Lorenzo Romar parting ways after spending last six seasons as Pepperdine head coach

Lorenzo Romar is out after his second stint as head coach at Pepperdine (2018-24) did not go nearly as well as his first did (1996-99). The Waves finished the regular season at 12-19 (5-11 WCC), their third-straight losing season and fourth in the last six years under Romar. Per the Tuesday press release, it appears Romar will continue to coach the Waves during the upcoming WCC Tournament.

“Pepperdine benefited tremendously from Lorenzo Romar’s leadership, both on and off the court, and we owe a debt of gratitude to him for the way he loved his players, our basketball program, and the university,” said Tim Perrin. “The University thanks Coach Romar for his dedication to the men’s basketball team, and wishes him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Romar returned to Pepperdine in 2018 after a 15-year stint as the head coach at Washington, where he went to six NCAA Tournaments and coached a number of future NBA players. Pepperdine gave Romar his first head coaching job back in 1996 and he was able to build the program up from 6 wins in his first season to 19 wins and a NIT bid in his third and final year. This second tenure also saw a peak in year three – 15 wins and a CBI title – but things went rapidly downhill thereafter.

Pepperdine was a WCC power in the 80’s and 90’s but the Waves haven’t won the league nor been to the NCAA Tournament since 2002. Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s have dominated the conference in the 2+ decades since then, making life difficult for other WCC programs like Pepperdine and Pacific, who also made a coaching change this week.

The Waves face off against Pacific on Thursday in the opening round of the WCC Tournament.


credit to Pepperdine Athletics for the image