Lumberjacks name new men’s basketball coach

Cal Poly Humboldt Athletics

Cal Poly Humboldt announced on Friday evening that Chris Tifft has been named the new men’s basketball head coach.

Tifft takes over from Tae Norwood who was let go in early May.

According to a press release announcing the news, Tifft has nearly three decades of experience coaching at the collegiate ranks, most recently serving as the assistant coach at California State University Northridge.

“Chris Tifft is an outstanding fit for our university, athletic department, and community,” said Athletics Director Dr. Nick Pettit, who was hired just last month. “His coaching and teaching experience, commitment to academic excellence and desire to create a championship culture and experience for our student-athletes made him the clear choice for Cal Poly Humboldt.”

Tifft’s experience includes time as an assistant coach in the Big West Conference, Western Athletic Conference, Big 12 Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference and Mid-American Conference, while he has also served as a head coach for eight seasons at the community college level. 

“I am excited and honored to be the new head coach of Cal Poly Humboldt men’s basketball,” he said. “I want to thank President Jackson and Dr. Nick Pettit for the opportunity to lead this storied and proud program. I truly believe there has never been a more exciting time to be part of the Cal Poly Humboldt campus and community.”

Tifft has coached 16 seasons at the Division-I level as an assistant with stops that included the University of Nevada (1996-2001), Texas Christian University (2012-2016), Saint Louis University (2016-2019), and Central Michigan University (2019-2021) prior to CSU Northridge (2021-2023).

His head coaching experience includes time at at Lamar Community College (2004-2009) and New Mexico Junior College (2009-2012) where he has a combined record of 158-94 .

In the press release, Tifft expressed his vision for the new direction of Lumberjack basketball, stating, “Our program will be built on three key principles; competitive greatness, academic achievement and community service. 

“We will work extremely hard to build a basketball program that focuses on a positive student-athlete experience and one that the university and community can rally behind. 

“Our goal is to compete for CCAA championships and participate in the NCAA Tournament.”

Tifft is originally from Macomb, Ill., and he earned a bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Nevada in 1996 and a master’s degree in secondary education from the University of Nevada in 1999. 

1 reply »

  1. Cool, hopefully he considers some assistants from Kinder’s staff…

    …still remember being on the I-5/14 interchange around 4:35 ish am, 2 days after MLK day…it was apocalypse 😳… big rig, Rv and other vehicle too…

    CSU Northridge had a collapsed parking structure just built, other major collapses…the campus was decimated…drove right by it…

    1989-1994, what a California Earthquake Period.

    HSU Cal Poly has held-up rather well so far given earthquake country… let’s hope it stays that way…

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