SACRAMENTO -- Sam Kirby, who has 14 years of collegiate coaching experience, has been named assistant men's basketball coach at Sacramento State, it was announced today by head coach Brian Katz.
Kirby takes over for former Hornet assistant Chris Walker, who recently took the same role at Cal State Fullerton after eight years with the program.
No stranger to Katz's coaching philosophy, Kirby played for Katz at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton from 2003-05. Kirby is also a Sacramento native, having played prep ball at Foothill High School in Sacramento.
Kirby's collegiate coaching resume includes stints as an assistant coach at Seattle U (2018-21), Cal Poly (2011-18), Cañada JC (2010-11), Shoreline JC (2008-10) and Seattle as a student assistant in 2007-08.
"I have known Sam since he was 17 years old as a senior at Foothill High School," Katz said. "He is the consummate winner. As a senior in high school, his team won a state championship. While at Delta College, where I was fortunate enough to coach him, we won 52 games over a two-year time period.
"As a player at Seattle University, he led his team to an NCAA Tournament berth. Sam is a great role model, a hard worker, and is a very good coach who has excellent relationships with everyone. He has over 10 years of Div. I coaching experience, and his addition to our staff will be a huge asset."
In his most recent stop with Seattle, Kirby served as the program's recruiting coordinator while also being heavily involved in on-floor coaching, game planning and scouting. The Redhawks won 44 games over the last three years, including a 12-11 mark in last year's pandemic-shortened season.
During his tenure at Cal Poly, Kirby's influence on the team's guard play was evident by the Mustangs leading all Div. I programs with just 9.62 turnovers per game over a five-year span. That back court strength helped contribute to Cal Poly capturing the program's first Big West Conference championship in 2014 and reaching the NCAA Tournament's second round. He also served as recruiting coordinator during part of his tenure at Cal Poly.
At Cañada College (Redwood City, Calif.), he was involved in all aspects of on-court coaching, strength and conditioning, recruiting and perimeter player development. He helped the Colts to a 20-6 overall record, a second-place finish in the Coast Conference and a No. 7 ranking in the final California Community College Athletic Association coaches poll.
Kirby played two seasons for Seattle from 2005-07 and was a team captain of the 2007 squad which won 20 games and advanced to the NCAA Div. II Tournament. Kirby still ranks among the top five players in program history in career 3-point percentage (4th, .413) and steals per game (5th, 1.7).
A two-time all-conference selection while playing for Katz at San Joaquin Delta College, Kirby was teammates on that squad with current Hornet assistant Ajay Riding from 2003-05. During those two seasons, Kirby helped the Mustangs to a pair of conference championships and a 52-8 combined record. The 2004-05 squad finished with a program-best 30-2 record and reached the Final Four of the state tournament.
A 2003 graduate of Sacramento's Foothill High School, Kirby helped the program to the 2003 Div. III state championship and a 34-2 record. Kirby was named all-state in 2003, and was a two-time all-league selection.
Kirby graduated from Seattle in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and a minor in psychology. Kirby and his wife, Aspen, have a son, Samuel Kirby III.
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