BOULDER ‑ University of Colorado head coach Jeff Bzdelik announced Wednesday that former CU men's basketball assistant coach Tom Abatemarco will join his coaching staff for the 2010-11 season in a similar role. Abatemarco returns to the CU campus in the same position he held 17 years ago from 1990-93, under then-head coach Joe Harrington.
"Having successfully worked under legendary coaches as Lou Carnesecca, Lefty Driesell, and Jim Valvano, I am proud to welcome Tom Abatemarco to our staff," Bzdelik said. "As an assistant coach, Tom will add a wealth of experience, success, and positive energy to our program."
Abatemarco returns to Boulder after serving a brief stint with the Sacramento Kings as a player personnel and scouting coach, in addition to spending the last seven years working as a broadcaster with the Kings. He recently served as an assistant coach for the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Development League (NBDL) during its inaugural 2008-09 season, helping the team to a 25-25 record.
Abatemarco brings a wealth of coaching expertise from the professional and collegiate ranks. He enjoyed much success in the WNBA where he served as an assistant coach with the now-defunct Sacramento Monarchs from 2003-09. During his six years with the Monarchs, he guided the team to the 2003 WNBA Western Conference Finals, a feat they would reach again in 2004 before winning a championship in 2005. The Monarchs would again reach the WNBA Finals in 2006, falling in the championship series.
Before making the transition to the WNBA, Abatemarco spent the previous 30 years on various college campuses as an assistant or head coach.
His college coaching experience includes stints at the University of Utah (2004-05) and Rutgers University (1994-97) after he spent three seasons at CU under Harrington from 1991-94. In his first year with the Buffaloes, he helped guide CU to a 19-14 record and a NIT third place finish during the 1990-91 season led by former school greats Shaun Vandiver and Stevie Wise. The 19 victories still rank as one of the top eight seasons in CU history.
In addition to his head coaching position at Sacramento State (1997-2000), Abatemarco served two terms as an NCAA Division I head coach at Lamar University (1986-88) and Drake University (1988-90).
From 1982-86, Abatemarco served as assistant at North Carolina State when the Wolfpack won the 1983 NCAA Championship under the late-Jim Valvano.
Additional coaching experience include stints at Virginia Tech (1981-82); at Maryland under Lefty Driesell (1979-81); under Lou Carnesecca at St. John's (1978-79); Davidson (1977-78); Iona (1975-77); and the New York Institute of Technology (1974-75).
As an assistant coach, Abatemarco enjoyed seven NCAA Tournament appearances, five Elite Eight appearances (two with Maryland and N.C. State, one with St. John's), and a pair of NIT appearances (Colorado, Virginia Tech).