News and Events
Wilson Named Head Coach upon Asbury's Retirement
Men’s basketball coach Tom Asbury is retiring and associate head coach Marty Wilson will be introduced as the Waves’ new head coach at an on-campus press conference on Friday, Mar. 11.
All are welcome to attend Friday’s event, which will be held at 10 a.m. in the Jones Trophy Room, Heritage Hall, on the Malibu campus. Additionally, the press conference will be live streamed on the Pepperdine Athletics Web site.
Asbury, who had previously overseen some of the Waves’ most successful teams as head coach for six seasons from 1989-94, was asked to return to Pepperdine in February 2008 when the program was at a very low point. In the 14 years between Asbury’s head coaching jobs at Pepperdine, the school went through seven head coaches (including interim). At the time of Asbury’s return, the program was facing sanctions from the NCAA due to its Academic Progress Rate, and nearly an entire new roster of players had to be recruited.
Though the Waves were limited to a total of 28 wins the past three years, Asbury has brought a renewed sense of optimism to the program. Student-athletes were brought in that could succeed at Pepperdine, and the team’s overall GPA has soared. The Waves improved to 12 victories this past season, the most the program has seen since 2004-05.
Bringing long-term stability to the program was also a key factor in Asbury’s return. Soon after Asbury’s re-hiring, Wilson joined the staff with the intention that he would one day be Asbury’s successor. Three years later, that time has come.
More on Marty Wilson
Wilson, 44, just finished his 21st season as a college coach, which also included stops at San Diego, UC Santa Barbara and Utah.
He was a four-year letterwinner who graduated from Pepperdine in 1989. He’s coached in Malibu for a total of nine seasons, the last three as associate head coach and six earlier seasons (1991-96) as an assistant. During the final season of his first coaching stint in Malibu, he stepped in as interim head coach for the final 13 games.
During his first six seasons on the Waves’ staff (the first four of which were under Asbury), he helped Pepperdine to a 106-72 (.596) record. He began as the restricted-earnings coach before being elevated to full-time status for the 1994-95 season. He was hired back at Pepperdine in February 2008.
With Wilson on the staff, Pepperdine earned bids to the NCAA Tournament in 1991, 1992 and 1994 and made the NIT in 1993. The Waves also won West Coast Conference regular-season titles in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and WCC Tournament titles in 1991, 1992 and 1994.
Following Asbury’s departure for Kansas State after the 1993-94 season, Wilson remained on the staff under new head coach Tony Fuller. When Fuller resigned midway through the 1995-96 season, Wilson took over at the age of 28 on an interim basis and directed the Waves to a 3-10 record down the stretch. Most notably, that included an upset of a Steve Nash-led Santa Clara team in the first round of the WCC Tournament.
Wilson stayed in Southern California for the next several years, spending two seasons (1996-97 and 1997-98) as an assistant coach at San Diego, where he was also the recruiting coordinator.
He spent the next six seasons (1999-2004) at UC Santa Barbara, and was the top assistant as the Gauchos averaged 18 wins a season during his last three years there. UC Santa Barbara won the Big West Conference’s West Division in 1999 and captured the 2002 Big West Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Gauchos won the Big West regular-season title and made an appearance in the NIT in 2003.
Prior to his return to Pepperdine, Wilson was an assistant for four seasons (2005-08) at Utah. During his first season, the Utes went 29-6, won the Mountain West Conference’s regular-season title, advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet Sixteen and finished the year ranked 18th nationally by the Associated Press.
As a player with the Waves, Wilson ended his career in fifth place on the all-time assists list with 342 (he now ranks ninth). Under head coach Jim Harrick, Wilson was a backup point guard in 1984-85 and 1985-86, and the Waves advanced to the NCAA Tournament both seasons. A back injury sidelined Wilson for the entire 1986-87 campaign, but he took over as the starting point guard in 1987-88. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 17th game of the season, though the Waves still advanced to the NIT. Asbury took over as head coach in 1988-89, and Wilson’s extensive rehabilitation paid off as he returned to the starting lineup as a senior and led the Waves to a 20-13 record and the second round of the NIT.
He graduated from Pepperdine in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. A native of Pacoima, Calif., Wilson was a prep standout at Simi Valley High School. He was named the Marmonte League’s Most Valuable Player as a 1983-84 senior. He and his wife, Mayra, have a daughter, Jessica, and a son, Jalon.
More on Tom Asbury
No one played more of a role in so many of the most successful seasons in the history of Pepperdine men’s basketball than Asbury, 65, who had two stints in charge of the Waves’ program and spent a total of 18 years with the school. The 2010-11 campaign was his ninth season overall as head coach in Malibu and the third year this time around.
In earlier days, Asbury was at Pepperdine for 15 seasons (with 11 postseason appearances) – the first nine as an assistant coach (1980-88) and then the next six as the head coach (1989-94). He then served as head coach at Kansas State from 1995-2000 and was an assistant coach at Alabama from 2004-07 before returning to Pepperdine.
He finished his career with a record of 238-215 (.525) record in 15 seasons as a college head coach and 153-127 (.546) in nine seasons at Pepperdine.
Asbury went 125-59 (.679) in his first six seasons as head coach of the Waves, who went to the postseason five times in that span with three NCAA Tournament appearances (1991, ’92, ’94) and two berths in the NIT (1989, ’93). Pepperdine won three regular-season West Coast Conference titles, finished no worse than second in any of the six seasons and compiled a league record of 66-18 (.786). Pepperdine’s only three WCC Tournament championships have come under Asbury.
The Waves had four 20-win seasons with Asbury at the helm, including a high of 24 wins in 1991-92, a season in which Pepperdine also went a perfect 14-0 in the WCC. In fact, Pepperdine established a conference record by winning 32 consecutive league games from 1991-93 (38 straight including WCC Tournament games). Asbury was named WCC Coach of the Year in 1991 and 1992.
Asbury served as Pepperdine’s lead assistant coach for nine seasons (1980-88) under Jim Harrick before becoming head coach. During those nine years, the Waves went 167-97 (.633) and went to the NCAA Tournament four times and the NIT twice.
A native of Denver, Asbury lettered at Wyoming for three seasons and earned All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a senior in 1966-67. As team captain, he helped the Cowboys win the league title and advance to the NCAA Tournament that year. He earned a bachelor’s of science degree from Wyoming in 1968 and went on to receive a master’s of science degree from Colorado in 1974.
He was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks of the NBA and the Denver Rockets of the ABA and played one season in Denver before beginning his coaching career. Asbury coached Wyoming’s freshmen in 1967-68, then was a high school coach in the Denver area for eight seasons. He returned to Wyoming to serve as an assistant coach for three seasons before moving to Pepperdine.
He and his wife Carlie, have two daughters, Stacey (deceased) and Megan, and their first grandchild, Caden, was born in January.