EUGENE – Dana Altman, who has accumulated 13-consecutive post-season tournament appearances and 11-straight 20-win seasons in 16 seasons at Creighton University, has been named head men’s basketball coach at the University of Oregon, according to the school’s interim Athletics Director Lorraine Davis.
Altman (6/16/58) becomes the Ducks’ 19th men’s basketball coach in the program’s history after leaving Creighton as its most winning coach of all time with a record of 327-176 (.650).
His post-season tournament run and string of 20-win seasons, in addition to producing 10 or more league victories in each of the last 14 seasons, are all feats unmatched in the 103-year history of the Missouri Valley Conference.
He has won four Coach-of-the-Year awards from three different conferences spanning 13 seasons, including back-to-back MVC coaching honors while he was at the Omaha, Neb., educational institution in 2001 and 2002. Altman was a finalist for the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award and was named the NABC District 12 and USBWA District VI Coach of the Year following the 2002-03 campaign.
Creighton participated in seven NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournaments and five National Invitation Tournaments under Altman, advancing to the second round of the NCAA championships in both the 1998-99 and 2001-02 seasons. He led the school to a MVC regular-season title in 2000-01 - its first in 10 years. The Bluejays posted a school-record 29 wins in 2002-03, finishing the season 15th in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the coaches’ voting.
“In addition to the hiring of a basketball coach with strong ethics and solid personal values, there were three criteria that were very important to me and this university during the search,” interim Athletics Director Lorraine Davis emphasized. “First, we wanted someone who recruited students of high quality and character as individuals, academically as well as athletically. Secondly, we sought someone who ran a clean program with integrity. And third, we went after a coach who had experience with building and maintaining winning programs with the reputation as a great coach. We have that in Dana Altman. It’s a great day for Oregon athletics.”
Altman finishes his career at Creighton ranking third all-time on the MVC list of all-time wins (327), trailing only Basketball Hall of Fame coaches Henry Iba (486) and Eddie Hickey (337). In 2007, he was one of 10 coaches named as part of the MVC’s All-Centennial Team.
His teams claimed shares of three regular-season Missouri Valley Conference championships (including the 2008-09 crown) and six conference post-season tournament titles.
“As I traveled around the country and talked with literally hundreds of coaches and college basketball insiders, the name that kept coming up as one of the nation’s top college basketball coaches was Dana Altman,” said Pat Kilkenny, Oregon’s assistant to the athletic director who headed the search for the new coach. “Virtually all of them also expressed that Altman was as great a human being as he is a basketball coach. We are extremely fortunate and excited to have someone the caliber of Coach Altman to lead our basketball program into the future, and I’m sure our fans will see what I have learned – that we have hired a first-class individual and a first-class basketball coach.”
“On behalf of the University of Oregon community and Duck fans everywhere, I want to thank Pat Kilkenny for the tremendous work he did to help select the ideal candidate to coach the UO men’s basketball team,” said University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere. “Dana Altman is an outstanding coach and an outstanding teacher. We are proud to have him join the University of Oregon family.”
Student-athletes under his direction have earned six All-America honors on the court and four Academic All-America laurels in the classroom. Three players he coached at Creighton - Kyle Korver, Rodney Buford and Anthony Tolliver - have played in the NBA.
Along the way, Creighton established school records for most victories in a two-year (52), three-year (76) and four-year span (99). From 1998-99 through 2008-09, Creighton was one of just six schools to win 20 or more games each of those seasons, an elite list that also included Duke, Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas and Syracuse.
In addition, Altman’s teams have ranked in the top 30 nationally in attendance each of the past seven years.
The Bluejays won five of their last six games in 2009-10 to finish with an 18-16 record.
Including a combined five seasons as head coach at Marshall University (1989-90) and Kansas State (1990-94), Altman has accumulated a 410-243 (.628) career record in 21 years at the NCAA Division I level. His 25-year overall head coaching ledger stands at 533-267 (.666), together with four seasons at Southeast (Neb.) and Moberly (Mo.) junior colleges.
Altman compiled a 68-54 record and one NCAA Tournament appearance in four seasons at Kansas State, during which time he led the Wildcats to three straight postseason tourneys. Altman was named the Big Eight Conference Coach of the Year after leading KSU to a 19-11 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 1993.
His success at KSU followed a brief one-year head coaching stint at Marshall, where Altman was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1990 after posting a 15-13 mark. Prior to MU, he won 83 percent of his games (123-24) in four seasons as a head coach at the junior college level (Southeast JC, 1982-83; Moberly JC, 1983-86).
Altman’s playing career began in 1976 at Southeast JC, where he captained teams to a pair of 20-plus win seasons. Altman completed his undergraduate education and playing career at Eastern New Mexico University. After earning his associate degree in business administration from Southeast in 1978, Altman graduated magna cum laude from Eastern New Mexico in 1980 with his bachelor’s degree in the same field.
He received his master of business administration degree from Western (Colo.) State in 1981.
Altman broke into the coaching profession as an assistant coach for two years at Western State (1980-82). Following four seasons as head coach at the junior college level, he served three years as an assistant at Kansas State (1986-89) under Lon Kruger, with the Wildcats advancing to the NCAA Tournament each year.
Born in Crete, Neb., Altman was a two-sport letterman at Wilber (Neb.) High School, earning all-conference honors as a quarterback on the football team and as a guard in basketball.
Altman’s seven-year contract will call for a guaranteed annual salary of $1.8 million.
He and his wife, the former Reva Phillips, have three sons - Jordan, 25; Chase, 24; and Spencer, 21 - and one daughter – Audra, 17.