lead the Ivy League in rebounding during his first year and to a second-place league finish – the program's highest in 17 years – during his second season.
A four-year letterwinner and three-year starting forward at Washington (1983-86), Fortier assisted the Huskies to three successive NCAA Tournaments (1984-86) and Pac-10 titles in 1984 and 1985. A 1986 All-Pac-10 selection after averaging 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, Fortier departed Washington as the 18th-leading scorer in program history with 1,326 career points. His 19 rebounds versus Arizona on Feb. 12, 1983 still rank as the third-highest single-game total in program history.
Fortier was selected by the Washington Bullets in the fifth round of the 1986 NBA Draft and spent 17 seasons in Europe, competing in the top leagues Italy, France, Spain and Greece. A member of the 1998 and 1999 French Cup-winning club Cholet Basket, Fortier participated in the 1997 and 1998 French All-Star Games. Fortier averaged more than 15 points per game during 13 of his 17 seasons overseas. Fortier's top statistical effort came during the 1995-96 season when he averaged 21.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while with French side Le Mans Sarthe Basket.
"Paul Fortier was, and is, a great Husky. Paul was able to help us obtain a lot of our team's success," 12th-year Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said in a statement released by the Husky Athletics Department. "He was instrumental in helping with the progress of several of our bigs over the years, like Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Shawn Kemp Jr. and Aziz N'Diaye. He will excel at Cal Poly."
A product of San Francisco's St. Ignatius College Prep, Fortier averaged 20 points and 11.5 rebounds per game during his senior season to earn All-Northern California praise and All-America honorable mention acclaim.
Fortier and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters, Kassia and Marissa. Kassia will enter her senior season as a member of the Washington women's basketball squad this fall.
Fortier joins a Mustang program that is enjoying an historic run of form. Under Callero, Cal Poly has matched or exceeded its win total from the previous season each year – a feat not accomplished at Cal Poly for 41 years.
In reaching the semifinals of the Big West Conference Tournament for a second successive year, the 2012-13 Mustang squad established program records for Big West victories (12-6) and Big West winning percentage (.667). Cal Poly's 18 overall victories matched the second highest total in 19 Division I seasons. Cal Poly, which finished 13-1 inside the Mott Athletics Center last season, also established Division I program records for home victories, fewest home losses, home winning percentage (.929) and, for the first time, swept all nine Big West opponents at home.
In being selected for the CollegeInsider.com Tournament, the 2012-13 Mustangs played the program's first postseason game in 27 years.
Individually, junior forward Chris Eversley earned All-Big West first team praise after finishing ninth among conference players with 15.4 points per game and sixth with 7.0 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Dylan Royer, who earned All-Big West honorable mention recognition, compiled a 42.9 percent three-point mark to rank 21st among approximately 4,485 Division I shooters. Royer's 84 three-pointers also ranked as the second highest single season total in program history. Additionally, freshman guard Reese Morgan set a new single season program record with 90.0 (54-for-60) percent free throw mark.