After a comprehensive nationwide search Pepperdine has announced Ryan Weisenberg as the new head coach for the women's basketball program. Weisenberg joined the Waves' staff as an assistant for the 2012-13 season after more than 15 years of coaching in the prep, collegiate, and professional ranks.
"Ryan is a great fit as our new women's basketball head coach," says Steve Potts, director of Pepperdine Athletics. "He brings a strong commitment to our Christian mission, to the academic development and well-being of our student-athletes, and to building a high quality women's basketball program that competes for West Coast Conference championships annually. Ryan is a man of great character and integrity and possesses an extraordinary work ethic. His varied experiences in basketball at the highest level have prepared him for this challenge and we look forward to a bright future for Pepperdine women's basketball."
Weisenberg, who becomes just the sixth head coach in the 38-year history of the program, looks forward to the challenges ahead in his first collegiate head coaching assignment.
"This is the best university in the country filled with incredible people," Weisenberg says. "I'm blessed to be part of an athletic department with exceptional coaches like Marv Dunphy, Nina Matthies, and Marty Wilson, among others. I would like to thank President Benton and Dr. Potts for having the faith in me to lead this program toward a bright future."
Weisenberg takes the reins from Julie Rousseau, who guided the Waves for nine seasons before resigning at the beginning of April. Weisenberg welcomes a familiar group of young returners to the fold. Pepperdine loses just two seniors from last year's squad and its projected 2013-14 roster features just four upperclassmen and no seniors among eight returning letterwinners.
"I am excited about the group of young women returning and I am confident that if they commit the time and energy necessary we will be successful," Weisenberg says. "This group has an outstanding opportunity to leave its mark on a program with a rich tradition. I look forward to working with each student-athlete to maximize their success on and off the court."
Prior to joining the Pepperdine staff, Weisenberg spent three seasons coaching professional basketball in New Zealand, serving as both the head coach and the director of basketball operations for the Manawatu Jets. In his final season, the Jets finished third in the New Zealand National Basketball League and reached the quarterfinals of the 2011-12 playoffs. During his tenure, Weisenberg tutored the league's Most Valuable Player, Nick Horvath, as well as its top scorer, Josh Pace.
Before embarking on his coaching adventure in New Zealand, Weisenberg worked in various capacities in both the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers (2000-05) and the WNBA for the Los Angeles Sparks (2000-05) and Houston Comets (2007). Weisenberg served as assistant video coordinator and advance scout for the Lakers during a highly successful stretch of three consecutive NBA titles (2001-03).
In five WNBA seasons with the Sparks, Weisenberg served as an assistant coach and was elevated to interim head coach briefly during the 2004 season. The Sparks reached three consecutive WNBA Finals, winning it all in 2001 and 2002 under the leadership of four-time Olympic gold-medalist and three-time WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie. Coupled with the Lakers' championship wins in 2000, 2001 and 2002, Weisenberg owns five championship rings and is just one of a small handful of people to win an NBA and WNBA championship in the same year.
After returning to the prep ranks for two seasons as head girls' coach at Mater Dei Catholic High School in Santa Ana, Calif. (2005-07), Weisenberg returned to the WNBA with the Comets where he was charged with calling defensive plays, assisting with practices, scouting and several other duties. During his time in Houston, Weisenberg worked with basketball icon Sheryl Swoopes and perennial WNBA All-Star Tina Thompson.
Weisenberg began his coaching career in 1995 at Mission Prep High School as the boys' junior varsity head coach and assistant coach to the varsity squad. Two years later, he was hired as a video coordinator at his alma mater, Cal Poly. He was charged with developing video scouting reports for the Mustangs, as well as managing travel schedules for recruiting. After two seasons at Cal Poly, Weisenberg took over as the head boys' coach at South Pasadena High School and guided the Tigers for five seasons (1999-2003).
Weisenberg earned his Master's degree in education from Azusa Pacific in May 2002 and a bachelor's degree in history from Cal Poly in 1997. Weisenberg lettered in basketball and football at St. Francis High School, located in La Cañada Flintridge, Calif.
For more information, videos, and women's basketball stats, visit the Pepperdine Athletics website.