The Nest!

The Hornets Nest is one of the oldest facilities among all NCAA Division I member universities. With a seating capacity of approximately 1,200, the intimate setting results in a great opportunity for the fans to be close to the action from every seat in the gym. It also provides the Hornets one of the best home-court advantages in the NCAA. In 2002, the Hornet men's basketball team sold out every game in Big Sky Conference play.

Brian Katz

Head Coach

The 2013-14 season will mark the sixth year in the tenure of Sacramento State head mens basketball coach Brian Katz. He became the 13th mens basketball coach in school history when he was named to the position by Director of Athletics Terry Wanless on April 10, 2008.

A graduate of Sacramento State and a native of Sacramento, Katzs extensive basketball résumé includes a 37-year career as a basketball coach at the NCAA Div. I, junior college and high school levels. He recently received a contract extension that will keep him at Sacramento State through the 2017-18 season.

Katz took over the Sacramento State program almost from scratch, beginning a major rebuilding project that saw the 2008-09 squad open the year with 12 new players and only four returners. That included just one player that had started more than 17 games from the previous season.

The Hornets have gotten better every year under Katz as evidence by the team improving its conference win total each season during his tenure. In fact, last years team went 14-15 overall and 8-12 in the Big Sky Conference while the 14 victories were the most in seven years, and the second most during the programs Div. I era (1991-pres.). The teams eight conference wins tied for the most since joining the Big Sky in 1996-97.

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Brandon Laird

Associate Head Coach

Brandon Laird, who has 12 years of coaching experience under his belt, begins his second season as Sacramento States associate head coach in 2013-14, and third as a member of the coaching staff (assistant coach in 2011-12).

Laird is the programs recruiting coordinator while also assisting with on-floor coaching, day-to-day player administration, scouting, academics, player development, compliance and offseason workouts.

The Hornets have improved their conference record every year during Lairds tenure, and the 2012-13 squad posted 14 victories, the most for the program in seven years. The teams eight conference wins also tied for the most since the program joined the Big Sky Conference in 1996-97.

In addition, Sacramento State went 10-4 at home last year which tied the high water mark for home victories during the programs Div. I era (1991-pres.). The Hornets allowed opponents just 65.7 points per game, the best mark in over 40 years. In addition, Sacramento State, which never lost more than two games in a row at any point during the season, turned the ball over just 11.2 times per game, the 28th best mark in the nation and best mark in school history.

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Ajay Riding

Assistant Coach

Former Fresno State and San Joaquin Delta College player Ajay Riding will begin his fifth season as assistant mens basketball coach at Sacramento State in 2013-14. His duties with the Hornets include assisting with recruiting, serving as the teams academic coordinator, team travel, working with the post players, player development and scouting.

During Ridings four years on the staff, Sacramento State has increased its conference win total each season. The 2012-13 squad posted 14 victories, the most for the program in seven years. The teams eight conference wins also tied for the most since the program joined the Big Sky Conference in 1996-97.

In addition, Sacramento State went 10-4 at home last year which tied the high water mark for home victories during the programs Div. I era (1991-pres.). The Hornets allowed opponents just 65.7 points per game, the best mark in over 40 years. In addition, Sacramento State, which never lost more than two games in a row at any point during the season, turned the ball over just 11.2 times per game, the 28th best mark in the nation and best mark in school history.

In 2011-12, the Hornets went 5-3 during the second half of Big Sky play, set the Div. I-era record for highest field goal percentage (.451), and swept a Big Sky road trip for the first time since 2006.

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Chris Walker

Assistant Coach

Chris Walker, who played two years for head coach Brian Katz at San Joaquin Delta College followed by two seasons at Oklahoma, will begin his first season as an assistant coach in 2013-14 after spending the previous two years as the teams director of operations.

The Sacramento native spent the 2010-11 season as an assistant coach at Rocklins Sierra College, and also served a year as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma in 2007-08.

During his two-year playing tenure at Oklahoma (2005-07), Walker appeared in 43 games, including 10 starts. He was named the teams defensive player of the year as a senior, and helped the Sooners to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2005-06.

Prior to Oklahoma, Walker played two years for Delta College (2003-05). As a sophomore in 2004-05, he was named the Northern California Junior College Player of the Year, first team all-state and first team all-conference after leading the squad to a 30-2 record, a 24-game winning streak and a semifinal appearance at the California Community College Championships. Walker was also named first team all-league during his freshman season.

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Nate Smith

Director of Operations

Nate Smith, who served as the mens basketball team manager for two years (2011-13), will make the jump to director of operations for the 2013-14 season.

Smith, who was born in Sacramento, became the Hornets team manager the day he stepped foot on campus in the fall of 2011. He worked Sacramento States summer camps in 2012, and is on pace to graduate from the University in the fall of 2013 with a degree in kinesiology.

Smith played four years of high school basketball at Sylvania Southview High School in Ohio, where he was a three-year member of the varsity squad.