George Nessman was appointed the San Jose State
University men's basketball head coach in March 2005. As he heads into his eighth
season, the program is positioned for near and long-term competitive and
The accomplishments are numerous in his first seven seasons. Prior to Nessman's
arrival, single-digit season win totals were the norm. The 2010-11 season is
the current high-water mark. The Spartans posted their first winning record in
17 seasons, advanced to the semifinal round of the Western Athletic Conference
Tournament for the first time, won more games in one season since 1981 and
returned to post-season action for the first time since 1996.
San Jose State saw a period of four straight
seasons of 13 or more wins (2008-11). The Spartans have not done that since
1985 through 1988.
The 2009-10 team was the university's best playing at home in years with a 10-4
win-loss record. A seven-game home floor winning streak at The Event Center is
the longest since the building opened in 1989 and the longest by a Spartan
squad since the 1981 team won 10 in a row on a home court. The 2010 team set
school records for most points scored (2,289) and free throw accuracy (72.8
percent) in a season.
The 2008-09 team's five road victories were the most by a Spartan team in eight
seasons, part of a 13-17 record and helped San Jose State finish in a sixth
place tie in the conference standings - the best WAC finish since 2000.
The 2007-08 team was one of the nation's most improved based on win totals. The
Spartans captured the season-opening First Shot Exempt Tournament hosted by
Middle Tennessee State. San Jose State picked up road wins against Big Sky
Conference champion Portland State and topped cross-county rival Santa Clara
for the first time since 2003.
The Spartans were the most successful WAC team in 2007-08 in games decided by
four points or less with a 9-4 record. Wins in The Event Center over Nevada and
Utah State were part of San Jose State's first winning record at home since
2000-01. A Western Athletic Conference Tournament victory for the first time
since 2002 capped the best San Jose State season in seven years.
His second season, 2006-07, clearly was one with a youth movement in place.
With the third youngest team in the country based on previous major college
playing experience, Nessman faced one of the nation's most challenging
schedules in 2006-07 according to the in-season Sagarin Ratings. Undaunted, his
team doubled its conference win total from his first season at the helm.
Nessman is the first San Jose State men's basketball coach to successfully
organize a summer overseas tour. The Spartans spent a week in the United
Kingdom in 2007 and spent nine days in Italy in 2011.
The European trips are consistent with his philosophy of placing the program in
the spotlight. The Spartans played at Duke, Texas Tech and Michigan State with
Nessman facing legendary coaches Mike Kryzyewski, Bob Knight and Tom Izzo,
In his first season, the Spartans ended long road losing streaks both in
conference and non-conference action. Home attendance increased by 20 percent.
In his first six seasons at San Jose State, his student-athletes earned eight
Western Athletic Conference All-Academic awards. Guard Adrian Oliver was a
two-time first-team All-WAC pick and a 2011 Lute Olson All-American. Guard
Justin Graham was named to the 2011 All-Defensive team and was an honorable
mention All-WAC choice.
Nessman took over the Spartans' position after one season as an assistant coach
and recruiting coordinator at the University of California in 2004-05.
Entering his 24th season as a head coach, his teams at the high school,
community college and major college levels have won 424 games, placed first in
a league or conference nine times and won a state championship. He is 68-119 at
San Jose State.
One of his most significant coaching accomplishments was directing Porterville
College to a 33-4 win-loss record, a Central Valley Conference title and the
school's first California Community College championship in 2000. Between
January 2000 and February 2001, Porterville College won 40 consecutive games
covering two seasons - one of the longest winning streaks in the California
Community College system's history.
The 2000 California Community College Coach of the Year produced five 20-game
winners in nine seasons and a 178-76 win-loss record. Before his arrival,
Porterville had four consecutive losing seasons and did not have a plus-.500
winning percentage in 11 years. Nearly 90 percent of the sophomores he coached
at Porterville and Bakersfield Colleges continued their college careers at
In addition to his coaching duties at Porterville, he served the school as its
director of athletics from 1995 through 2001 and was the academic advisor for
athletics in 2001-02.
The 1981 University of California graduate started his coaching career at age
22 as the junior varsity and cross country coach at Salesian High School in
After three seasons, he became the boys' varsity basketball assistant coach at
Concord, California's De La Salle High School in 1984. Two seasons later,
he took over the head coaching position at De La Salle and went on to produce a
155-48 win-loss record, five conference championships, one North Coast Section
crown and four appearances in the Northern California Tournament of Champions.
Two of his most prominent Spartans were future NBA players Jon and Brent Barry.
The 53-year-old native of Stamford, Conn., has two master's degrees - one in
education from San Francisco State University in 1988 and a second in physical
education and recreation from Saint Mary's College in 1993. Nessman is the only
current coach in the Western Athletic Conference to earn two master's degrees.
He and his wife, Nancy, have four children - Joshua, a student at San Jose
State; Veronica, a University of California graduate; Peter and John.
Football, men's basketball, women's soccer and women's tennis posted all-time program best...