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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Takeaways from Vance Walberg’s introductory press conference

Fresno+State+mens+basketball+Head+Coach+Vance+Walberg+smiles+at+his+media+introductory+press+conference+on+April+12.
Jacqueline Carrillo/The Collegian
Fresno State men’s basketball Head Coach Vance Walberg smiles at his media introductory press conference on April 12.

Fresno State officially introduced Vance Walberg as the new men’s basketball head coach to local media and fans on Friday, April 12.

Walberg walked onto the press conference wearing a black suit paired with a red tie that was decked out in the Bulldogs logo. Walberg was joined on stage alongside University President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval.

Walberg presented himself as a high-energy coach with a passion for the Valley and as someone who wants to see the ‘Dogs get back to prominence. Walberg made it extremely clear that he will not tolerate losing as long as he is the head coach.

“Those that know me, I hate to lose,” Walberg said.

Fresno State Men’s Basketball has also had attendance issues recently, ranking 8 out of 11 for Mountain West conference schools in total game attendance for the 2023-24 season with an average of 3,834 fans attending per game.

During the press conference, Walberg said that it’s time for fans to be excited about attending games again.

“I want to get the Red Wave going again,” Walberg said.

For the past few weeks, Walberg had select staff members working for him. He has been instructing his staff to begin work on the transfer portal and begin to understand the current state of the team, all this without actually knowing if he was going to land the job.

“Three weeks before I got the job, four weeks, I was planning ahead,” Walberg said.

Former Kentucky Wildcats Assistant Coach John Welch will be joining Walberg’s staff along with former Rancho Christian High School basketball Head Coach Ray Barefield and former New Mexico State women’s basketball Assistant Coach Jaren Harris.

Director of Basketball Operations Nate Leal, who was on the coaching staff last season with former Head Coach Justin Hutson, will be returning. All four were in attendance at the press conference.

Welch is expected to bring his expertise to Fresno to implement the scheme that Walberg coins as “fast paced.”

Walberg’s playing style has been praised by some of the best coaches in college basketball, such as Alabama men’s basketball Head Coach Nate Oats and Arkansas men’s basketball Head Coach John Calipari.

“Vance Walberg is one of the most talented coaches in our country who has been ahead of the trends. His style of play will help get recruits and be appealing to the fans,” said Calipari in a press release.

Walberg’s coaching style has long been known to be dependent on players who are fast and alert on the floor. This involves quick ball movement and swift passing skills.

“I really think you are going to enjoy the style we play,” Walberg said.

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