Former Zag player returns to Spokane
6-5 athletic guard joins Zags’ backcourt in 2017-18
Zags’ head coach receives honor in Arizona
Zags play in national championship game in Phoenix
Nigel Williams-Goss scored 23 points, and Gonzaga's big men combined for 27.
Photos from the 2017 NCAA Championship Game-Team Press Conferences.
Photos from NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game between No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 1 North Carolina - Monday 04/03/17
Photos from Gonzaga vs. South Carolina during the 2017 NCAA Final Four on 4/1/17.
San Jose, Calif.
USATSI Gallery - Sweet 16 - No. 1 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 West Virginia
Few has put together one of the most dominating runs in NCAA history, especially in the West Coast Conference. The Zags have won or shared 17 regular season league titles in his 18 seasons (all but the 2011-12 season) and taken home the conference tournament championship 14 times. The Bulldogs won or shared 11 straight West Coast Conference regular-season titles from 2000-11, which was the longest current active streak in the nation at the time and the second-best streak all-time in the NCAA Division I ranks behind UCLA's 13 Pac-10 Conference titles from 1967-79.
Few led Gonzaga to the national championship game in the program's first-ever Final Four in 2017, two Elite Eight appearances (2015 and 2017) and seven Sweet 16 appearances (2000, '00, '06, '09, '15, '16, '17), coached 13 All-Americans, eight Academic All-Americans, 79 all-conference selections, 12 WCC Players of the Year, seven league newcomers of the year and seven league defenders of the year. Few has also cultivated NBA talent, including current NBA players in Domantas Sabonis, Kelly Olynyk, Zach Collins and Nigel Williams-Goss. He also helped recruit and develop Dan Dickau, Richie Frahm, Adam Morrison, Jeremy Pargo, Elias Harris, Austin Daye, Rob Sacre and Ronny Turiaf, all NBA players. Morrison became the highest-drafted player in GU history when he was taken No. 3 overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006.
Entering the 2017-18 Season, Few:
In 2015, Gonzaga took full advantage of its 17th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, making a run to the Elite Eight, before falling to eventual national champion Duke. The Zags won a school-record 35 games last season, including a record 22-game win streak, and WCC regular season and tournament titles. Few was named WCC Coach of the Year in a sweep of league individual awards -- Kevin Pangos, Player of the Year; Gary Bell Jr., Defender of the Year, Kyle Wiltjer Newcomer of the Year. In addition, Pangos and Wiltjer each earned multiple All-America honors, including Third Team accolades from the Associated Press. Following the season, Few also threw out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game on June 6, and coached the USA Team that earned a bronze medal at the Pan-Am Games.
In 2013-14, Few's Bulldogs again reigned supreme in the West Coast Conference, sweeping the WCC regular season and conference tournament titles for the 11th time in his tenure. GU put together a record of 29-7, including a 15-3 league mark on the way to the NCAA Tournament. In the NCAAs, the eighth-seeded Bulldogs took down ninth-seeded Oklahoma State before falling to top-seeded Arizona in the Round of 32. The 2013-14 campaign saw the Bulldogs advance to the WCC Tournament title game for the 17th consecutive year, ahead of Kentucky for the all-time lead as the Wildcats advanced to 14 successive SEC Tournament title games from 1939-52.
Gonzaga finished the 2012-13 season 32-3, hitting the 30-win plateau for the first time in school history, and marking the 11th time in Few's 13 years as head coach the Bulldogs had single-digit losses. The Bulldogs finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press and USA Today Top 25. GU received its inaugural No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament and defeated Southern University in the Second Round, the 11th time in Few's head coaching tenure the Bulldogs have won at least one game in the tourney. The Bulldogs also won the Old Spice Classic for the second time.
All of that came on the heels of a 2012 season that saw the Bulldogs go 26-7 overall, advance to the WCC Tournament title game and earn a 14th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, beating West Virginia in the Second Round. Along the way, the Zags played at the University of Illinois and Xavier University; hosted the University of Notre Dame, Michigan State and Butler, and faced the University of Arizona in the Battle in Seattle.
