Michael Holton, a four-year UCLA letterman (1980-83) who helped lead the Bruins to the 1980 NCAA title game as a true freshman, enters his fifth season as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater. The Bruins have been very successful both on and off the basketball court during Holton's four-year tenure on the UCLA staff. On the court, UCLA has been to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, including a 1997 NCAA "Elite Eight" appearance, along with 2000 and 1998 NCAA "Sweet 16" berths. Also in 1997, the Bruins won their third consecutive Pacific-10 Championship. During Holton's four years as a Bruin assistant, UCLA has recorded four consecutive 20+game winning seasons, averaging nearly 23 victories a year.
Off the court, as UCLA's recruiting coordinator, Holton has helped the Bruins land the nation's No. 1 (1998) and No. 2 (1997) recruiting classes.
Holton, 39, brings to UCLA coaching experience from the Div. I and junior college ranks, as well as six years playing experience in the NBA.
Before coming to UCLA, Holton was an assistant coach at Oregon State, where he was instrumental in helping the Beavers land one of the nation's top recruiting classes in 1996. Before his stint at Corvallis, Holton coached one season (1994-95) at the University of Portland and one year (1993-94) at Pasadena City College, under head coach George Terzian, who was Holton's high school coach at Pasadena High School (1977-79). While at Portland in 1994-95 with head coach Rob Chavez, Holton helped direct the Pilots to a 21-8 record. At the time, it was the Pilots' most successful campaign in 37 years. Holton's other coaching experience includes -- three of the last four years he has been invited by the National Basketball Association to coach in the NBA Pre-draft Camp in Chicago; assisted Herb Brown, Larry Brown's older brother who was an assistant under Larry with the Indiana Pacers, during the summer of 1997 in Monticello, NY at training camp that prepared the U. S. squad for the Maccabiah Games in Israel (the team won a bronze medal); the 1991 Basketball Congress International Tournament in Houston, TX and as an instructor/coach from 1983-87 at the Northwest Basketball Camps. He's also co-founder of the King "D" Basketball Camp in southern California where he and former Los Angeles Laker star and current Los Angeles Sparks head coach Michael Cooper instruct pre-college players.
At UCLA, as a true freshman in 1980 under first-year head coach Larry Brown, Holton was a 6-4, 190-pound starting guard on a young Bruin club that finished the regular season with a 17-9 overall record and a 12-6 Pac-10 mark. But UCLA got hot at the end of the year, winning its final two Pac-10 games and five straight NCAA Tournament contests to earn a spot in the NCAA Final vs. Louisville. In the National Championship game against Bruin alum Denny Crum's Louisville Cardinals, UCLA was narrowly defeated, 59-54.
In his UCLA career, Holton was captain his senior season (1983) under coach Larry Farmer; twice (1981-82) was awarded the J. D. Morgan Memorial Award for the outstanding team player; garnered the Bob "Ace" Calkins Memorial Trophy (1983) as team free throw champion (85.3) and the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Trophy (1980) for outstanding first year player. He also earned Scholastic All-American honors.
Holton's best statistical season was in 1983 as a senior, when he averaged 8.3 points, 2.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists, while shooting 54.7 from the field and 85.3 from the line. Following his Bruin career, Holton was a third-round draft pick of the Golden State Warriors. In all, he spent six years in the NBA with Phoenix (1984-85), Chicago (1985-86), where he was a teammate with Michael Jordan, Portland (1986-88) and Charlotte (1988-90). During his NBA career, he appeared in 325 games, averaging 6.2 points, 3.0 assists and 1.4 rebounds, while shooting 44.1 from the field and 80.7 from the foul line.
During his professional career, Holton also played in the Continental Basketball Association for four seasons -- Puerto Rico Coquis (1983-84), coached by Herb Brown; Tampa Bay Thrillers (1985-86); Tulsa Fastbreakers (1990-91), coached by former Bruin great and current USC head coach Henry Bibby and Tri-City Chinook (1991-92). Holton was recruited to UCLA following a standout prep career at Pasadena High School under Terzian. In 1979 as a senior, he earned Scholastic Coach Magazine first-team All-American, CIF 4-A co-Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the Pacific League. He averaged 27.0 points a game. As a junior, Holton helped lead Pasadena to its second consecutive CIF Southern Section championship.
Born on Aug. 4, 1961 in Seattle, Holton and his wife, the former LaShell Hunter, who have been married for 15 years, have three children: Chanelle (13), Mike, Jr. (nine) and Anthony (eight).
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