Open Announce

Tarvish Felton Named Men’s Basketball Assistant Coach

by Steve Kirkland

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The New Mexico men’s basketball program announced Monday that Tarvish Felton is joining the program as an assistant coach. Felton comes to UNM after spending the last four seasons at Fresno State, the last two as associate head coach.

Felton brings over 20 years of coaching experience to New Mexico, including a decade in the Mountain West. Prior to his recent tenure at Fresno State, he spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah State as the Aggies transitioned from the WAC to the Mountain West. He also spent time on the staffs of Southern Utah, Sacramento State, Cal State Los Angeles, along with four years as the first ever head coach at Texas A&M-International.

“The biggest thing you are going to see from Tarvish on a daily basis is his infectious enthusiasm on and off the court,” said Head Coach Richard Pitino. “Staff chemistry is very important to me. All of the things we ask of our players, we ask the same things of our staff, and I think he is going to work hand-in-hand very well with everyone in our program. Tarvish has terrific Mountain West experience. I have a lot of respect for what Justin (Hutson) does at Fresno as well as what Stew Morrill did at Utah State. He has learned under some really good coaches, has a great basketball mind, is a very good recruiter and our program has gotten a lot better with his addition.”

Over the last four seasons, Felton helped Fresno State post a pair of 20-win seasons and win The Basketball Classic last year. Among the players he helped develop during that time was Orlando Robinson, a two-time All-Mountain West selection who signed with the Miami Heat. In 2021-22, Robinson became just the second player in NCAA history to record 700 points, 300 rebounds and 100 assists in a season.

“I really believe that New Mexico basketball has always been one of the best brands in the country,” said Felton. “The tradition, history and community support make it a very attractive place to be. I look forward to being a part of that and expanding that tradition moving forward. I think Coach Pitino and his staff have done a great job of building a foundation and have the program going in the right direction. Whatever I can do to come in and help facilitate that even more, I am willing to do.”

In a decade as an assistant coach at Utah State from 2008-18, working on the staffs of Stew Morrill and Tim Duryea, Felton helped the Aggies post five 20-win seasons, including two 30-win seasons. Utah State won the WAC in 2009 and 2011 and made three straight NCAA appearances from 2009-11. Felton coached 20 all-conference selections, including two Players of the Year (Gary Wilkinson in 2009 and Tai Wesley in 2011) and 2017 Mountain West Freshman of the Year Koby McEwen while in Logan.

Felton began his coaching career as an assistant at Southern Utah during the 1999-2000 season, before spending two years at Cal State Los Angeles. He then spent the 2002-03 academic year starting the Texas A&M-International program and served as its head coach for the school’s first three seasons. He had another one-year stint as an assistant at Southern Utah before moving on to Sacramento State for the 2007-08 season. In those first nine seasons of his career, he coached 11 players who earned all-conference honors before moving on to USU.

A 1999 graduate of Southern Utah with a bachelor’s degree in physical education, Felton was a two-time IHC Health Plans state player of the year as a junior and senior. At the conclusion of the 1999 season, he received all-Mid-Continent Conference honors and was named Southern Utah’s Male Athlete of the Year, Men’s Basketball Academic Athlete of the Year and team MVP. All-time, Felton ranks sixth in Southern Utah history in blocked shots (68), fifth in steals (139) and ninth in rebounding (505), leading SUU in rebounding in 1998 with 7.6 rebounds per game.