Don Monson

Don Monson (born April 11, 1933)

Teams coached: Idaho Vandals, Oregon Ducks
Idaho record: 100-41 (.709)
Oregon record: 116-145 (.444)
Overall record^: 216-186 (.537)

Career Accomplishments:

  • NCAA National Championships:  0
  • NCAA Tournament Appearances:  2  (1981, 1982)
  • NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen:  1  (1982)
  • NCAA Tournament Final Four:  0
  • NIT Championships:  0
  • NIT Appearances:  4  (1983, 1984, 1988, 1990)
  • Big Sky Regular Season Champion:  2  (1981, 1982)
  • Big Sky Tournament Champion:  2  (1981, 1982)


Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1993 Adelaide 36ers
1983-1992 Oregon
1978-1983 Idaho
1976-1978 Michigan State (asst)

Don Monson Facts

  • Donald Lloyd Monson
  • Born April 11, 1933
  • Hometown: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  • Alma Mater: University of Idaho (BA, 1955) / Eastern Washington State College (MA, 1967)
  • Born in Minnesota and raised in Idaho, Monson won a state title in basketball as a sophomore at Coeur d’Alene HS (ID)
  • Played four seasons for the Idaho Vandals in the 1950s under head coaches Charles Finley and Harlan Hodges
    • After college, Monson served in the US Navy for a several years
  • Started coaching career at the HS level, serving as a head coach for 18 seasons with an overall 266-134 record
    • Spent nine years each at Cheney HS (WA) and Pasco HS (WA)
  • Joined Jud Heathcote‘s staff at Michigan State in 1976, serving as one of his assistants for two seasons
    • Knew Heathcote previously, as he was also a HS coach in Spokane before becoming an assistant at Washington St
    • During that time, Monson helped recruit Earvin “Magic” Johnson to play for the Spartans and was on the staff in 1977 with team won the NCAA National Championship
  • Returned to Idaho in 1978 when he was hired as the head basketball coach at his alma mater
    • Went 100-41 in five seasons leading the Vandals, including back-to-back Big Sky titles and NCAA Tournament berths
    • The 1981-82 Vandals team went to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, the first such appearance for the program
      • Honored as the NABC Coach of the Year for that season, the first coach from the Pacific NW to receive that honor
  • Left Idaho to take over as the head coach at Oregon in 1983, coaching the Ducks for nine seasons
    • Went 116-145, reaching the NIT three times but never the NCAA Tournament
    • Monson was let go following the 1991-92 season, in which the Dukes went 6-21 (2-16 Pac-10)
  • Spent one season coaching the Adelaide 36ers in the Australian NBL, going 14-14 and finishing in 7th place
  • His son, Dan Monson, is a college head coach, currently at Eastern Washington and previously at Long Beach State, Minnesota and Gonzaga

Don Monson Coaching Tree


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I level only