The 2014-15 season was the most successful for UC Davis at the Division I level, with head coach Jim Les leading the Aggies to 25 wins, a Big West regular season title and a berth in the Postseason NIT. Friday the school announced that Les has been rewarded with a contract extension through the 2020-21 campaign.
“UC Davis has been a special place for me and my family and I am excited to call it home for the future,” Les said in the release. “I am grateful for the support of Chancellor [Linda P.B.] Katehi, [interim athletic director] Teresa Gould, our administration, and the Davis community. Our job now is to continue to work to build a standard of excellence in our basketball program that matches the excellence of our University.”
Last year’s team was led by Big West Player of the Year Corey Hawkins, who is out of eligibility, and in total the Aggies will have to account for the loss of three of their top four scorers. In addition to Hawkins, UC Davis also loses guard Tyler Les (the head coach’s son) and forward Josh Ritchart, with rising senior forward Josh Fox (9.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg) being their leading returning scorer.
UC Davis’ 25-win season came on the heels of a 9-22 finish to the 2013-14 campaign, one of the biggest turnarounds in college basketball. UC Davis has now won at least 20 games in a season nine times, with current UCSB head coach Bob Williams responsible for five of those (and a Division II national title in 1998).