Pilots hire EWU's Legans
After leading Eastern Washington to a Big Sky Tournament title, Shantay Legans will try to lead the Portland men's basketball program out of the basement of the West Coast Conference.
University of Portland Vice President for Athletics on Monday, March 22, announced that the 39-year-old Legans will be the Pilots' next coach. He replaces Terry Porter, who was let go midway through his fifth season.
Legans spent 12 seasons with the Eastern Washington program, the last four as head coach. The Eagles lost to Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Sky Tournament and a second-place regular-season finish.
"This place has massive potential, and I am so incredibly honored and humbled to have been chosen to lead the Pilots into the next chapter," Legans said in an announcement from UP. "We are going to win here, and I can't wait to get to Portland and get to work."
In four seasons running the EWU program, Legans' Eagles were 75-49 overall and 53-20 in the Big Sky Conference, a .726 winning percentage that is second best in conference history. Add in his 7-2 record in the conference tournament and that winning percentage was .732.
Eastern Washington led Kansas by double digits in the second half of a first-round NCAA Tournament game before falling 93-84.
A native of Goleta, California, Legans was a three-year starter at California (1999-02), helping the Bears to two NCAA Tournaments. He played his senior season at Fresno State before playing professional basketball in the Netherlands.
Legans is one of 25 finalists for a pair of 2021 awards: the Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award for a coach who achieves success on the court and displays moral integrity off the floor, and the Ben Jobe Award that goes to the NCAA Division I minority coach of the year.
In 2020, ESPN ranked Legans No. 11 on its 40 best coaches younger than age 40.
Under Porter, the former Trail Blazers' guard, Portland was 43-103 and won only seven games in five years against West Coast Conference competition.
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