By Ray Hamill — Humboldt State announced on Friday morning that Tae Norwood has been hired as the new head coach of the men’s basketball program.
Norwood, who was chosen from a pool of 120-plus applicants for the job, takes over from longtime coach Steve Kinder, who was reassigned within the athletic department earlier this year.
Norwood has just one year of experience as a head coach, this past season at Keiser University in Florida, where he led the Seahawks to a place in the NAIA tournament.
He was previously named National Assistant Coach of the Year by Coach Stat in 2018, during his six years at Lynn University.
“My plan is to work closely with members of Humboldt County and the HSU community, developing relationships to provide a unique and quality experience for the totality of the student athlete,” Norwood said in a press release announcing the news.
Norwood is expected to retain long-time assistant coach Rich Mendoza, who has been overseeing the day-to-day operations of the program for the past couple of months, including recruiting.
The new head coach will implement an up-tempo style of play, similar to the system he ran at Keiser.
“We will play a fast-paced, exciting brand of basketball,” he said. “My team will play an aggressive style of defense focused on fatiguing our opponents both mentally and physically.
“We will push the tempo with patient aggression while influencing the opponent to make uncomfortable and out-of-control plays.
“Lastly, I plan for our team to develop great habits, compete at the top of CCAA on yearly basis, and strive to play in the NCAA Tournament annually.”
HSU Athletic Director Jane Teixeira says she is looking forward to having Norwood on the staff.
“The search committee did an amazing job finding Tae amongst the 120 plus applicant pool,” Teixeira said. “Tae brings so much to the table as a coach. He is a mentor of young people and a leader. He will truly add to this community in ways that are beyond the hardwood court. We are excited to have him on board.”
Norwood previously served as an assistant coach at Northern Michigan, Grambling State, Florida Gulf Coast, Georgia Southern, Florida Southern, Bloomsburg and Milligan College.
He was a four-year letter-winner at Green Mountain College, earning two all-conference selections and helping the Eagles win three conference championships.
He also is the program’s all-time leader in steals and was inducted into the Green Mountain Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
According to the press release, “Norwood prides himself on ensuring student athletes earn their degree. In the past 10 years, he is proud to say he has been instrumental in achieving over a 95 percent graduation rate, with multiple academic all conference honorees.”
Norward says he plans “to recruit quality student athletes who are conscientious, have character, and are dedicated to their academics. I hope to increase retention and improve the graduation rates of the program, while cultivating our student athletes’ physical, mental, and emotional health.”