Lorenzo Romar is returning to Pepperdine for a second stint as men’s basketball coach.
Athletic director Steve Potts said Monday that Romar will be back in Malibu as soon as Arizona’s season ends. Romar is currently in his first season as associate head coach at Arizona and the Wildcats are in the NCAA Tournament.
The 59-year-old coach previously guided the Waves from 1996-99, going 42-44 in his first head coaching job.
Romar says he preferred to stay on the West Coast and his comfort level with Potts and university President Andrew Benton “played a huge role” in his decision to return to the campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Romar left Malibu to become head coach at Saint Louis and then spent 15 years in the same job at Washington, where he was a three-time Pac-12 coach of the year. He was an assistant at UCLA under Jim Harrick when the Bruins won the 1995 national championship. His career head coaching record is 391-284.
Romar, who is from Compton, California, was a two-year starter at Washington and played five seasons in the NBA with Golden State, Milwaukee and Detroit.
Romar will be battling with former colleague Mark Gottfried for those Southern California kids. Gottfried is expected to be hired as the new head coach at CSUN in Northridge. Both Gottfried and Romar were assistants at UCLA in the late 90s.
Rob Dauster of NBC Sports contributed to this story.