While it's never easy, the 2011 road to the NCAA Tournament was a little bumpier than normal for the Bulldogs. A 4-5 record early in the non-conference season had people buzzing about Gonzaga's WCC and post-season fortunes. And a 3-3 start in WCC play had naysayers predicting Gonzaga's dominance was about to end. But Few and success go hand-in-hand and he rallied the Bulldogs to eight straight WCC wins down the stretch to claim the regular-season title, then won the WCC Tournament with victories over San Francisco and Saint Mary's to punch their March Madness ticket for a 13th straight season. Of those five early-season non-conference losses, three were to nationally-ranked teams, but a win over ninth-ranked Baylor help propel the Bulldogs to nine straight wins, including three straight victories to open WCC play. Few and the 11th-seeded Bulldogs downed No. 6 seed St. John's in the NCAA Second Round (the NCAA went to a new format with First Round play-in games) and finished the season 25-10.
The 2010 season saw the Bulldogs make their mark early by winning the EA Sports Maui Invitational. The 27-7 season was capped with a No. 22 Associated press ranking and No. 23 ESPN/USA Today finish in the final polls.
Few guided the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2009, the fourth time in his head coaching tenure the Bulldogs advanced to the Sweet 16. He was an assistant on the 1999 squad that made it to the Elite Eight. Along the way, the Bulldogs ran the table in the West Coast Conference with their third 14-0 campaign since 2004. The Bulldogs finished the 2009 season with a 28-6 overall record and ranked 10th in the final Associated Press Top 25 in 2009.
While Few has achieved nationwide acclaim on the court, he and his wife, Marcy, are also active in the Spokane community. Through the effort of the Fews; Chanelle Lloyd, wife of assistant coach Tommy Lloyd, and a strong local committee, Coaches vs. Cancer has raised more than $6.7 million since its inception in 2002. Mark and Marcy were honored for their philanthropy in June, 2008, as recipients of the Nell and John Wooden Coaching Achievement Award by the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame based in Boise, Idaho. The award, begun in 2003, is presented to a coach, along with his or her spouse, who has made exceptional contributions to their community as well as their players and their futures.
"To be honored for what you do away from the court, and to be honored with an award named after a truly outstanding couple like John and Nell Wooden is humbling," Few said. "When you look at the list of people who have won this award in its short existence, and when you look at the members of the World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame, it's like reading a Who's Who in sports. It is an honor to be associated with these legends."
But what Few has accomplished on the court is equally as humbling, evolving Bulldogs basketball into an annual participant in the NCAA Tournament and into one of the elite programs on the West Coast as well as nationally. Since 1992 -- his first year as a fulltime assistant coach with the Bulldogs -- Gonzaga has posted a 673-187 record for a .783 winning percentage.
But success has been his trademark since taking over the head reigns for the 2000 season. With Few at the helm, the 2006 season was one of the best in the 100-plus year history of Bulldog basketball, the squad rolling to a 29-4 record, including a second 14-0 WCC campaign in three seasons. With national Player of the Year candidate Adam Morrison leading the nation in scoring, Few and the Bulldogs finished fifth in the final Associated Press Top 25 in `06, claimed a No. 3 seed into the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time under Few. All of that came following the 2005 season in which Few guided the Bulldogs to 10th in the final AP Top 25.
He is one of only two coaches to lead a team into the Sweet 16 in their first two years as a head coach since the bracket was expanded to 64 teams in 1985. While Few continued Gonzaga's string of postseason success, there are some individual player honors he looks to with pride.
Morrison, recognized as much for his diabetes as for his ability to score, became the first Bulldog since Frank Burgess in 1961 to lead the nation in scoring at 28.1 ppg. Morrison was a household name across the country and he was up for every major Player of the Year award in the country.
Morrison shared the Oscar Robertson Trophy with Duke University's J.J. Redick, was named the CBS Chevrolet Player of the Year and was a close runner-up to Redick in the Associated Press, Naismith Award and John R. Wooden Award balloting for Player of the Year. He was a unanimous All-America selection on the AP first team. Morrison was taken as the third pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, making Morrison the highest Gonzaga player ever drafted and validating the job Few and his staff did in developing Morrison's skills.
