April 15, 2003
Ernie Zeigler (Zeeg-ler), who spent the last two seasons on the staff of new UCLA head basketball coach Ben Howland at Pittsburgh, has been hired as a Bruin assistant coach, Howland announced today. At Pittsburgh, Zeigler's responsibilities included scouting opponents, recruiting, overseeing academics and player development along with directing the Ben Howland Basketball Camps.
"I am excited and feel extremely fortunate that Ernie is joining us at UCLA," Howland said. "He is of the highest caliber in all facets of coaching - academics, recruiting, on-the-court instruction and developing strong relationships with our players. He knows what it takes to run a successful basketball program and is of the highest integrity who will represent UCLA in a first-class manner."
During Zeigler's two seasons at Pittsburgh, the Panthers compiled a record of 57-11. This past season, they were 28-5, earned a No. 4 ranking on the final Associated Press poll and played in the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. In 2001-02, Pittsburgh won a school-record 29 games and reached the NCAA Sweet 16.
Zeigler, 37, joined Howland's staff in the summer of 2001 after serving two one-year stints at Bowling Green State University (2000-01) and Kansas State University (1999-2000).
The new Bruin assistant also has significant overseas head coaching experience. From 1997-99, Zeigler served as the head coach for the Al-Hilal Sports Club in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He guided Al-Hilal to the Saudi Arabian Basketball Federation Playoff championship game in 1999 along with the Arab Championship Games Final Four and Saudi Arabian Basketball Federation Playoffs in 1998.
In addition, he was the head coach of the Henan Wildcats (China) from 1996-97 and was named the Chinese National Basketball Alliance International Coach of the Year in 1997 after leading the Wildcats to their first playoff berth and first winning season in club history.
From 1992-97, Zeigler served as head coach of Team Detroit AAU. He led Team Detroit to the state AAU Final Four Tournament in each of his six years at the helm. In 1994, Zeigler's team qualified for the National AAU Quarterfinals and in both 1995 and 1997, he directed the squad to the adidas Big Time Tournament quarterfinals.
Born January 31, 1966 in Detroit, MI, Zeigler began his coaching career under the tutelage of his former prep coach Robert Menefee at his alma mater, Detroit Cody High School. From 1990-96, Cody was ranked among Michigan's top-10 Class A teams during four of his six years as an assistant coach. Detroit Cody reached the state quarterfinals in 1992 and won the Detroit Public School League West Division Championship in 1993.
Zeigler is a 1994 graduate of Cleary College (Ypsilanti, MI.) with a bachelor's degree in business management. Zeigler and his wife, Seantelle, have two children, Trey (11) and Skylar (6).