Mike Magpayo becomes first Filipino American NCAA Division 1 Head Coach

Filipino American Mike Magpayo replaces David Patrick as head coach of the University of California Riverside

When UC Riverside named Mike Magpayo its head men’s basketball coach, it was a shot in the arm for diversity as well as a big story in the Philippines. Magpayo, a first-generation Filipino-American, became the first full-blooded Asian coach in men’s Division I college basketball.

But Magpayo is an example in another way. His experience shows that you can indeed follow your passion, even when the financials tell you you’re crazy to do so.

Magpayo, 40, has been a college assistant coach for a decade, with stops at Columbia, Campbell (N.C.) University and San Francisco before joining Patrick’s staff at UCR two seasons ago. In order to hop on that carousel, he gave up a comfortable existence running a multi-million dollar real estate and finance/mortgage company in Southern California while coaching high school basketball on the side.

“I am honored, humbled, and absolutely thrilled for the opportunity to lead our University of California Riverside men’s basketball program into the future,” Magpayo said in a press release. 

Magpayo served as defensive coordinator for the University of California, which recorded a school-best 17 wins in the previous NCAA season, before he got promoted to associate coach last month. 

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