Ronny Turiaf is another player that Few looks to with pride as Turiaf earned his second straight AP honorable mention accolade in 2005 and joined with then-sophomore Morrison to give the Bulldogs two players with AP All-America recognition in the same season for the second straight season. Blake Stepp was a second-team AP All-American in 2004 in addition to being a John R. Wooden Award Top 10 All-America pick.
Kelly Olynyk received Morrison-like stature in 2013 as he transformed his game and his body in a redshirt season of 2012 to become one of the dominant big men in 2013. Olynyk's achievements read like an honor roll ... West Coast Conference Player of the Year, All-West Coast Conference First Team, West Coast Conference All-Tournament Team, John R. Wooden Award Top Five All-America, Associated Press First-Team All-America, National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First-Team All-America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) First-Team All-America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) District IX Player of the Year, Sporting News First-Team All-America, Oscar Robertson Player of the Year Finalist, Naismith Award Top 30, Capital One/College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America First Team, Capital One/College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District 8 First Team.
Few, who in such a relatively young career as a head coach is mentioned in the same breath with some of the more veteran coaches patrolling the sidelines, has also accomplished plenty of "firsts" since taking over the reins for the 1999-2000 season. Dan Dickau became Gonzaga's inaugural selection to the Associated Press All-America first team in 2002, and also was tabbed Gonzaga's first John R. Wooden Award Top Five All-American.
The Bulldogs also cracked the Top 10 in the national polls for the first time in school history in 2002, finishing the season ranked sixth in the Associated Press Top 25. Gonzaga's 29-4 record also set a single-season mark for victories, which was matched in 2006, then broke in 2013 when the Zags went 32-3, eventually shattered in 2017 during GU's 37-2 run to the national championships.
A 10-year Gonzaga assistant head coach, Few was named head coach on July 26, 1999, following Monson's departure for the University of Minnesota. Few originally joined the Bulldogs for the 1989-90 season as a graduate assistant under former head coach Dan Fitzgerald, then was promoted to a fulltime assistant for the 1991-92 season. He was named associate head coach in April of 1999 following a season in which the Bulldogs became the basketball darlings of the nation with their March run that came within a few ticks of the clock of advancing to the Final Four. A loss to eventual national champion University of Connecticut in the West Regional Finals in Phoenix, Ariz., ended the Cinderella story that captured basketball fans from coast to coast.
Former Gonzaga University President Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., and director of athletics Mike Roth didn't hesitate in rewarding Few for his long loyalty to Gonzaga.
"Mark is an integral part of Gonzaga's success the last decade," Roth said at the time. "I think that speaks well for the program when you can say your last two head coaches were promoted from within. It displays the loyalty they have had as assistants. We didn't give Mark the job, he earned it. He's continued to raise the bar every season as head coach."
Few's contract assures his presence on the Bulldog bench through 2022, his long-term agreement reflecting the university's commitment to Few and his commitment to Gonzaga. This will allow him to continue to build on success he has enjoyed at Gonzaga.
"When a young man enters the Bulldog basketball program, I believe it is our responsibility as coaches to help them reach their potential in every facet of their lives," Few said. "Our commitment to the players will always go far beyond the basketball court with a goal of producing the complete individual, one that Gonzaga University will be proud of long after their playing days."
Few and Marcy, married in 1994, became parents with the arrival of Austin James (A.J.) (2000); followed by the arrival of Joseph Dillon (2002), Julia Ann Elizabeth (2006) and Colt Walker Norman (2009). The Few's wedding was more special because Rev. Norm Few, father of the groom, officiated.
06/22/2017 - Williams-Goss Drafted 55th by Utah
06/22/2017 - Collins Drafted 10th by Sacramento; Traded to Portland
06/20/2017 - Numerica Kraziness in the Kennel and Numerica FanFest Dates Set
06/13/2017 - Williams-Goss Named WCC Mike Gilleran Scholar-Athlete of the Year
06/07/2017 - Gentry Joins Men’s Basketball Staff as Director of Operations
05/31/2017 - Brackets Revealed for PK80
05/24/2017 - Williams Returning for Senior Season
Athletics06/02/2017Women's Basketball03/13/2017Men's Basketball02/25/2017Women's Basketball02/23/2017