Don Monson
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 05/02/2007
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Don Monson has made a huge mark on Vandal basketball, first as a player then a coach. Monson letter four times for the Vandal basketball squad from 1952-55, but it was his coaching that left the greatest mark. The 1981-82 Kodak Division I Coach of the Year took Idaho to previously unseen heights, taking the team to its first NCAA tournament in 1980-81, then going a step further in reaching the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 1981-82. The 1981-82 team, which has also been inducted into the Vandal Athletics Hall of Fame, started the season 16-0, garnering a #6 national ranking, finished the regular season 26-2 and took down Lute Olson’s Iowa squad in the first round of the NCAA tournament, advancing to the team’s first and only Sweet Sixteen appearance. Monson led the team to back-to-back Big Sky titles in 1980-81 and 1981-82, winning Big Sky Coach of the Year honors each time. He compiled a career record of 100-41 in five years at Idaho. Monson’s teams produced three Big Sky MVPs, one Big Sky Top Newcomer, 10 Big Sky All-Conference honorees and six Big Sky All-Tournament team honorees, including two tournament MVPs.