Florida Gators announce San Francisco coach Todd Golden as UF's new basketball coach
It's official. Florida announced it has hired San Francisco head coach Todd Golden as the next UF men’s basketball head coach.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel was first to report that the Gators were zeroing in on Golden.
UF’s accelerated interest in the 36-year-old Golden came on the heels of San Francisco’s 92-87 defeat Thursday night at the hands of Murray State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Under Golden’s watch, San Francisco (24-11) earned the school's first NCAA Tournament bid since 1998 and first at-large bid since 1982.
“I’m energized by the opportunity to lead an elite program at Florida, and I’m ready to get started,” Golden said. “Florida has a championship-level athletic department, university and men’s basketball program, and I embrace the standard of excellence at Florida and the passion of Gator Nation. We couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds in Gainesville."
5 things to know:Florida hiring basketball coach Todd Golden
Golden led the Dons to a 57-36 record over three seasons as head coach, including 20-win seasons in both 2019-20 and 2021-22. His background includes time coaching within the Southeastern Conference and the Ivy League before his time in the West Coast Conference.
Golden said he wanted to thank "the University of San Francisco, Joan McDermott and Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald for the incredible support they’ve given me over the past six years at USF and the opportunity to lead a special group of young men.”
Florida was in the market for a men's basketball head coach after Mike White announced Sunday he was leaving to take the job at SEC rival Georgia. Al Pinkins is leading the Gators in the NIT as interim coach.
“We’re incredibly excited about bringing in Todd, who is an innovative, relationship-oriented coach, to lead our men’s basketball program,” athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “Todd brings a smart and analytics-driven approach to the game and a relational approach to leadership that puts student-athletes first. He has a wide range of experience, particularly for a coach his age, and brings an outstanding track record and high level of integrity to the job.”
Golden was hired as head coach at San Francisco in March 2019. Prior to being named the Dons' head coach, Golden spent three seasons as the associate head coach under head coach Kyle Smith. During that time, he served as the Dons' recruiting and defensive coordinator.
Over the past three seasons, the WCC has been on average KenPom’s strongest-rated conference outside of the traditional power-six leagues and the American Athletic Conference.
Before joining Smith's staff in 2016, Golden spent two seasons at Auburn under Bruce Pearl. He spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach on Smith's staff at Columbia.
He played college basketball at St. Mary's College in California and helped the Gaels to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances. As a senior point guard, he ranked second in the nation with a 3.68 assists-to-turnovers ratio and led the West Coast Conference with a .574 3-point field goal percentage. Golden finished his career as the Gaels' all-time leader in free-throw percentage (.852) and eighth with 269 career assists.
After earning his degree in business administration, Golden played two years of professional basketball for Maccabi Haifa in Israel's top division. In 2009, he was co-captain of the USA Open Team, coached by Pearl, that won gold at the Maccabiah Games.
Golden is married to Megan York, who was a four-year volleyball standout at St. Mary's and the WCC's Co-Freshman of the Year in 2007.