Sac State men’s basketball coach Brian Katz retires days prior to season opener

Associate head coach Brandon Laird will serve as interim


Jordan Latimore

Former Sac State head basketball coach Brian Katz during practice Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 at the Nest. Katz stepped down as head coach four days before Tuesday’s season opener due to health concerns.

Jordan Latimore

After 13 seasons Sac State’s men’s basketball coach Brian Katz announced his retirement Friday morning, citing health reasons.

“Due to an ongoing health issue, my family has convinced me to retire,” Katz said in a statement. “After coaching for 45 years, this already feels very strange. I’ve woken up every day at 4 a.m. fully invested in my players and my staff until I laid my head on the pillow at night.”

Katz, who was entering the final year of his contract, stepped down just a day after the teams first exhibition of the season against Simpson University and four days prior to the season opener against William Jessup on Tuesday.

“It’s shocking to everyone,” Sac State athletic director Mark Orr said. “The health implications due to this, no one really sort of knew.”

Players were informed of Katz’s decision to retire in a 7 a.m meeting Friday morning that was met with emotion and shock.

“It truly sucks to see him go out like this,” senior forward Bryce Fowler said. “At 7 a.m today, I wasn’t expecting to get that news. I think all of us are kind of still in shock, still trying to let it settle in.”

Despite the somewhat untimeliness of Katz’s decision to step away from the program, Orr says that he along with the athletics department supports his decision.

“I 100% support him,” Orr said. “There are certain things in life that are more important than the job and your health is up there.”

Orr has named associate head coach Brian Laird as the interim head coach for the 2021-2022 season.