San Diego State men's basketball coach Steve Fisher retires

Xavier Thames speaks with coach Steve Fisher during a break in play.                       Kent Horner

Fisher will have a part-time role with SDSUs athletic department. He was the head coach when the team won the NCAA championship in 1989, just weeks after the firing of coach Bill Frieder, who had accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State University just before the NCAA tournament began. He is a two-time national coach of the year (including 2011 Naismith, NABC and Adolph Rupp honors).

"I'm not going to get in the way, but I'm going to be a part of San Diego State".

Fisher, who has led the team for 18 years, and athletic director John David Wicker said Fisher will remain at SDSU in an unspecified capacity.

Prior to Fisher arriving on the scene, San Diego State had never won a Division I postseason game (NCAA or NIT) and had not even advanced to the semifinals of a conference tournament since 1987. They had played in the NCAA Tournament only three times.

This isn't to say that the Aztecs are ready to drop off or that they aren't going to add any high-quality recruits anymore, but this is a bittersweet day for the University, the fan base and even more particularity, the Mountain West.

Hampered by a shoestring budget, threadbare roster and track record of underachievement, San Diego State could not find a well-known coach willing to take on the daunting challenge of rebuilding its basketball program.

For a long time, an Aztecs game was the toughest ticket in town. "Although I am disappointed, we've appreciated his hard work in our program over the last two seasons". In three short years, he guided the Aztecs to the 2002 MW championship and NCAA tournament.

Fisher, 72, led MI to a national championship in 1989 and was the architect behind the Fab Five teams that went to back-to-back Final Fours in 1992-93. SDSU's six-year streak of reaching the Tournament ended this season, as the Aztecs finished 19-14. That team ascended to No. 4 in the national rankings.

Two people with knowledge of the situation said Monday that Fisher, 72, is retiring after 18 seasons at SDSU. This spawned the creation of The Show, which has been ranked one of the country's top student sections and a love affair between the students and their coach. Assistant coach Brian Dutcher is expected to take over the program as the head coach in-waiting. He'll replace Steve Fisher.

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