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Larry Farmer spent the last three seasons coaching at the University of Hawai'i.
Courtesy: WMU

Men's Basketball Completes Coaching Staff with Former UCLA Head Coach

Courtesy: Matt Holmes, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 07/12/2010
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KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan men's basketball head coach Steve Hawkins has announced the addition of Larry Farmer as an assistant coach.

Farmer is a former head coach at UCLA (1981-84), Weber State (1985-88) and Loyola-Chicago (1998-2004) and spent the last three seasons as an assistant at Hawai'i. Over the last three seasons, Farmer worked with the Rainbow Warriors' post players, assisted with scouting and recruiting, and tracked the team's academic progress.

"After the position re-opened, I found out Coach Farmer was interested. It was a very short list I was working with and after I met with Larry, it became abundantly clear that he was the right guy," Hawkins said. "He brings a ton of experience, especially working with big men. He's worked at all levels from being a head coach at three schools, including UCLA, to coaching in the NBA and internationally. He's been in basketball his whole life and is used to winning going back to playing for Coach Wooden.

"What got me the most excited was his excitement to be here. Larry's enthusiasm to be part of the program was just as important as his experience."

"I've known Steve Hawkins for many, many years and we have a long history and similar foundation going back to Coach Wooden," Farmer said. "When the opportunity came up to join his staff, it seemed like a perfect fit. I've followed Coach Hawkins' success here and I'm real happy to be a part of and add to that success.

"Coach Hawkins is a player's coach and his players play real hard. They are fundamentally sound and play with that grit that a lot of teams in college basketball don't have. For me, joining his staff gives me the opportunity to be in a program that's going to be successful and has been successful. With everybody coming back for the next two seasons, I feel like the foundation is right there and ready to take off."

Farmer won 166 games in 12 seasons as a Division I head coach, while also working as a color commentator on ESPN, Fox Sports and CBS Radio before taking the position in Honolulu.

At UCLA, Farmer guided his alma mater to a three-year record of 61-23, including a pair of 20-win seasons and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. During the 1982-83 season, he coached the Bruins to a 23-6 mark, Pac-10 championship and No. 7 final national ranking.

After several coaching stints, including a six-year term with the Kuwaiti National Team from 1992-97, Farmer was hired as head coach of Loyola-Chicago in 1998. In 2001-02, he led the Ramblers to a 17-13 season, which ended 15 years of losing records for the school. College Insider named him Horizon League Coach of the Year following that campaign. During his time at Loyola, one of his assistants was one of his newest peers in WMU assistant Jeff Dunlap.

Farmer's players earned four all-conference nods and Paul McMillan was the 2003 Horizon League Newcomer of the Year. Farmer also recruited and coached guard David Bailey, the third all-time leading scorer in Loyola's storied history.

Farmer’s other coaching stints include head coach of the Qadsia Sporting Club in Kuwait (1988-90), assistant coach with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors (1990-91) and assistant coach at Rhode Island (1997-98). While at Rhode Island, Farmer helped guide the Rams to the Elite Eight in 1998.

At Weber State, Farmer coached the league leader in rebounding in both 1986-87 and 1987-88, while also coaching the conference's leading shot blocker in 1985-86 and 1986-87. Farmer also brought 1986 Big Sky Newcomer of the Year and 1986 Reserve of the Year Walt Tyler to Ogden, Utah, when WSU went 18-11. Overall, Farmer produced four all-conference honors in his three seasons with the Wildcats.

As a player for the Bruins from 1970-73, Farmer played alongside Bill Walton and was a member of three NCAA championship teams during a stretch in which UCLA captured seven straight under legendary head coach John Wooden. In addition, Farmer has the distinguished honor of being the winningest player in NCAA history, losing only once in 90 career games.

Farmer earned multiple honors as he averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game during his career, including 10.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game as a junior (1971-72) and 12.2 points per game as a senior (1972-73). He was presented the Seymour Armond Memorial Award in 1969-70 as the most valuable freshman player and then earned the Irv Pohlmeyer Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding first-year player in 1970-71. As a first-year starter, Farmer earned the Bruin Bench Award in 1971-72 as the most improved player. He was drafted by Cleveland in the NBA and Denver of the ABA in 1973, but became an assistant at UCLA from 1973-81, including a one-year stint playing in Germany (1975), before taking over as head coach in 1981-82.

Farmer and his wife, Chris, have one son, Larry III (21), who will be a senior men's basketball player at Denison University in Ohio in 2010-11, and one daughter, Kendall (15).