|Title:||Associate Head Coach|
|Previous College:||Washington, 1986|
With attention aimed at strengthening recruiting efforts and continually improving Cal Poly’s frontcourt game, Paul Fortier – a veteran professional player of 17 European seasons – is in his third year as associate head coach with the Mustang men’s basketball program.
“Paul is a talented, experienced and professional coach and a perfect fit for our program as a teacher, mentor and recruiter,” seventh-year Cal Poly head coach Joe Callero said. “On the floor, Paul helps develop our post players and as a recruiter, he helps maintain our out-of-state contacts and strengthens our California relationships. With Paul’s leadership, I look forward to the continued progress of Mustang basketball.”
With Fortier on the bench last season, Cal Poly led all Big West programs in fewest points allowed per game for a fifth successive year while the team’s 8.8 turnover-per-game average ranked second among 345 Division I programs. Individually under Fortier last year, forward Brian Bennett earned All-Big West praise after finishing 64th nationally with a 50.7 percent field goal mark while forward Joel Awich ranked fifth among Big West players with 1.3 blocks per game.
During his initial 2013-14 season at Cal Poly, Fortier assisted the Mustangs to the program’s first Big West Conference championship and an NCAA Tournament second round appearance. The 2013-14 Mustangs finished 37th nationally in points allowed per game (63.6) while forward Chris Eversley became the first Big West Tournament Most Valuable Player selection in program history.
Fortier arrived at Cal Poly in June 2013 after serving as an assistant at Washington for eight seasons. Tasked with developing Washington’s post players, Fortier’s protégés include Los Angeles Clippers center Spencer Hawes (selected 10th in the 2007 NBA Draft by Sacramento), Memphis Grizzlies forward Quincy Pondexter (selected 26th in the 2010 draft by Oklahoma City) and Los Angeles Clippers guard C.J. Wilcox (selected 28th in the 2014 draft). Fortier also groomed forward Jon Brockman (selected 38th in the 2009 NBA Draft by Portland; currently with French club Élan Chalon) 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.
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.
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. In May 2014, Fortier was inducted into the San Francisco Prep Hall of Fame.
Fortier and his wife, Elizabeth, have two daughters, Kassia and Marissa.