After two highly successful stints at the helm of the Eastern Oregon program, Isaac Williams moves to the Central Coast to become the seventh head coach in the history of the Cal State Monterey Bay men's basketball program. Williams takes the reins from Rob Bishop, who went 86–157 over the last nine seasons.
Williams posted a 120–41 record in five seasons leading the Mountaineer program. He averaged 24 wins per season and won at least 19 games in all five campaigns. He leaves Eastern Oregon as the winningest coach in program history in terms of percentage (.745) and the second leading coach in terms of wins.
"There was strong interest in our position and Isaac emerged from a talented and experienced pool of candidates across all levels of basketball," says CSUMB Director of Athletics Kirby Garry. "We were looking to bring a different approach to building our basketball program, and we have found that with Isaac Williams."
""I am completely humbled to have been named the head men's basketball coach at CSUMB," says Williams. "While many obvious attractions surround the Monterey area, my family and I were drawn to this job because of the people. From Dr. Higgs and Kirby Garry, to the coaches and the support staff, the Cal State Monterey Bay community is amazing. I am very much looking forward to integrating my family with the Otter family at CSUMB."
Williams led the Mountaineers to a 24–9 record and the second round of the NAIA National Championship this past season after returning to La Grande following a 3–year stint as the director of basketball operations at Boise State. He helped the Broncos to three 20–win seasons and a trip to the NCAA Tournament during his brief stay in Boise.
Eastern Oregon qualified for the NAIA National Championship Tournament in all five of Williams' seasons at the helm. During the 2012–13 campaign, Williams led the Mountaineers to the first No. 1 ranking in program history. They held the top spot for five consecutive weeks en route to an EOU record 28–5 mark. EOU also netted a regular-season conference title and saw Williams earn CCC Coach of the Year honors.
"Isaac is a proven leader, winner, recruiter, and player developer. He will provide great leadership for our student-athletes and we are excited about the future of our program," says Garry. "The more we learned about him and got to know him, the more convinced we became that he was great match for Cal State Monterey Bay."
Williams began his collegiate coaching career by playing a critical role in resurrecting the Mountaineer men's basketball program. Serving under Ryan Looney (currently the head coach at Point Loma University), they needed just two seasons to turn the program into a perennial contender.
The Mountaineers posted just one winning season and a .371 win percentage in the 10 season prior to Looney and Williams taking the helm. EOU notched 95 wins over the next five seasons, tying the school record with 26 wins in 2008. The Mountaineers would go on to tie that mark again in 2011 and break it in 2014 with Williams at the controls.
From 2007-09, EOU won back-to-back conference titles. During Williams' time on staff, the Mountaineers reaped 15 all-conference players, five All–Americans, and 10 NAIA National Scholar–Athlete honorees.
During his time as an EOU student–athlete, Williams earned defensive player of the year plaudits in 1998. While finishing his degree in physical education and health, Williams coached freshman and junior varsity boys basketball at La Grande High School.
After graduating in 2000, Williams became the head girls basketball coach and a physical education and health teacher at La Grande. In four seasons, he led the Lady Tigers to three appearances in the OSAA 3A State Tournament. In 2002, Williams directed the team to a second place finish en route to being named The Oregonian's 3A State Coach of the Year.