New UC Santa Cruz men’s basketball coach Ron Dubois is testament to basketball’s overseas popularity. In 12 years of coaching experience, Dubois traveled the world and back, building a powerful resumé.

Now he will begin his next adventure at UC Santa Cruz, starting this fall with his first Division III head coaching gig.

Dubois’ career has seen stops in Mexico, Memphis, Antigua and Barbuda and France. He has eaten catered food on private jets with NBA superstars as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, and has shared long, cramped public bus rides with chicken farmers between games in Mexico. Dubois said his travels taught him not to take the comforts of basketball for granted.

“When I was coaching the Antigua and Barbuda national team [in 2009], the team still played on blacktop courts,” Dubois said. “That job gave me a soft spot for their country and team, and was a great learning experience.”

Dubois attributes the global beginning of his career to his love of basketball.

“I was so hungry for the game that it drove me to continue learning at the highest level I could achieve,” Dubois said.

In early August, coach Gordon Johnson quietly left UCSC after 12 years to be closer to his family. Dubois was immediately considered. After a series of interviews with different candidates, Dubois was chosen. UCSC athletic director Linda Spradley cited his years of coaching higher division basketball as the deciding factor.

“We had guys walk in with 20 years of experience in other levels, but they couldn’t match what Dubois brought to the table,” Spradley said.

Dubois plans to continue building the winning culture started by Coach Johnson in the past few seasons. The current UCSC team features nine returning players from last year’s 12–10 campaign, their most successful season since 2008. Dubois’ long-term goal is to move to regional playoff contention. He said he was excited to get to know his new team.

“Coach Johnson really set me up with a great team,” Dubois said. “I expect the winning will take care of itself.”

Spradley is excited for the talent and passion she said Dubois brings.

“He’s extremely organized and a very good recruiter,” Spradley said. “It’s going to benefit everyone around him. That’s the kind of coach he is.”

Dubois and his wife Rebecca are both natives of Lodi, Calif., located roughly 125 miles northeast of Santa Cruz. Coach Dubois’ personal connection to Santa Cruz stems from attending sleepaway summer camp when he was younger and having extended family in the city.

When choosing Santa Cruz, the family carefully considered which place would be best to raise their children while also working in their chosen fields.

Rebecca Dubois will be starting in the fall as a medical researcher.

“Rebecca found a job in Santa Cruz first,” Dubois said. “I needed to find a place where I could coach; I got lucky and Santa Cruz fit the bill best. I always loved this town, too.”

Dubois came back to Santa Cruz to coach Nike basketball camps under coach Johnson in the summer of 2010. It was at one of these basketball camps where he first met UCSC athletic director Spradley, to whom he later expressed interest in coaching the Banana Slugs.

“He walked into my office two years ago and said, ‘Linda, if there’s ever a job opening here, let me know,’” Spradley said.

Dubois cited his love of Division III athletics for seeking out the UCSC position.

“Division III is what the NCAA was supposed to be,” Dubois said. “It’s about the education here first, and that’s what I want to be part of.”